Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
The Sikh community in Bristol has made an invaluable contribution to our city for many years. Earlier this week, a war memorial was unveiled in Castle Park which commemorates the lives of Sikh soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in both World Wars. Though I was unable to be at the unveiling due to parliamentary business, I am very pleased that the service of these soldiers, who fought shoulder to shoulder with troops from Britain and across the Commonwealth, has been given proper recognition.
As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sikhs, I’ve also signed a letter calling on the Government to mark the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by issuing an official apology for what was one of the most awful episodes from the colonial era. Thankfully today, the UK and India enjoy friendly and normal diplomatic and trading relations, but this event has left a lasting legacy of pain both in India and among many UK citizens with family roots in India. The massacre, where almost 400 innocent people were killed by troops under the command of General Dyer, was described at the time by Winston Churchill as “a monstrous event which stands in sinister and singular isolation”.