By Faz Zia
Friends;We live in a multicultural society where we celebrate everyone’s festivals and we share their sorrows too. Eid, Diwali, Vaisaki, Christmas every festival we wish each other and if something bad happens we all come together to support one another.
13th April 1919 in Amritsar one of the most heinous acts of colonial violence happened, The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also referred to as the Amritsar massacre. This left several hundred unarmed civilians dead at the hands of government troops. Last week on the 13th was a 100 year since that massacre occurred, mostly our Sikh brothers and sisters were killed that day, the number of casualties is unclear but the official British total put the death toll at 379 but Indian figures were between 500-1000 the youngest was eight and the oldest being 80.
We watch this story in films and read in books and articles but the truth is many people still feel the pain and hurt by questioning why and how those innocent unarmed lives were brutally murdered.
Mothers lost their sons and husbands, a family member lost for many, the wall full of bullets can be seen in many pictures. It is a black day in history but now many people especially most of our Sikh brothers and sisters demand an apology from Britain but UK still refuses to apologies for Jallianwalla Bagh massacre. According to the Metro article (13Apr 2019) British High Commissioner, Dominic Asquith, stopped short of a formal apology and said ‘the revulsion that we felt at the time is still strong toad’ when speaking at the scene in India as he laid a wreath. ‘You might want to rewrite history, as the Queen said, but you can’t. What you can do, as the Queen said, is to learn the lesson of history. ‘There is no question that will always remember this. We will never forget what happened here’.
Friends, life is too short and we all know how unpredictable that massacre was 100 years ago, but look around the world, many countries are turning to rubble, beautiful cities are destroyed in the name of terror. Mothers are still crying for their children, what lesson did we learn from the massacre that occurred more than 100 years ago? We’re still destroying each other, still ripping apart families and we will look back on these times and not understand what was going on.
My request is don’t kill in the name of religion, or to gain power, when the angel of death comes you will be going without anything but your deed. So sow seeds of good for yourself and others, share the sorrows of others regardless of who they are, what religion they are and where they are, love them and support them.
Now, changing the topic of discussion, I shall like to highlight the women empowerment in Britain. Independent figures released on Tuesday (April 16) by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the number of people in work has risen again to a new record high and the unemployment rate has fallen again to an over forty year low. The figures show there are now a record number of women in work and record number of people in full-time jobs. Wages rose at their fastest rate for over a decade, up 3.5%.
• UK employment increased by 179,000 on the quarter and 457,000 on the year to a new record high of 32.72 million people
• Female employment increased by 142,000 on the quarter to a record high of 15.41 million
• The number of people working on a full-time basis increased by 138,000 to reach a record high of 24.15 million
• Youth unemployment fell again, down 19,000 on the quarter
• The unemployment rate decreased by 0.1% on the quarter to 3.9%, its lowest level since 1975
• Wages grew at 3.5%, the fastest rate since 2008
• The largest fall in unemployment over the last five years has been for people who were long-term unemployed – down 463,000 for those unemployed for over a year
Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Under this Conservative government, more people than ever before have the security of a job, and with wages rising at their fastest rate for a decade, people’s pay can go further. It’s particularly pleasing to see there are now a record number of women in work and a record number of people with secure, full-time jobs.
She said; “Since we came to government, unemployment has fallen in every region of the UK and over three quarters of new jobs have been created outside of London. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would put all this at risk. Only the Conservatives careful management of our economy can ensure more good jobs are created and people can get on in life.”