High Podium. Iconic Portico. Grecian Style Pediment. Khaliq Deena Hall will surely mesmerize you when you whiz past it on noisy M.A.Jinnah road which despite multifarious problems, is exciting to travel on. It keeps throwing marvels of architectural and aesthetic undertakings which everyone seem to have forgotten. A favorite of Karachi Walla. But the way Our sweetest songs tell of our saddest thought, it makes you sad.
The full name of the hall is ‘Ghulam Hussain Khaliq Deena Hall’ which is prominently stated on the pediment along with the year of its construction: 1906. It was built to provide a platform for literary pursuits of muslim population of Karachi. Ghulam Hussain Khaliq Deena, a well know philanthropist from Khoja community who donated Rs. 18,000 for the construction of the hall. The total cost of the project was Rs. 33,000. The rest of the funding was provided by the Karachi Municipal Corporation. The place assumed historical significance in 1921 when it was chosen by British to host Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar’s trial for indictment to mutiny. It was backlash for the Khilafat Conference which was held from July 8 to 10, 1921, which called muslims of India to start civil disobedience if British Govt. fought the Angora Government (the Turkish National Government). The trial was known as ‘Trial of Sedition’. Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar narrowly escaped the indictment but it did not deterred him from his cause. Later the building became a symbol of resistance against the British.
Sadly the building was not given a role in Karachi life later on. It has been used sporadically for hosting exhibitions, moharram sermons and ramadan taraweh. Termites have damaged its wooden roof. A major re-haul was done in 2002 by KMC but until it is given a purpose, with steady stream of funds, Khaliq Deena Hall shall remain forgotten.
To get there, drive to M.A.Jinnah road from Saddar. Take elphinstone street and once you reach M.A. Jinah road, head to the Tower. You will see it on your right hand side, seconds before Dow Medical College. Park you car in adjoining streets. Walk inside. Chances are that no one will be there. Walk around, take pictures and pray for Khaliq Deena and his hall.