Indian-origin author from West London, Saurav Dutt, is to publish a book to mark the centenary of a horrific event that proved to be the turning point in the Indian fight for independence from the British Raj.
At least 379 people were massacred in Amritsar and another 1,200 injured after 90 British men, under the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, opened fire at the crowd gathered at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on April 13,1919.
Saurav said, “This was a momentous occasion, bringing together the abject racism, brutality and ruthlessness of the British Raj in India; that afternoon and in the events that followed in its wake, typified the true face of British colonialism and its absolute spite of the Indian and their hope for self government and independence.”
The 36-year-old Bengali has lived in Northolt, Ealing ever since his family moved from Kolkatawhen he was a six months old baby. His novel, The Butterfly Room, was a Notable Book of the Year in The Los Angeles Times and The Indian Express.
His books have been short-listed and featured at the London and Frankfurt book fairs, Kolkata Book Fairand BookExpo America and he has appeared in interviews or otherwise in news amongst media outlets suchas Sky News, BBC, CNN and Asian Voice. He was also one of the four final nominees for the Media, Art and Culture category in the 18thAsian Achievers Awards.
Dutt's new book delves deeply into the mindset of the Indian populace at the time, the British Raj establishment as well as the key players, not least the complex General Dyer who gave the order to fire and who felt as if he ‘would be laughed at’ if he did not demonstrate the forcefulness that earned him the moniker ‘The butcher of Amritsar’.
“It was a charged and highly emotive time,” he added. “I hope the book will encapsulate the desperation and fortitude of the Indian independence movement as well as the contempt, racism and hatred of the British establishment once they realised that Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs dared to question their authority and sought to create an India for Indians, without British governance and domination.”