The Telegraph – Very sorry: Archbishop of Canterbury

He prostrated himself before the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and uttered the words “very sorry” for the massacre of 1919

Amit Roy

London – UK, 11 September 2019. The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, prostrated himself before the Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar on Tuesday and uttered the words “very sorry” .

Welby prayed at the site of the massacre and went further than the Queen, David Cameron or Theresa May with his carefully constructed choice of words.

“I have no status to apologise on behalf of the UK, its government or its history. But I am personally very sorry for this terrible atrocity,” the Archbishop said in his pastoral address.

He began his address by saying: “I feel a deep sense of grief, having visited the site of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh Massacre today in Amritsar, where a great number of Sikhs, as well as Hindus, Muslims and Christians, were shot dead by British troops in 1919.”

The full text of Welby’s statement has been put out by Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Archbishop’s note in the visitor’s book in Amritsar had also been well thought-out: “It is deeply humbling and provokes feelings of profound shame to visit this place that witnessed such atrocities hundred years ago.

“My first response is to pray for healing of relatives, of descendants, of our relationships with India and its wonderful people. But, that prayer renews in me a desire to pray and act so that together we may learn from history, root out hatred, promote reconciliation and globally seek the common good.”

Reaction in the UK, where many campaigners have been pushing for a full apology, was immediately generous.

An assessment that a kind of Rubicon had been crossed came from Dr Kim Wagner, senior lecturer in British Imperial History at Queen Mary University of London and the author of Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre.

“This is quite an amazing gesture,” Wagner told The Telegraph. “Although Welby makes it clear that he is not acting in an official political capacity, his position does mean that this apology and public act of penitence carries real weight. I suspect this will have a significant impact and be well-received by many people, both in India and in the UK.”

His book reveals that Welby is following in the footsteps of the missionary C F Andrews, Mahatma Gandhi’s close friend, who was “one of the first Englishmen to apologise while he was gathering information on the massacre and oppression in Punjab for the Congress inquiry in 1919”.

But that was then and this is now when a number of MPs, not all Indian-origin, are pressing the British government for a full apology.

Tory peer Jitesh Gadhia said: “The Archbishop has shown considerable humility and contrition in visiting Amritsar and prostrating in front of the Jallianwala Bagh memorial, expressing his regret and seeking forgiveness as a religious leader.

“Whilst the Archbishop does not represent the UK government, it is welcome that a national figure of his stature has stated how ashamed and sorry he is for the heinous crime committed 100 years ago.

“I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the Archbishop how the UK schools’ curriculum can reflect upon and draw lessons from such historic events, particularly as we are now both vibrant multicultural democracies.”

The Church Times has spoken to Preet Kaur Gill, Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston and the first female Sikh MP, who told the paper she had been “very moved” by the Archbishop’s words.

She said: “The Archbishop’s message, that an apology alone is not enough to reckon with the deep scars riven by Britain’s colonial past, is welcome. This acknowledgement of the need for contrition is especially powerful in the context of the UK government’s refusal to formally apologise for Colonel Dyer’s actions last year.”

She added she was “very grateful for his leadership, in asking that we learn from one another and find commonality between faiths in an era of division”.

Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing Southall who secured a parliamentary debate on Jallianwala Bagh in the summer, said that it was “heartening” to see the Archbishop “uttering such words of humility and humanity. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre represented the turning point in India. From then on, the Empire was seen only as harsh, brutal and repressive”.

He called for “an official government apology which sets the tone for a UK that understands our responsibilities stemming from empire and colonialism”, and a memorial in London, “not just to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, but to all the victims of colonialism, and one that teaches future generations about the horrors of empire”.

The only discordant note was struck by historian Zareer Masani: “Rank hypocrisy and opportunism, pandering to Indian chauvinism, without a word about India’s record trampling human rights today….”

As Prime Ministers, Theresa May had expressed “deep regret” while David Cameron called the massacre a “deeply shameful event”.

In 1997, the Queen had described the massacre as “a distressing example” and added “but history cannot be rewritten…”.

The British Foreign Office will probably be secretly glad that Welby has used the words, “very sorry”, which the government has been wary of uttering for fear they might encourage claims for compensation. – 1984 Sikh Genocide: SIT to reopen seven cases including one against Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 10 September 2019. Appointed by the Union government of India to crack 1984 Sikh genocide cases, the Special Investigation Team is going to reopen seven Sikh genocide cases which include the one in which Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath is accused of giving shelter to five genocide culprits.

It is learnt that in these seven cases, either the accused were acquitted or the trial was closed and the SIT may consider fresh evidences against the accused in these cases.

These seven cases were registered in 1984 at police stations in Vasant Vihar, Sun Light Colony, Kalyanpuri, Parliament Street, Connaught Place, Patel Nagar and Shahdara.

“A big Victory for @Akali_Dal_ SIT Opens case against @OfficeOfKNath for his alleged involvement in 1984 Sikh genocide,” DSGMC president Manjinder S Sirsa said in a tweet.

“Notification issued by MHA upon my submission last year, Case number 601/84 to reopen & consider fresh Evidence against Kamal Nath,” he added.

Talking to media on the development, Sirsa said that two witnesses were ready to depose against the Congress leader. “We talked to them today, they’ve agreed to depose before SIT whenever they are called. We talked to SIT today, they said they will give us a specific date,” Sirsa said. He also demanded security for two witnesses.

Sirsa urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi to seek the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath so that Sikhs get justice for the 1984 Sikh genocide committed near Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in the national capital.

“We demand that Congress president should immediately take resignation of Kamal Nath and oust him from his post so that the Sikhs get justice,” Sirsa told media.

1984 Sikh Genocide: SIT to reopen seven cases including one against Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath

Gentbrugge – Gentbrugse Meersen

Gentbrugse Meersen
20 August 2019

Geboortebos 2008 – Birth wood 2008
Gent children born in 2008

Showing that the Gentbrugse Meersen is more than a park

Cattle looking for water and shade

Due to the hot dry weather the lake has shrunk to a puddle

Walking towards the Heusden end of the Meersen

Will be continued tomorrow

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

India Today – Sikh man denied entry at posh Delhi restaurant over religious attire

New Delhi – India, 10 September 2019. A Sikh fashion designer Param Sahib took to photo-messaging app Instagram and accused a Delhi restaurant staff of misbehaving with him and his friend because of their religious attire.

A Sikh man from Delhi alleged he was denied entry to Delhi’s We Qutub restaurant due to his religion and the attire he wore.

Param Sahib, a Sikh, took to photo-messaging app Instagram and accused restaurant staff of misbehaving with him and his friend on Saturday night.

He wrote in the Instagram post: HI @wequtub, today later in the evening, I along with my friends was not allowed inside the premises on the grounds of being a Sardar and having an untrimmed beard, with a reason saying that I am not cool enough as per the other Hindu gentry.”

He alleged that his “female friends were spoken badly to with a crass attitude from the guy at the counter” of the restaurant.

Dawn – Scholar finds engravings of Indus script on stones in Khirthar mountains

Professor Aziz Kingrani claims to have discovered 60 symbols resembling the script etched in stones

Qurban Ali Khushik

Updated 2 days ago

Indus script and its variant have been discovered etched in stones in Khirthar Range of mountains near Wahi Pandhi town by research scholar Professor Aziz Kingrani.

The script has so far been found only in Moenjodaro and it was the first time it had been discovered outside the ruined city, according to the professor.

He told Dawn on Sunday that he had discovered 60 symbols resembling those Indus seal script engraved on rocks in Khirthar mountains and said according to Asko Parpola, the Indus script was invented during 2600 BC to 1900 BC.

He said that the area where the Indus script was found was approximately at a distance of 200 kilometres from Moenjodaro along the old trade routes that were in use at that time and led from Sindh to western countries.

He said the Indus seals script and its variant including its inverse and obverse signs inscribed on rocks could be considered a piece of evidence for existence of linkage of urban society of the Indus Valley Civilisation with its towns, villages and other remote areas.

He explained that probably, Indus seal script or writing system of Indus Civilisation was prevalent in these localities during the period of Indus Civilisation in the third millennium BC.

And possibly, later, due to invention of other early scripts like as Brahmi script the trend of the usage of Indus writing system gradually disappeared, he suggested.

He proclaimed that it was the first time the Indus script had been discovered engraved on rocks in Sindh by him and believed that the inscriptions of Indus script had been commissioned from Bronze Age to early Iron Age.