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House Of Djinns

House Of Djinns
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
After rebuffing Pakistan’s claim on Jinnah’s beloved but now decrepit home in Bombay for decades, the government’s now decided to make it the premises for its premier cultural diplomacy organisation. The sprawling bungalow opposite CM Sushilkumar Shinde’s will now house an auditorium, library, reading room, seminar rooms, art gallery. It might also feature a permanent exhibit on the man himself. Designed by Claude Batley, who also designed the Bombay Gymkhana and Tata Memorial Hospital, Jinnah House was one of the city’s grandest homes before it became an overgrown garden. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations has had it for six years and is finally planning to renovate it.

Jinnah, who lived in the house from 1935 to 1947, is said to have asked for and got a grand mansion with Islamic style arches, a large garden, two dining rooms and six bedrooms. Several meetings between him and Gandhi took place here. After Partition, it became a home for the British deputy high commissioner. Later, the PWD had plans to demolish it and make high-rise apartments instead! "I think this the best option in the circumstances," says historian Sharada Dwivedi.

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