United Kingdom MP Virendra Sharma has urged Prime Minister Theresa May to consider including the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in the country’s history curriculum of schools.
“I believe it is important that everyone in the United Kingdom is aware of this country’s colonial heritage, and that schoolchildren should be taught about the more shocking aspects of our history,” he said, PTI reported.
Sharma has been campaigning for the incident to be recorded in the country, and raised the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions Time in the House of Commons on March 14, according to the Hindustan Times. Sharma said: “Will the Prime Minister join me in commemorating the massacre and meet me and others who are campaigning for this shameful episode to be remembered across the UK?”
He was assured a written reply from May.
Sharma took to the social media and tweeted about the question he had asked:
I was pleased to ask the Prime Minister today whether she will support my campaign to properly remember the Amritsar Massacre across the UK.
He also updated the video where he can be seen asking the question on the social media.
Sharma added that he has written to May about his campaign for a permanent memorial and for the massacre to be included in the school curriculum and said that he looks forward to meet her and discuss positive steps that can be taken.
“The honorable gentleman has raised a very specific issue and a very specific point. I will be happy to look at the question he has raised and respond to him in writing,” May said in her reply.
The UK foreign office issued a statement on Dec. 7, referring to former Prime Minister David Cameron, that said: “As the former Prime Minister said when he visited Jallianwala Bagh in 2013, the massacre was a deeply shameful act in British history and one that we should never forget. It is right that we pay respect to those who lost their lives and remember what happened. The British government rightly condemned the events at the time.”
On Dec. 6, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that the United Kingdom government should apologize for the 1919 incident where hundreds of people died. During his India visit, Khan paid homage to those killed in Amritsar. “It was incredibly moving to visit Jallianwala Bagh. Our thoughts are with all those who died,” Khan said at the time.
In October last year, Sharma had tabled an Early Day Motion asking the British government to apologize for the incident. He garnered eight signatures for the motion, including one from the Conservative Party.
“This was an important moment in the history of Britain in India. Many suggest it was the beginning of the end, a moment that finally emboldened the Independence Movement. It must be commemorated, and the British government should make clear its repudiation of such a barbaric act,” Sharma had said earlier.