Katchis and Gujrati Memons: Con ‘census’ among the forgotten
By GN Mughal
KARACHI: It was almost as if GM Syed – the symbol of Sindhi nationalism – was reborn in Old Karachi, undoubtedly a new phenomenon for a decidedly cosmopolitan city.
Many in the audience felt that what they had seen and heard at the event was a foretaste of a new wave of nationalism, a blend of new and old Sindhis, which would overwhelm the provincial metropolis in the coming days.
The occasion was a seminar on ‘Census and old communities of Karachi’, held at Lohar-wadha Jamaatkhana, Lyari earlier this month.
This event had two unique features. Firstly, a large number of Katchis, Gujrati Memons and people belonging to other local communities of Karachi had gathered on one platform. Secondly, for the first time ever, the entire first-ranking leadership of Sindhi nationalists along with the Pakistan Peoples Party leaders of the area were there as well.
It all started a month ago when the Katchi Rabita Committee (KRC) invited some journalists of Sindhi dailies for a cup of tea at the Jamaatkhana to bitterly express being disowned not only by the Sindhi nationalists but by Sindhis at large, despite the fact that “they were Sindhis and old Karachi’ites”.
They called themselves the “forgotten Sindhis”. The Katchi community also complained that they had been voting for PPP candidates in every election, but after coming to power the PPP government never lifted a finger to pull them out of the bottomless pit into which they had fallen because of the continuous neglect by successive governments.