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My intention was to inflict a lesson that would have an impact throughout all India.
~ Reginald Dyer's justification for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Reginald Edward Harry Dyer is an antagonist in Richard Attenborough's 1982 historical film Gandhi. He is a British Army general who was responsible for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, during which his men killed over three-hundred people and injured a thousand more.

He was portrayed by Edward Fox.


When a large crowd of peaceful protestors gathered in Jallianwala Bagh garden, General Dyer, fearing that the protest movement could incite an insurrection against the colonial government of India, sets out to stop the uprising with an army of Indian colonials. Upon arriving at Jallianwala Bagh garden, General Dyer and his troops block the main exit. One of the soldiers inquires if they should give a warning shot against the crowd, to which General Dyer replies that the Indians already had their warning. General Dyer then orders his men to open fire and the soldiers shoot against the peaceful protestors, resulting in over one thousand and five-hundred casualties within ten minutes.

General Dyer is later brought to court and justifies his actions by claiming that he only massacred the protestors to keep India in check and to prevent anymore protests. Dyer also admits that he was aware of the fact that there were women and children in the crowd.

Dyer later retired from the British Army and returned to England, where he died in 1927, twenty years before the partition of India and Gandhi's assassination by Nathuram Godse.



  • Winston Churchill and H.H. Asquith condemned the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and called it one of the most atrocious events in British history. Some praised Dyer as a hero, while others called him the "Butcher of Amritsar" due to his actions of massacring a peaceful crowd.