Book excerpt: How Udham Singh, man who killed Lt Gov Michael Dwyer, planned his revenge

The Patient Assassin
A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge and the Raj
Book Excerpt 

Amritsar seemed to contract after the massacre, seized by a convulsion of anger and fear. Local politicians were either arrested or went into hiding. The civilian population, rudderless without them, shied away from the streets. The soldiers had their city now and their uniforms represented subjugation, humiliation and summary execution. Many, who just days before had been happy to march in Gandhi’s non- violent parades, now vowed to take up arms against the Raj.

Ramji Dass Sunami, one of Udham’s friends from his father’s hometown, described seeing him driven mad with grief and rage shortly after the declaration of martial law: ‘[He] went to the Golden Temple and immersed himself in the holy pool of nectar [the expanse of water surrounding the Temple] and took a solemn oath to avenge it with the blood of O’Dwyer.’1 Another of his friends, Manjit Singh Kassid, was worried that the young man’s untrammelled . . .