The Legacy of Allahabad

Anand Bhawan

I have a close connection with Allahabad, this is the place where i studied for my degree, this is the place  where some of my best friends come from.

I have very fond memories of the place from my childhood….every morning we used to walk on the footpaths of civil lines which were broader than the 4 lane roads….we used to go to a beautiful church called “patthar girja”…….Civil Lines of Allahabad always reminded me the Connaught Place of Delhi, there is a sheer similarity between the two, in both the places, side walks are broader than the roads, the Architecture of the buildings is identical…and why not?..both the places were designed by the English in the same era, and meant to be ONLY for the English..few people know that during the English rule, Allahabad was one of the most important cities in India and was the capital of the North west province, and it even served as the capital of India for 6 months, after the 1857 rebillion…that’s why one can find a huge number of Punjabis, Bengalis, Gujaratis and Parasis in Allahabad who migrated to the city in that period….and also the husband of Indira Gandhi, Firoz Gandhi too was a Parsi from Allahabad

Now that i rarely happen to go to Allahabad, i becomes nostalgic at times, the charm of Allahabad was special…….moreover, that time i learnt something more about the place like its contribution to Hindi literature, Indian politics, freedom movement etc. 

The legacy of Allahabad is unmatched, this is the place which has produced the best prime ministers of India, this is the land of Nehrus Gandhis and Lalbabadur Shastri ( 6 out of 14 prime ministers of India belong to Allahabad). Allahabad has given new hights to Hindi literature with almost all the big names of the Hindi literature hailing from the city, this is the land of Firaq, Suryakant tripathi Nirala, Mahadevi Verma, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Akbar Allahabadi, Pt Upendra Nath Ashq,Munshi Premchand and Pt Madan Mohan Malviya among many more…Rudyard Kipling too made Allahabad his home who worked in “The Pioneer” a famous newspaper published from the city. This is the land of legendary Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia & Shubha Mudgal. Famous scientists like Meghnad Saha and Harish Chandra also hail from the city..It’s home to Legendary film actors Amitabh Bachchan and Nargis too.The city has produced some of the best legal minds in the country… the former chief justices of India R S pathak and V N Khare belong to Allahabad, the previous one went on to become judge at the world court.

No wonder, the “Rock Street Jounrnal” the first magazine in the south Asia devoted to the rock music started from Allahabad only (Though nowadays it’s publishing from Delhi)..Once the art oozed from the air of Allahabad…the legends of the Literature used to sit at the Coffee House in civil lines  and discussed about the world literature and politics…it’s said that even the waiters of the coffee house developed the good knowledge about these subjects

This city has been  the nerve centre of Indian independence movement…It was the place where Chandra Shekhar Azad the legendary freedom fighter breathed his last at the Alfraid Park (Now Azad park) during an encounter with the English, and at the Anand Bhawan the home to Jawahar Lal Nehru, the major decisions were taken regarding the freedom movement.

Moreover, it’s the land of Triveny Sangam of Ganga, Yamuna and mythological saraswati, it’s religious and mythological importance draws millions and millions of people here every year. Allahabad University has traditionally produced highest number of civil servants and even today it’s at third position in producing maximum number of civil servants after Delhi University and IIT Kanpur

I feel sad that today people are forgetting about Allahabad and it’s legacy…it has become just another town in the state of Uttar Pradesh (and that is the reason behind this post)….and due to the bad rule by Mulayams and Mayawatis…Uttar Pradesh is loosing it’s sheen and Allahabad is not an exception……….But All is not lost….. today the city continues it’s age old legacy with producing maximum civil servants, great musitians, artists and publishing unique and high profile publications……Nowadays i am away but Allahabad will always be close to my heart..

While surfing on net i found an article or sort of memoir by Ms Jawahara saidullah, who is a native of Allahabad, she speaks with passion….only a true Allahabadi can write like that..This is a poignant piece of work full of nostalgia which has touched me …as I understand Allahabad and it’s legacy

Following is the link

Following are some of the pictures of Allahabad’s posh civil lines market , the photos were taken on the eve of Diwali hence market is not open..