The partition of India in 1947 build many narratives. A number of stories were lost and many more are still being revealed.
One such account is about the princely state of Bahawalpur, now in Pakistan, founded in 1727 by Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi.
The book, titled Bahawalpur: The Kingdom that Vanished by Anabel Loyd, outlines a coherent view of the macrocosm of Pakistan while talking about the future route of the Islamic republic.
The internet reveals ‘top attractions to visit in Bahawalpur’ which includes Noor Mahal, Darbar Mahal and Deewar Fort among others.
But the publisher claims that in the 70-plus years since Independence, much less has been written about the Princely States that acceded to Pakistan than those that remained in India.
In this context, the name of the once-great state of Bahawalpur is no longer remembered among its well-mapped peers over the border in Rajasthan.
The approximate driving distance between Bahawalpur and the Rajasthan Border is 435 kms.
Based on many conversations with Salahuddin Abbasi, the grandson of the last ruler of Bahawalpur who born a year before Partition, the book starts with the history of his domain as well as his family’s history.
Abbasi’s memories recount the stories of Bahawalpur’s princes from old records, letters, and the accounts of British travellers and civil servants.
Furthermore, the documents also present a lifetime of first-hand experience of the political life of Pakistan and his relationships with many of the country’s leaders.
The author has spent considerable time in India and has also worked in the country. Her interest in the Indian history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, in the lead up to the Partition and Independence, led her to write several columns on the subject.
Loyd first read about Bahawalpur while editing the Indian journals of the vicereine Mary Minto.