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The Patient Assassin

A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge, and India's Quest for Independence
Narrated by: Anita Anand
Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: History, World
4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The dramatic true story of a celebrated young survivor of a 1919 British massacre in India and his ferocious 20-year campaign of revenge that made him a hero to hundreds of millions - and spawned a classic legend.

When Sir Michael O’Dwyer, the lieutenant governor of Punjab, ordered Brigadier General Reginald Dyer to Amritsar, he wanted Dyer to bring the troublesome city to heel. Sir Michael had become increasingly alarmed at the effect Gandhi was having on his province, as well as recent demonstrations, strikes, and shows of Hindu-Muslim unity. All these things, to Sir Michael, were a precursor to a second Indian revolt. What happened next shocked the world. An unauthorized gathering in the Jallianwallah Bagh in Amritsar in April 1919 became the focal point for Sir Michael’s law enforcers. Dyer marched his soldiers into the walled garden, blocking the only exit. Then, without issuing any order to disperse, he instructed his men to open fire, turning their guns on the thickest parts of the crowd, filled with more than 1,000 unarmed men, women, and children. For 10 minutes, the soldiers continued firing, stopping only when they ran out of ammunition.

According to legend, 18-year-old Sikh orphan Udham Singh was injured in the attack and remained surrounded by the dead and dying until he was able to move the next morning. Then, he supposedly picked up a handful of blood-soaked earth, smeared it across his forehead, and vowed to kill the men responsible.

The truth, as the author has discovered, is more complex - but no less dramatic. Award-winning journalist Anita Anand traced Singh’s journey through Africa, the US, and across Europe until in March 1940, he finally arrived in front of O’Dwyer himself in a London hall ready to shoot him down. 

The Patient Assassin shines a devastating light on one of history’s most horrific events, but it comes across like a taut thriller and reveals the incredible but true story behind a legend that still endures today.

©2019 Anita Anand (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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more interesting history

I hope the simple facts of this story, a revenge killing for one of the most egregious acts of the Raj against innocent people will inspire the British government to release all of the rest of the documents in this case to historians.
France is just beginning,g to admit their terrorising duplicity against Jews in WW2 while collaborating, happily with Hitler's Nazi's so I look forward to England apologizing to India. This history is still not taught in England's schools.