Bollywood’s tribute to the Jallianwala Bagh martyrs

100 years of the massacre that shook the entire nation

Cinema

April 20, 2019

/ By / Kolkata



 

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Jallianwala Bagh Memorial

This year marks the centenary of one of the darkest day of Indian history, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Here is a look at how Indian movies have being documenting the event with their artistic portrayal.

The celebrations of Baisakhi (New Year of the Sikhs) on April 13, 1919 turned to be the darkest day in Indian history when without any warning thousands of defenceless Indians were gunned down by a senior British military officer, brigadier-general Reginald Dyer. The British-Indian army under the orders of Dyer opened fire on a crowd gathered to celebrate their New Year and peacefully protest. The troops blocked the main entrance of the garden and fired at the crowd till their ammunitions were completely exhausted. Apart from being shot, many people lost their lives in stampede at the narrow gates and some jumped into the solitary well on the compound to escape the shooting. More than 1500 people were injured and approximately 1000 died.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the black days in Indian history that shook the conscience of the entire nation. Artists from all over the world have penned down this gruesome incident  and so has  Bollywood. Here is a list of some of the movies that paid tribute to the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

 Jallian Wala Bagh (1977)

The movie recounted the aftermath of the gruesome event

The movie recounted the aftermath of the gruesome event

The movie directed by Balraj Tah and written by Gulzar is set in the aftermath of the massacre. It is a part-biopic of Udham Singh who assassinated Michael O’Dwyer, the lieutenant governor of Punjab during the massacre. The film featured actors like Vinod Khanna, Shabana Azmi, Parikshat Sahni, Sampooran Singh Gulzar and Deepti Naval.

Gandhi (1982)

The movie gives an account of the massacre and the inquiry that followed

The movie gives an account of the massacre and the inquiry that followed

This movie was a historical drama based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s non-cooperation movement. Directed by Richard Attenborough, the movie gives a description of the incident and the subsequent inquiry by Montague Commission. The role of General Dyer was played by Edward Fox.

Shahid Udham Singh (1999)

This revolutionary movie is based on the life of freedom fighter Udham Singh, who vowed to take revenge for the massacre.  Raj Babbar portrays the role of Udham Singh in the movie.

The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)

Jallianwala Bagh massacre had a great influence in shaping his revolutionary ways

Jallianwala Bagh massacre had a great influence in shaping his revolutionary ways

Directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, the film chronicles the life of Bhagat Singh, Indian freedom fighter and revolutionary, who vowed to free India from the British rule after witnessing the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Ajay Devgn portrayed the role of Bhagat Singh.

Rang De Basanti (2006)

The Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directed movie featured Aamir Khan, Siddharth Narayan, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni and Soha Ali Khan in lead roles who played revolutionary freedom fighters in a parallel narrative. A part of the film had the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in black and white sequence that depicted the horrors of that day.

Phillauri (2017)

This movie showed how the massacre affected people and their loved ones

This movie showed how the massacre affected people and their loved ones

This Anshai Lal directed movie had Anushka Sharma, Diljit Dosanjh, Suraj Sharma and Mehreen Pirzada in the main roles. This fantasy comedy with Anushka Sharma portraying the role of a spirit, had the Jallianwala Bagh sequence as an unpredictable twist at the end.

Director Shoojit Sircar is also in the process  of making a biopic on revolutionary Udham Singh which has Vicky Kaushal as its lead and is expected to release in 2020.

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