Hindu Gymkhana to be handed over to Hindu community: a good decision by Sindh government
Sindh Culture and Tourism Minister Sassui Palijo has said that the Hindu Gymkhana will be handed over to the Hindu community after getting it vacated from the National Academy of Performing Arts, which will be shifted to some other place.
http://thenews. jang.com. pk/daily_ detail.asp? id=107408
http://dawn. com/2008/04/18/local12. htm
It is a good decision and one hopes that it would really happen and would not remain just a public relation statement. Sindh government needs to take immediate and comprehensive measures to preserve the national heritage of Sindh and put an end to occupation of historic buildings.
It may be recalled that the previous government had handed over the historic building to Zia Mohiuddin ignoring the protests by the Hindu community and others.
Here is a letter by this scribe published in daily Dawn on 6 September, 2004 on the subject:
http://www.dawn. com/2004/09/06/letted. htm#2
A report in a Sindhi daily (Aug 30) says some influential people are trying to take over the historical Hindu Gymkhana building in Karachi. According to the report, some people had acquired two rooms in the building some time back for establishing a dance and music centre.
Now they are trying to occupy the whole building and the provincial culture department is said to have sent a summary in this regard to the chief minister for approval.
According to the report, the city landmark spread over 8,400 sq meters was built in 1927. A noted Shikarpur architect Agha Ahmed Hussain had prepared the design and Seth Ram Gopaldas Mehta was the man behind the project.
After independence, the building housed the offices of the Federal Public Service Commission. It was vacated when the capital was moved to Islamabad in the 1960s.
The Sindh culture Department took the building under its control in 1993 and proclaimed it a heritage site. The department planned to establish a College of Art and Design at the site following the example of the Lahore Arts College . A sum of Rs4.05 million was sanctioned. No one knows the fate of the proposal.
It is a matter of great concern that historical and archaeological sites are being ignored. Many a building has deteriorated, been occupied by people, demolished or desecrated one way or the other.
The government had some time back announced plans to vacate the Pucca Qila, Hyderabad , and restore the great archeological site as a befitting national monument with a museum inside. Nobody knows the fate of that announcement either.
One appeals to the governor, the CM, the chief secretary and other concerned people to show some respect to historical buildings and national heritage sites and take measures to protect and preserve them.
Source – Courtesy: Aziz Narejo, Sindhi-elists/ e-grousps, April 18, 2008