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UK should apologise for Jallianwala Bagh massacre

UK should apologise for Jallianwala Bagh massacre
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The British government has never offered a formal apology for Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

The British government has never offered a formal apology for Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited the garden in 2013 and laid a wreath in memory of the dead and called the murders a "deeply shameful event" but stopped short of a full apology.

Last Wednesday, Teresa May reiterated the UK government's long-standing expression of 'deep regret' over the April 1919 massacre, calling it a 'shameful scar' on British Indian history.

An apology is an act of contrition and draws a line; it will not undo the hurt and pain, but it does send a signal. An apology is not the be all and end all. The most important thing the British can do now is to work to ensure such actions are remembered, respected and not allowed to happen again.

Children across the UK should also benefit from learning about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to know what their country did in the name of empire. They should learn not just about a thousand years of British success and innovation but also about the human cost across the world of expedition, exploration and exploitation.

It is right that children in UK learn about the British values of democracy and the rule of law, about the industrial revolution and the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

They also need to know the shameful parts of British history and what the British Empire meant to millions of subjects colonised around the world.

Vandana Rao Bellampalli, Stratford, London

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