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After "Parivar Bhakti" Taunt, PM Modi Offers Salve To Amarinder Singh

16 April 2019

Naidu on Saturday paid his respect by placing a wreath on the memorial and listened hymns being sung by Sikh priests at Jallianwala Bagh.

British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith, second left, pays homage to commemorate century of the Jallianwala Bagh incident, in Amritsar, India, Saturday, April 13, 2019.

PM Modi tweeted, "Today, when we observe 100 years of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre, India pays tributes to all those martyred on that fateful day".

The massacre - which hardened opposition to the British Raj, or rule - continues to cloud British-India relations today.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had said that the regret by the British government was not enough. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

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Tensions between Britain and India were heightened at the time of the Amritsar massacre.

In his brief interaction with reporters later, Asquith said British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday described the Jallianwala Bagh massacre as a "shameful scar" on British Indian history.

Indian Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, a former leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, joined a ceremony at the memorial yesterday and released a commemorative stamp and coin to mark the 100th anniversary.

Demands by several past Indian leaders and politicians for Britain to apologize for the massacre have fallen on deaf ears.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes at the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial and said the cost of freedom must never be forgotten.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May made a statement in the House of Commons earlier this week to say the United Kingdom deeply regrets the tragedy, which she described as a shameful scar on British Indian history.

Amarinder Singh said that all the necessary protocols were duly followed, including appointment of a cabinet Minister to be present at the Vice President's function on Saturday.

"You might want to rewrite history, as the Queen said, but you can't", Asquith said. "This was truly shocking considering the fact that the Prime Minister was Chairman of the Jallianwala Bagh Trust", he said in a statement here.

May, however, stopped short of offering a formal apology.

The exhibition, supported by the Jallianwala Bagh Centenary Commemoration Committee (JBCCC), comprising prominent Indians and non-resident Indians (NRIs), is aimed at raising awareness around the peaceful protest to mark Baisakhi, the divergent British and Indian inquiry findings, and the ongoing social, political, and cultural response.

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Singh also exhorted the prime minister not to exploit the martyrdom of victims of the massacre, or of the soldiers dying everyday at the borders or in ISI-backed terror attacks such as in Pulwama, for furthering his and his party's political ambitions.