General Dyer Or Michael O’Dwyer: Who Was Shot Dead By Sardar Udham Singh For The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

The most infamous incident in the history of India’s freedom struggle, the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place on 13 April, 1919. Thousands of peaceful and innocent Indian citizens were ordered to be openly fired at by brigadier-general of those times, Reginald Dyer, also known as General Dyer. 

But there is another prominent figure who shares his names among the ‘Butchers of Amritsar’. Michael O’Dwyer is the name that most people consider responsible for the worst massacre in Indian history during the British Raj. But there is huge confusion among people regarding General Dyer and Michael O’Dwyer. Some people even consider them the same person.

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Beginning with, Michael O’Dwyer and General Dyer are both different men. Sir Michael Francis O’Dwyer (Michael O’Dwyer) was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, British India from 1913-1919. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place when he was the governor of Punjab. 

Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer (General Dyer) was the executor of the Jallianwala Bagh incident. He was the temporary brigadier-general in Punjab, who ordered armed men of his army to openly fire at the group of people gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. For his actions, he’s been given the name ‘Butcher of Amritsar’.

General Dyer

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One of the greatest revolutionaries in the history of the country, Sardar Udham Singh took revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre by assassinating the man behind it. While many people believe that he assassinated General Dyer, the man who ordered to open fire at the crowd, this is not true. Shaheed Udham Singh actually assassinated Michael O’Dwyer, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, who endorsed and supported the killing. He called General Dyer’s actions ‘completely correct’. 

General Dyer actually died of natural causes. He suffered a series of strokes during his last years and finally died of cerebral haemorrhage and arteriosclerosis on 23 July, 1927. On the other hand, Michael O’Dwyer was assassinated by Shaheed Udham Singh on 13 March, 1940, 13 years after the death of General Dyer and 21 years after the infamous Jallianwala Bagh incident took place. 

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Shaheed Udham Singh spent 2 decades of his life with no motive other than assassinating Michael O’Dwyer. He went around the whole world spreading the great Indian revolution, and finally reaching his destination, London. Finally he shot dead former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, Michael O’Dwyer on 13 March, 1940. A meeting of the Central Asian Society and East India Association was held at the Caxton Hall on that day and Michael O’Dwyer was a speaker. Shaheed Udham Singh shot him, killing him on the spot and injured other two, Zetland, Louis Dane (the former Lieutenant-governor of Punjab), and Lord Lamington (the former Governor of Bombay).

Michael O’Dwyer

A Bollywood movie of large production is now going to be released on 16 October, 2021 starring Vicky Kaushal as Shaheed Udham Singh and directed by Shoojit Sircar. ‘Sardar Udham’ will release only on the OTT platform Amazon Prime Video and we believe that the ‘Sardar Udham’ team would be able to serve the purpose of the movie, along with factual accuracy at its best! Especially, Punjabis are on their toes for the movie.

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