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Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    13th Aug, 2019
  • The Lok Sabha recently passed Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by a voice vote.
  • A high-pitched verbal duel over the bill saw ruling National Democratic Alliance members accuse the Congress of holding on to the post despite it being the centenary year of the memorial.

Context

  • The Lok Sabha recently passed Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by a voice vote.
  • A high-pitched verbal duel over the bill saw ruling National Democratic Alliance members accuse the Congress of holding on to the post despite it being the centenary year of the memorial.

Amendments included in the bill:

  • The Bill amends the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951 which was passed to erect a National Memorial in memory of those killed and wounded in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of over 1,000 people on April 12, 1919.
  • Under the provisions of the Act, the trustees of the Memorial include the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the Congress president, the Minister-in-charge of Culture, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab, and three eminent persons nominated by the Centre as its members. The bill seeks to remove the Congress president as a permanent member of this trust.
  • The bill says that “the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People, or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House" will be on the trust.
  • The bill allows the central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of the period of his term.
  • The bill is introduced so that such organizations or trusts could not be politicized and should instead be nationalized.

Opposition to the bill:

  • Some members of the Parliament believe that the only intention of the government is to wipe out history. They say that the stalwarts of the Congress remained in the party, they went to jail, fought for the Independence movement. The museum was built by them; the money was donated by them. Hence Congress president should continue as a permanent member of the trust.
  • Some members of the Parliament consider such bills as a waste of Parliament’s precious time. They are not of any use for solving the grievances of the common public. It is a trivial issue.

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