ATP Special: 1947 video footage

Posted on August 14, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, History
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Adil Najam

By way of an Independence Day Special, ATP has dug up for you some historic video footage from 1947.

In fact, we have three separate newsreels; the first two from 14 August, 1947 and the third from July of that year. These should be of interest to subcontinental history buffs and also include some fascinating video clips of what Karachi used to look like.

This first video is from 15 August, 1947 and shows the opening session of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. Produced by Gaumont British News, it is placed for public viewing by the Germany-based GandhiServe Foundation.

click on the play (arrow) button on the image below:

Please note in particular the Chairman (Speaker) of the Assembly (in the robe-like garment). This is Jogindar Nath Mandal (1904-1968), a Hindu Dalit from Bengal, who later became Pakistan’s first Law Minister (and then resigned from in protest, but that is a post that will come later).

There is more of Jogindar Nath Mandal in this second clip which is (as far as I can tell) from 14 August, 1947. This newsreel is from Universal Newsreel and was made for a US audiences (note, also, how Liaquat Ali Khan’s name is mispronounced; some things never change!). I should add that this newsreel was also part of an earlier ATP post (courtesy

click on the play (arrow) button on the image below:

For Karachites: see if you can recognize Karachi landmarks including the Sindh Assembly Building and Elphinstone Street. And if you can, see how much you can recognize in this earlier newsreel (also from Gaumont British News, placed by GandhiServe Foundation) which shows Karachi in July 1947 as it readied itself with construction and activity to become the seat of government of the new country.

This newsreel also shows clips of New Delhi railway station as people readied to leave for Karachi. This, of course, was before the carnage of partition. Also shown is the arrival of Mr. Jinnah in Karachi and footage of Mr. Jinnah, Mr. Nehru and Lord Mountbatten together. In my opinion, the only one who gets undeserved praise from the commentator is Mountbatten.

click on the play (arrow) button on the image below:

All videos from placed for public viewing by and by GandhiServe Foundation.

16 Comments on “ATP Special: 1947 video footage”

  1. Mohib says:
    August 14th, 2006 2:58 am

    Thanks for these videos. I especially like the image of the guy standing on the train with Pakistani flag as it leaves Delhi.

  2. Shirazi says:
    August 14th, 2006 7:36 am

    Your title alone makes my day.

  3. Naveed says:
    August 14th, 2006 1:59 pm

    today i came across footage that i had never seen on Khyber TV (local pushtu channel) in their tribute to the Quaid…footage of his passing away in ’48, of his inaugurating a building in Karachi & some private dinners that may have been caught on camera. awesome simplicity & immaculate signature sense of dressing

  4. Mariam says:
    August 14th, 2006 6:07 pm

    This site is looking for nice blogs from Pakistan. Can I submit your link there?

  5. Mariam says:
    August 14th, 2006 6:08 pm
  6. Humair says:
    August 15th, 2006 11:48 pm

    Question for everyone.

    In the third video, when they introduce ‘Karachi’ they show a large building in front of which there is a statue that looks like Gandhi. Does anyone know if that is Karachi? Or is that a Delhi shot they mixed up. If it is, is teh statue still there?

  7. August 15th, 2006 2:57 am

    Mera Old Karachi!! Mey is road se kitni he baar guzra houn and never realised how Important it was as he had foot prints of my Quaid!!

    Mr Jinnah really had a wonderful personality,see the way he walks is enough to show his confidence.

  8. Shivam says:
    August 16th, 2006 2:44 pm

    Tell us more about Jogindar Nath Mandal.

  9. Yasser Latif Hamdani says:
    September 19th, 2006 2:52 am


    That statue is indeed of Gandhi- it was there infront of the Sindh High Court untill a mob tried to break it but Jinnah saved it and handed it Cowasjee’s father for safekeeping … it was eventually handed over to the Indian high commission as a gift… This statue is still there in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

  10. September 19th, 2006 10:33 am

    Yasser, Thank you very much for the information on this statute. I am glad that it was saved and still stands. I assume Ardeshir Cowasjee has written about this incidence and will seek a reference, but wondering if you have one handy.

  11. Shahran Asim says:
    September 26th, 2006 3:13 pm

    Great video.

    I had just found a nice video which shows how Pakistan day was celebrated in Chicago Devon (2004). Please do see this video. Nice editing and a very inspiring background song by
    Haroon. A must watch video. I would recommend every Pakistani who is abroad must watch it. BTW you can get a glimpse of the names of the famous restaurants of chicago mentioned in my previous discussion.

    Here is the link for it: day devon&hl=en

  12. Sridhar says:
    September 26th, 2006 4:49 pm


    Here’s the reference you were asking for

    Actually, there was no attempt to break the statue by any mob. According to Cowasjee, it was removed on Jinnah’s orders due to a “potential” (and not an actual) act of vandalism.

  13. Sridhar says:
    September 26th, 2006 5:12 pm


    Jogendra (and not Jogindar) Nath Mandal was a Dalit leader from Bengal and a follower of B.R. Ambedkar.

    He was appointed law minister in Jinnah’s cabinet. His reason for joining the league camp was his respect for Jinnah combined with his own belief about its pragmatism, but after his death, he got completely disillusioned with his (Jinnah’s) followers. When the Objectives Resolution was passed in the Pakistan Constitutent Assembly, steamrolling the minority opposition, he resigned from his Government posts and emigrated to India. He led a retired life in Calcutta for the rest of his life.

    An interesting piece of history in this context is his letter of resignation from the cabinet, addressed to Prime Minister Liaqual Ali Khan. It is a very lengthy letter, but worth reading nevertheless.

  14. September 27th, 2006 1:25 am

    Joginder Nath Mandal’s treatment by Pakistan is the greatest blot on our collective conscience.

    There are two other events in Mr. Mandal’s life that should not be forgotten:

    a. He, a scheduled caste Hindu, represented the Muslim League on Interim government’s cabinet… nominated on a “Muslim” seat.

    b. He was the first person to preside over the opening session of the Pakistan constituent assembly.

  15. hammad says:
    October 10th, 2006 9:38 am

    Nice reminder of the great hopes we started with. Are any of these old clips available for sale on a video or CD?

  16. HASSAN' says:
    August 15th, 2007 1:02 pm

    Wow wht a gr8 collection. Thx for sharing the clips.

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