Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

Gold Star - 97,857 Points (3rd August 1950 / Mumbai)

Mahatma Gandhi 44 - The Massacre At Jallianwala Bagh - Poem by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

A shocking tragedy that shook India was
The dreadful massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.
When General Sir Reginald Dyer,
The military commander of British Rule in India,
Took over Amritsar, the first order he gave was
To prohibit public meetings.
The innocent people of Punjab were
Unaware of this order!

On 13th April 1919, a black Sunday,
Over ten thousand people gathered
At the Jallianwala Bagh,
A spacious, open ground enclosed by high walls.
On an auspicious day of Baisakhi -
A celebration of the spring season!
Unfortunately, the celebration turned into a nightmare
Undeniably, a horrific happening!

Just as the meeting had begun,
General Dyer arrived with fifty soldiers
Fully armed with rifles.
They blocked the entrance to the ground
The only exit gate as well.
Without any warning Dyer ordered his soldiers to fire.
Bullets began raining, hitting the unprepared,
Innocent people gathered in the ground.

A pandemonium occurred,
The people panicked and began running helter skelter,
There was no way for the people to escape,
As the soldiers had blocked the entrance,
There was no other exit either.
Many were killed with bullets,
Many in the stampede,
Many jumped to death into a well!

It was a terrible scene of heart rending cries
Of men, women and children!
This is a part of Indian history,
That shall remain imprinted as a part of freedom struggle,
Never to be forgotten!
It was a miserable death for a mass of people
The garden of Jallianwala in Amritsar that
Turned into a vast graveyard!

An ugly display of human power, arrogance
And cruelty of the worst order!
The Jallianwala tragedy happened just a day before
Gandhiji's Sabarmati Ashram speech,
Read by Sri Vallabhai Patel before a large audience.
But Gandhiji knew about this incident only later
As telegraph and telephone systems were all switched off.
Gandhiji was shaken up by this outrageous incident of terror.


Gandhiji was still barred from entering Punjab.
He demanded a full investigation into
The Jallianwala massacre and the punishments.
In September, the British authorities appointed
A Hunter commission to conduct an enquiry,
And in October, Gandhiji was given permission to enter Punjab.

On 24th October 1919, when Gandhiji arrived in Lahore,
For the first time in his life,
He was given a warm reception by the people of Punjab.
A huge crowd awaited him to get a glimpse of their leader.
In Punjab, Gandhiji sought funds for the Jallianwala memorial.
He emphasized "that it was with no ill will or hostility to anyone
But as a symbol of people's grief and
As a reminder of the sacrifices, through death of the innocent."

Topic(s) of this poem: personality


Poet's Notes about The Poem

The book referred to in this poem is titled 'Mohandas -A story of a man, his people, and an empire' by Rajmohan Gandhi. Published by
Penguin books.
Those interested to know more on the subject may read this book.

Comments about Mahatma Gandhi 44 - The Massacre At Jallianwala Bagh by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

  • Bill CantrellBill Cantrell (6/29/2017 4:27:00 PM)

    Your poem dear friend, honors the innocent, I applaud you for not letting their voice go into silence, I hold life sacred and I know you do as well, The arrogance and the display of human power being abused happens time and again...in my holy book when Cain killed able..God said...your brothers blood cries out from the ground, , , , you my friend are saying the same thing, thank you for not forgetting them, Gandhi was a great soul, I would loved to have broken bread with him and talked with him, but we have his path and example to cherish (Report)Reply

    Geeta Radhakrishna MenonGeeta Radhakrishna Menon(6/30/2017 12:22:00 AM)

    Dear Bill,
    Thank you for your wonderful comment on this poem.
    So true, the arrogance, hatred and power together destroys man and leads him through a path of hell. Bill, i too wished that we had lived to meet Gandhiji. But he has left us with glorious legacy of his teachings of truth and non-violence which may imbibe and try our best to follow and put into action in our lives.
    Thanks a lot, my friend. Stay blessed always.

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  • Loke Kok Yee (6/25/2017 3:48:00 AM)

    Such occurrences during the struggle for independence are little known outside your country, Certainly you are bringing me up to date on the sacrifices made by the people of India and the greatness of Gandhi. Thank you (Report)Reply

    Geeta Radhakrishna MenonGeeta Radhakrishna Menon(6/25/2017 11:17:00 AM)

    Thank you so much Loke, for the patience to read this long poem.
    This historical poem brings forth the sacrifices and struggle that the people of India faced to
    attain freedom. Gandhiji's marathon effort towards India's freedom is phenomenal.
    Thank you again Loke for specially reading my Gandhi poem. Stay blessed!

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  • Akhtar JawadAkhtar Jawad (6/23/2017 8:38:00 PM)

    A tragedy that is one of the dirtiest spots on the British Imperialism. (Report)Reply

    Geeta Radhakrishna MenonGeeta Radhakrishna Menon(6/25/2017 11:08:00 AM)

    Yes Akhtar Sahab, so true! A spot that is difficult to erase.
    Thank you so much.

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (6/23/2017 11:42:00 AM)

    Dear madam, I read your poem 'Mahatma Gandhi 44' in which the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy has been portrayed heartfeltly.In the command of brutal General Dyre about ten thousands innocent Indians were bulleted where they were bound to meet death as the gathering field was blocked. It is an unforgettable event and will remain unforgettable. Many words used in this poem were heart touching and justified. I appreciate your penmanship. Let me quote some... a pandemonium occurred,
    The people panicked and began running helter skelter,
    There was no way for the people to escape,
    As the soldiers had blocked the entrance,
    There was no other exit either.
    Many were killed with bullets,
    Many in the stampede,
    Many jumped to death into a well! Many thanks dear Dr. Menon for posting such historical poem.
    (Report)Reply

    Geeta Radhakrishna MenonGeeta Radhakrishna Menon(6/25/2017 11:10:00 AM)

    Thank you Kumarmaniji for your kind appraisal of the poem.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 23, 2017



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