A 1942 group photograph taken just outside a hall in Dongri soon after the inauguration of the Anjuman-i-Pukhtoon Trust. In the centre (dressed in a suit) is Chief Guest Aziz Khan (Inspector of Police Pathan Branch CID), and to his left is Samad Khan (founder of the Trust) along with other community members. Courtesy: Gateway House
12 December 2019

Bombay’s Pathans: living by a code

Bombay’s Pathan community was most visible from the 19th century until India’s partition in 1947. Taking to hard labour with a natural ease, they worked mostly in mills and as security staff. Others went into business. Their numbers have thinned now, but they have retained their cultural identity, holding fast to feudal codes of conduct

Rare-Old-Photos-of-Karachi-A-Parsi-family-in-Karachi-in-motor-car-1925-Old-and-rare-Pictures-of-Karachi Courtesy: Pinterest
7 September 2017

Partition: those who stayed behind

Bombay’s Parsis, Bene-Israel Jews, and Goans settled in Karachi, Lahore and other cities and provinces that the British had annexed since the mid-19th century. The Partition of India in 1947 gave these minority communities the choice to stay or leave. The Bene-Israel left. The Parsis and Goans continue to have a presence in Pakistan

2 Courtesy: The Indian Railways Fan Club
31 August 2017

Partition’s Punjabi imprint on Bombay

The Sikh and Punjabi community of Sion-Koliwada Camp, Mumbai, hailed mostly from the Muslim-majority North West Frontier Province (NWFP), rather than undivided Punjab. They brought to their adopted city – and to India – a rich and varied cultural presence

A Biluchi Soldier and Hindu Trader of Sindh Courtesy: Archive.org
24 August 2017

The making of Bombay’s mini Sindh

Many of the Hindu Sindhi refugees who fled to India post Partition succeeded in rebuilding their lives afresh, their native entrepreneurial spirit enabling them to rise up from the destitution that displacement caused. Ulhasnagar, Thane district, which was a refugee camp 70 years ago, is a microcosm of how the community rehabilitated itself--with the help of a well dispersed and generous Sindhi trading network

old photos bombay Courtesy: Live Mint
15 August 2017

Bombay, Karachi, linked by sea and refuge

The 70th Independence Day for India and Pakistan – August 15 and 14 respectively – is a reminder of how Partition displaced 15 million people, causing untold hardship. What is less known is that the cities of Karachi and Bombay have had a shared colonial history and economy: the parting of ways left one bereft of a host of spirited citizens, who went on to rebuild their lives in the other