Why is it important to bring Jamshed Memorial back in Public Sphere?
Long before we got used to incompetent methods of governing, there was a capable man who laid the foundation of Modern day Karachi. In his time, even animals had rights and there were vet hospitals, water troughs and inspectors ensuring welfare of not just denizens of booming metropolis but also of animals. People setup hospitals and schools in memory of their loved ones and gave back to city as much as they can. Jamshed Nusarwanjee was epitome of those cultural values. It’s very strange that in this sprawling city, there is only one landmark named after him. That too has slowly moved out of public sphere.
Abdullah Qureshi and Zulfiqar Bhutto junior curated a small exhibition at Jamshed Memorial Hall in January. It was part of a travelling exhibition titled ‘Is saye ke parcham talay‘ which has been changed from the original line ‘Is parcham ke saye talay‘ as a sarcastic take on the condition of minorities in Pakistan.
The travelling exhibition constituted of multiple exhibitions which were conducted at multiple places and ‘Parcham’ part of it was exhibited at Jamshed Memorial Hall. It consisted of Photography by Aysha Bilal capturing Everyday Life of Christians in Karachi. The subjects were also asked to express their feelings in form of writing. Maryam Hasnain’s recreation of Ratan talao’s floor brought a sense of loss as Karachi has witnessed reduction in number of religious spaces for minorities.
Jamshed Memorial Hall evokes memories. The tablets and mementos take you to another era. The Karachi Walla went through that experience in short time that I spent there. Bringing Jamshed Memorial back in public sphere will help others experience this journey.