by Shehryar Ahmad
In 2004, my brother Salman and I visited the birthplace of my mother Shahine Habibullah Khan Ahmad in Bassi-Pathanan, near Sirhind in the erstwhile state of Patiala, now Punjab, India. The decrepit ruins of Ashraf Manzil, named after my great-great-grandfather (“per-nana”) Ashraf Khan, had such a powerful effect on me that I will never forget the moment of coming across this place.
by A.M. (Retd.) Inam H. Khan
“ it is not the inch of land, what is important is your history, religion, social and cultural traditions, etc.” –Allama Iqbal.
Omarzais of MNS were a middle class inward looking community having agriculture and services as the main source of income, only an odd person indulged in business or a profession. Jagirs/land were mostly awarded/allotted as Reya e Khas (special subjects) by ruler of Patiala after Omarzais helped Bassi to be a part of his State, M Ghous Khan, his son Bhikan Khan (father of Namdar Khan) and Nijabat Khan (ancestor of General Fazle Muqueem Khan) of Kathera across the town were the main supporters for Patiala against Rani Jindan of Kapurthala. Revenue tax was also exempted for Reya e Khas.
The picture above was taken in 1935 outside a palatial house built by Choudhry M Ashraf Khan (Minister, Patiala State) for his father Choudhry M Namdar Khan, (Chairman Regency Council Patiala State in late 19th Century). Soon thereafter M Ashraf Khan expired at age of 96 years.Share