THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 27 November 2019 (Putting back the ‘national’ in the Jallianwala Bagh trust (The Hindu))

Putting back the ‘national’ in the Jallianwala Bagh trust (The Hindu)

  • Mains Paper 2 : National 
  • Prelims level : Jallianwala Bagh trust
  • Mains level : Jallianwala Bagh trust importance and significance


  • Jallianwala Bagh stands witness to the sacrifices and the struggles made by the people of India. 
  • One is deeply humbled by the sacrifices made and it would be no exaggeration to say that every particle of the soil here breathes a great history and a story of courage. 
  • Jallianwala Bagh is to be a part of the National Museum, Delhi, so that every Indian can have a glimpse of it and can express gratitude towards the sacrifices made. 
  • This is a symbol of sacrifice and patriotism, be established as a part of India’s national heritage.

A pan-Indian right:

  • A trust for a special site such as Jallianwala Bagh cannot be formed on the basis of a political approach. 
  • There are some institutions and places in our society or in the country that are above the reach of politics. 
  • So, we should think about them beyond politics and party lines. This was the reason why the Prime Minister has noted that every countryman has a right over this trust rather than it being the fiefdom of any political party. 
  • This was why the Central government thought of restructuring the trust. 
  • This was also why the government said that to nominate any person of a political party would be unfair not only to this trust but also to the entire country.

As one party’s zone:

  • The working of the trust was highlighted in 1970 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi passed a resolution in February 1970 on behalf of the trustees, in her capacity as chairman of the trust. 
  • Mrs Gandhi’s signature on this resolution as its chairman is on record, information about when she joined the trust and in what capacity are unavailable. 
  • The Congress has no clarification of how Babu Jagjivan Ram was not a part of the trust despite being the Congress President. 
  • In August 1998, a meeting of trust was held again, this time chaired by Sonia Gandhi as President of the Congress. 
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then Prime Minister, was not invited to be a part of the meeting. 
  • Therefore, it is very clear that the trust was being run as per convenience instead of following rules and regulations.

Way forward:

  • Apart from this, the Congress President, the Minister of Culture, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the Governor of Punjab, the Chief Minister of Punjab and three Members nominated by the Central government would be its members. 
  • The former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, Sardar Umrao Singh and Birendra Katariya, a former Member of Parliament, were nominated for the period 2005-2010. 
  • During his tenure as Prime Minister, I.K. Gujral was neither invited nor made a member of the trust. 
  • Conclusion:
  • It is in the light of these that the present government has felt that governance of the trust must be taken more seriously and has initiated definite changes in the way it is run. The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 supports this.

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General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the 10th Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report released by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, consider the following statements:
1. Globally, pneumonia and diarrhoea led to nearly one of every four deaths in children under five years of age in 2017. 
2. Only half of the Indian children with diarrhoea receive ORS (oral rehydration solution) and 20% receive zinc supplementation — to help protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
A.   1 only
B.   2 only
C.   Both
D.   None 

Answer: C

Mains Questions:
Q.1) The Central government has reasons to recast the way the memorial and its trust are run not as a political fiefdom. Comment.