Dec 19, 2008

Old Woman's Shoe at Pherozshah Mehta Gardens

For those who grew up in Mumbai, Old Woman's Shoe at Hanging Gardens (now known as Pherozshah Mehta Gardens) brings special memories. Hanging gardens were built on top of a water storage tank at Malabar hills in 1881.

It is interesting to know about the person whose name appears on this Mumbai landmark. Sir Pherozeshah Mehta was born in Bombay on 4th August 1845. He went to England to specialise in law and there he was influenced by Dadabhai Naoraji who became his political guru. On being called to the Bar in 1868 he returned to India and was soon in the forefront of Bombay's legal luminaries. His eloquent plea for muncipal reform was later embodied in the Act of 1872 and Municipal Act of 1888. he became the father of Bombay's Municipal Charter, founder of its glorious civic tradition. He was elected President of the Corporation on no fewer than four occasions 1884, 1885, 1905 and 1911. He is considered the father of Bombay Municipality.

His political ideology was, as was the case with most of the Indian leaders of his time, moderate and was hence not directly opposed to the crown's sovereignty but only demanded more autonomy for Indians to self-rule. He was knighted for his service to the law.