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Ismaili History 837 - Takhat Nashini Celebrations

The first ceremonial Takhat Nashini of the Aga Khan IV commemorated in Dar-es-Salaam on October 19, 1957 amid great pomp and splendour, and was attended by 30,000 Ismailis. The next Takhat Nashini took place in Nairobi on October 22, 1957 in presence of 18,000 Ismailis. Willi Frischauer gave a brief account of the event in his 'The Aga Khans' (London, 1970, p. 222) that, 'On a smaller scale, the Nairobi Takhat Nashini was a repetition of the Dar-es-Salaam ceremony. In the grounds of the Aga Khan Club the lone figure of the young new leader seated on the throne set high amid his people was strangely appealing. The red robes and gold turbans of the Ismaili dignitaries who invested him with robe, pagri, sword, chain and ring made a vivid picture such as Kenya had not seen before. The dais, a mass of flowers, red, blue, white and yellow, and the throne, flanked by great vases of roses, stood out against the background of flags fluttering gently in the slight breeze. A thousand people of all races gathered at the social function that evening to greet the Aga Khan who arrived with the Governor of Kenya, Sir Evelyn Baring. There was dancing to a regimental band and sumptuous dinner.'
The third ceremonial Takhat Nashini took place in Kampala on October 25, 1957 among 15,000 Ismailis and other dignitaries and high officials. The next Takhat Nashini was celebrated at Karachi on January 23, 1958 in National Stadium, where a mammoth gathering was recorded to be over 1,50,000. Willi Frischauer writes,'The sound of trumpets heralded the arrival of the Aga Khan by the side of Pakistan's President - Prime Minister Malik Firoz Khan Noon and his cabinet were already in their seats. The brief act of installation was no different from the East African ritual except for the three hundred year old copy of the Holy Quran which was presented to the Aga Khan, a rare example of Arab calligraphy written in Medina by a Haji from Bokhara.' (Ibid, pp. 225-226) The fifth Takhat Nashini was celebrated in Dacca on February 12, 1958 amongst 30,000 Ismailis, and the sixth one held in Bombay on March 11, 1958 at Walla Bhai Patel Stadium, witnessed by 80,000 Ismailis.

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