New Delhi: Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel on Tuesday brought the soil of Jallianwala Bagh in an urn to Delhi to be kept at the National Museum to mark the centenary of the 1919 British colonial era massacre.
“Union Minister of Culture and Tourism, Prahlad S Patel visited Jalianwala Bagh National Memorial, Amritsar, today. The urn of the holy soil of the martyr land is being brought to Delhi by him which will be kept in the National Museum,” the Tourism Ministry said in a tweet.
The Ministry in a statement later said that the soil of the Jallianwala Bagh was brought to the National Museum so that the youths and the people visiting the museum gets inspiration from the martyrs of the freedom fighters.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place in Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival on April 13, 1919 when the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd staging a pro-independence demonstration, leaving over 400 people including 41 children dead.
The move comes at a time when a bill that seeks to do away with the automatic nomination of the President of the Congress to the Jallianwala Bagh Trust was introduced in Lok Sabha in July this year.
During the Parliament’s Budget Session, the move to introduce the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was vehemently opposed by Congress asking the government not to betray history and the heritage by removing the Congress President citing the grand old party’s long association with the trust.
Introducing the Bill, Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel said the Bill was passed in the 16th Lok Sabha but could not be passed in Rajya Sabha.
The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill states that it seeks to “delete” the mention of ‘President of the Indian National Congress’ as a trustee. It was passed in the Lok Sabha in August.
Under the 1951 Act, the Trustees of the Memorial include the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the President of the Congress, the Minister in-charge of Culture, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the Governor of Punjab, the Chief Minister of Punjab and three eminent persons nominated by the Central government.
The current bill seeks to do away with the automatic nomination of the President of the Indian National Congress as a Trustee.