Page 12 - seniors today August issue
P. 12

Down Memory Lane

        A Final


        The untold story of an unsung hero,
        Bhai Pratap - my father and builder of
        the new Sindh in India.
        By Aruna Jagtiani

        Pratap Mulchand Dialdas (fondly known
        as “Bhai Pratap”) was a most prominent
        Sindhi businessman of Hyderabad, Sindh
        and a dedicated Gandhian, in pre- and post-
        partitioned India – the historic times of the
        struggle for independence from colonial rule.
        Funds flowed from his firm M. Dialdas & Sons
        freely towards the Movement and he was one
        of Sindh’s main contributors financially as           clarion call – beyond the call of duty, so to speak.
        also in other underground activities – helping        He gave up his vast global business empires, his
        and housing those involved. In the Quit India         life of luxury and leisure, to build the townships
        Movement of 1942, he secretly stamped one             of Adipur, Gandhidham, Kandla and Kandla
        rupee notes with ‘Quit India’ and distributed         Port, in Kutch, under the aegis of the Sindhu
        them to the public.                                   Resettlement Corporation formed by him for the
        As the spectre of a divided nation loomed over        purpose. He reached out to his mentor, guru and
        British India before August 1947, (when both          guide, to rewrite the New Sindh in India.
        Pakistan and our country went their separate          As the stream of countless refugees came
        ways), the Sindhi community was faced with the        pouring in over the borders, father’s vision
        dark despair of losing their ancient homeland–        looked to the future - to provide permanent
        when Sindh wholly assigned to Pakistan. This          solutions to the misery he witnessed all around.
        in spite of the fact that they had fought valiantly   For the New Sindh in India he dreamt of a
        in the freedom movement, shoulder to shoulder         new port like Karachi; of a region the oustees
        with every other Indian, for Independence.            of Sindh could call their own; of business
        The communal carnage that ensued during this          enterprise; of trade; of commerce; of prosperity
        struggle was terrible in its intensity. Gandhiji      that had been theirs not long before.
        now turned to his loyal supporters - including
        PratapDialdas and other Sindhi political leaders
        for help to assuage the flames that now were
        engulfing the riot torn district. He pleaded
        with them to rehabilitate the Sindhis - turned
        overnight into refugees in their own country…

        The Clarion Call
        It was Bhai Pratap who took up the Mahatma’s
                                                              A Rare Picture of Bhai Pratap & Mahatma Gandhi in Discussion
                                                                                   SENIORS TODAY | Volume 1 | Issue 2
                                                              of the New Sindh
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