Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Syed Mohammad Mehdi, June 15, 2009

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Moving to Aligarh

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Partial Transcript: This is Amber Abbas here with, uh, S. M. Mehdi in his home in Aligarh.

Segment Synopsis: Mehdi talks of the circumstances that eventually lead to him moving to Aligarh, India. He begins with an anecdote regarding an associate of Gandhi's who visited the interviewee's sister. Why Mehdi moved to Algeria is also mentioned.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Bhopal (India); Gandhi; Kanpur (India); Sisters

Subjects: Communism; Education; Healing; Islam; Life

GPS: Aligarh (India)
Map Coordinates: 27.88, 78.08
00:07:49 - Father and uncle

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Partial Transcript: What--so what was your father's name?

Segment Synopsis: Mehdi discusses his father and uncle and their political views. Mehdi also recounts his experiences at Cambridge while living with his uncle who had opposing political views.

Keywords: All-India Muslim League; Britain; Cambridge University; Kanpur (India); Politics; Uncles

Subjects: Attorney; Communism; Socialism

GPS: Cambridge University
Map Coordinates: 52.205278, 0.117222
00:11:46 - Partition and Gandhi

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Partial Transcript: And where were you as the sort of partition situation was hotting up so?

Segment Synopsis: A comparison between the reactions to the partition in Bombay and other major Indian cities is given. Relations between Muslims and Hindus in Bombay during that time are also illustrated. Additionally, Mehdi recalls his memories from the day that Gandhi was assassinated. The interviewee also shares his emotions surrounding the assassination of Gandhi.

Keywords: Bhopal (India); Bombay (India); Communist Party; Fear; Protests; Punjab (India); Taxis; Trains

Subjects: Assassination; Communism; Hinduism; Islam; Radio; Riots; Travel

GPS: Bombay (India), also known as Mumbai
Map Coordinates: 18.975, 72.825833
00:24:50 - Muslim-Hindu relations / Pakistan and India / interviewer

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Partial Transcript: Among, among your close friends and associates, were they primarily Muslim...

Segment Synopsis: Mehdi compares Hindu-Muslim relations in the 1950s to the present time, specifically in Bombay. Then, Mehdi considers books written on the subject, as well as the changing dynamics between India and Pakistan following the partition in 1947. Lastly, the interviewer briefly talks of her personal background.

Keywords: Authors; Bombay (India); Borders; Family; Friends; Nephew; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; Sisters

Subjects: Books; Comparisons; Hinduism; Islam; Passports

GPS: Bombay (India), also known as Mumbai
Map Coordinates: 18.975, 72.825833