Do you agree with the view that the British actions at Amritsar were justified in the aftermath of world war one The British actions at Amritsar were justified in the aftermath of world war one to an extent. The war seemed to boost the self esteem on Indians and unite them, suggesting threat against the raj, however the view in source 10 shows that there was no proof of a conspiracy, source 11 agrees with this but also shows why dyer might have acted in this way. Source 12 agrees with the fact that the actions were justified in the aftermath of world war one. The aftermath of world war one increased the self esteem if Indian as they were fighting alongside British soldiers, it also strengthened the arguments of the Indian politicians that India should be given a greater say in Indian affairs, this suggests that Indian nationalism was starting to progress.
Muslims and Hindus had also joined together, forming the Lucknow pact, which shows that the Indians were becoming more powerful as they were joining together but the day of the massacre in Amritsar only included mostly Sikh people who were gathered to celebrate their religious festival showing that the attacks weren’t necessary. local officials also went on strike as a result of the aftermath of the war, suggesting that support for the raj was crumbling, showing that maybe the action of the British at Amritsar were due to the fear of Indian nationalism and the falling support for the raj. However source 10 clearly says that “it is not proven that any conspiracy had been formed” and that Dyer had acted “beyond the necessity of the case” showing that his action was not necessary and fair as there was no proof and evidence at the scene at jailaiwad bagh to justify that the actions of the British.
Source 11 is a letter by Dyer saying that if he had hesitated it would have “induce attack” showing that the British might of felt that the Indians had gained power after world war one so they might attack . The source also suggests that there was no proof that there was going to be an attack, but dyer assumed it and therefore has fired without warning, this supports source 10 which says that it wasn’t proven that there was a “conspiracy”, showing that dyers actions were not necessary. However after world war one hartal were being organised to protest against the Rowlett acts, the two men who had started these hartals were arrested by the authorities, this lead to riots in Amritsar. The riots soon turned into an anti European attack, European women and children were beaten.
Therefore source 11 could suggest that the reason Dyer fired without warning at the “dense crowd” was due to his fear of an attack as there were meetings being held in jalilawad bagh discussing the Rowlett acts, therefore dyer had presumed that a similar result to the Amritsar riots was bound to happen. The result of the riots at Amritsar support source 12, which is a letter by the European women thanking dyer for his actions which “saved the Punjab and thereby preserved the honour and lives of hundreds of women and children” this show that the women has felt threatened by what had happened at the riots which they also presumed would of happened at jailiawa bagh.
However there was no proof on the day of the massacre that there was a conspiracy or any form of rebellion. To conclude, the British actions at Amritsar were justified in the aftermath of world war one to an extent , the Indian confidence had risen and they started to unite which shows that they were heading towards nationalism which was a threat to the raj, the Amritsar riots had also made an influence of the actions of dyer on the day of the massacre as many European women and children were killed , this might of showed that the same was bound to happen in jalianwala bagh as many people were gathered together and some were also discussing and protesting against the Rowlett acts. However as it says in source 10, “it is not proven that any conspiracy had been formed to overthrow British power” suggesting that dyers actions were necessary as there was no proof on the day.
Courtney from Study Moose
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