NAPA vs. Hindu Gymkhana !

When NAPA Occupied the beautiful historic building of Hindu Gymkhana, we thought this cultural and historic landmark of our city will be protected by the owners of NAPA, but it turned out that NAPA has illegally demolished the open air theatre which was a part of the Hindu Gymkhana. NAPA is planning to construct a three story, 53 feet, high modern theatre to accommodate NAPA students where as the adjacent main building of Hindu Gymkhana is just 20 feet above ground, the new structure has already harmed the originality of the building and once fully constructed, it will mask the main Building of Hindu Gymkhana.

On the NAPA website Chairman NAPA, a well known artist ZIA MOHYEDDIN has said in his message,

” We feel privileged to be housed in the old Hindu Gymkhana, one of the landmark buildings of Pakistan. It was designed by that remarkable architect, Ahmed Husain Agha, who also designed the Mohatta Palace in Karachi. Agha drew his inspiration from the 17th century Mughal tomb of Itmad-ud-Daullah, (the father of Empress Noor Jahan) at Agra. The treatment of its four octagonal corner towers, the disposition of its arched openings etc., are all reminiscent of the symmetry and spaciousness of Mughal design.”

What a contrast.

Visit DAWN for a full report.

3 Comments so far

  1. Sami Shah (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

    Thing is, if the amphitheater had been taken care of then yes it would make sense to raise this fuss. I saw it a year ago, prior to demolition, and it was unusable. A complete wreck. The main building is still stunning and Napa has respected the architecture there.

    Karachi needs a proper theatrical auditorium. Since demolishing Hashoo Auditorium we have not had a decent replacement. PACC, FTC, even the Arts Council, none of these are actual thatrical auditoriums. They just don’t meet the requirements. Which is why there are less theatre troops in Karachi than in, say, Lahore.

    I don’t see h ow the new building will obstruct the main hindu gymkhana structure. It is construction site is located behind the main structure. Yes they should have gotten an NOC, but I didn’t see anyone raising a fuss when the old amphitheater was a victim of severe neglect.


  2. Jamash (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

    First they need to follow a proper procedure also people should know what is going, getting the news in the paper all of a sudden comes as a shock with all the negative points brightly highlighted.

    and still for a theatre they could have found some other place, with funds pouring in from UAE I am sure they could have got a better place and even a bigger one. It was a part of the Hindu gymkhana, an original part of it, they could have rebuilt it but building something new which was never a part of that place is just not right.


  3. SWA (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

    Zia Moehuddin cutting corners with the law. Shame on that man!
    Even if its not damaging the building and is needed, it would have been much better if he had gone about it the right way instead of cutting corners and having his name splashed across all the newspapers for unethical practices!



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