Parsi Community in Colonial Lahore

I am working on a history of colonial Lahore and in particular on the contribution of migrant communities to its socio-economic development and cultural life. I would like to include the role of the Parsi community in this study. It was much smaller than that in Karachi or of course Bombay, but was not insignificant. Parsis were employed on the NWR and had shops and businesses which catered for European customers. I also know that Parsi Theatre companies visited the city and had their local patrons. The theatre companies were an important link with the later development of what became known as ‘Lollywood.’

There are brief references to the Lahore Parsi community in offical records, including census reports and gazeteers, but this is insufficient to develop a full narrative. I am also aware of material that is posted on the net from time to time and have a copy of A. Hamid’s piece, ‘Lahore Lahore Aye: The Parsis of Lahore.’ What I really need however are family memories and narratives which go back to the colonial era and any written records from such sources as the Lahore Parsee Zoroastrian Anjuman. I would be grateful for any assistance which will enable me to do full justice to the history of the community.


Professor Ian Talbot
Head of History
Faculty of Humanities
University of Southampton

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