The 105th head of Anglican church archbishop Justin Welby has arrived India and travelling for the past 10 days by the invitation of the Churches of North(CNI) and South India(CSI).
While lying prostrate in front of the Jaliwana Bag memorial Amritsar, where thousands of unarmed Hindu Sikhs were shot brutally killed by the 50 British militaries in 1919, he said: “Coming here arouses a sense of profound shame at what happened in this place. It is one of a number of deep stains on British history. The pain and grief that has transcended the generations since must never be dismissed or denied… We have a great responsibility to not just lament this horrific massacre, but most importantly to learn from it in a way that changes our actions … The past must be learned from so nothing like this ever happens again.”
The Jallianwala Bagh muss killing, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919, when Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered troops of the British Army to fire their rifles towards unarmed Indian Hindu civilians in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab and killed more than 400 people including men and women. The number of wounded were11,000[Hunter Commission Report]. Now it is known that Dyre was under the spell of an Anglican Chaplin and Anglican church pardoned his ‘Sin’ after hearing private confession. Dyer died on 24 July 1927 in the United Kingdom and in India he is known as the “Butcher of Amritsar.” Dyer wrote a monogram in the Globe magazine on 21 January 1921, entitled, “The Peril to the Empire” where he said “India does not want self-government. She does not understand it.
In 2013, then British Prime Minister David Cameron described the killings as a “deeply shameful event” in a visitor book at the site, now marked by a 14-metre-high flame-shaped memorial.
Bishop Justin Welby said the purpose of his visit was prayer, pilgrimage and pastoral concern and to learn about Christianity in India and to share their experiences. On his fourth day in the country, he spent time with the Church of South India’s Sisters Order and Women’s Fellowship in Bengaluru.
Later the Archbishop came to Kolkata where he was hosted by the Church of North India and welcomed by the Moderator of the Church of North India, Dr Prem Chand Singh. At St Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata, the Archbishop visited the cathedral’s Friendship Centre.
On the face of objection posed by media for making some political statement At Bishop`s house, the Anglican leader said he came to India “not as a political leader but as a religious leader. To be noted that the majority of Christians in India are Catholic.
Previously a case of forgery has been registered against Church of North India (CNI) Bishop Peter Baldev and 16 others for allegedly selling church properties worth Rs 10,000 crore in a case that could prove to be one of the biggest church scams in the country.
The complaint has been filed by Bishop John Augustine of the Lucknow Diocese of Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon (CIPBC). The complainant has said that in 1970, some Bishops of Church of India had constituted Church of North India Trust Association. Later, using fraudulent means, the post of Bishop of Calcutta was created. “The same people in 1991, spread this fake organization and transferred the properties belonging to Indian Church Trustees, worth Rs 1000 crore, to the Church of North India Trust Association,” the complainant said.