It’s no secret that Indian and Pakistan enjoy an uneasy relationship with one another. The two countries have been at each other’s throats ever since the partition happened. There have been multiple wars between both nations since Pakistan’s inception. When it comes to entertainment every time an actor or a musician tries his luck at the other side of the border all hell breaks. Then you have cricket matches. Don’t even get me started on cricket matches.
Amidst all these tensions we tend to forget that there was once a time when both India and Pakistan were one nation. By virtue of being together for god knows how many years, there are many things the two can bond over. Things like food, language, poetry, hatred for British Colonialism and alcohol.
Yes you heard that right, Pakistan and India share a bond over their shared connection over alcohol
India’s famous rum Old Monk that has been the talk of the town on internet is connected to Pakistan’s Murree Brewery.
For all the sharif brethren that don’t know what Old Monk and Murree Brewery are, the former is a rum produced in India that has gained a cult following of sorts while the latter is Pakistan’s largest alcohol distillery. It’s hard to imagine a legal entity selling booze so successfully in Pakistan I know but that’s a different debate altogether – one that we’ve covered extensively in this interesting piece.
So what exactly is the connection between the two?
Well, Old Monk was a product by Mohan Meakin Pvt. Ltd a renowned alcohol distillery in India. Mohan Meakin Pvt used to be a brewery set up by Edward Abraham Dyer in 1855. Fun fact, Edward’s son was the notorious Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Murree Brewery that currently earns a revenue of $6 Billion annually started out much around the same time.
The company was started in 1860 as a distillery to meet the beer demand of British personnel at Ghora Gali in Murree. And guess what? This was also brought to you by Edward Dyer, let’s just call him the father of booze in the Sub-Continent. Not only did the British divided its military assets between the two countries after leaving but it also divided it’s set of booze. All the more reason to promote peace between the two countries. Lol.
The recent passing off Old Monk’s owner led to people digging up old skeletons and this interesting connection was uncovered
Kapil Mohan, who was an Indian army Brigadier-turned entrepreneur, was the former managing director of Ghaziabad-based brewery Mohan Meakin, which makes Old Monk rum, reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on January 6th.
Kapil’s father’s NN Mohan acquired the company from Edward Dyer in 1949 and the company’s most famous product, the distinctive brand of dark rum – Old Monk, launched in December 1954.
On the other hand, Murree Brewery was bought by Bandhara family patriarch, Peshton Bandhara, in the 1940’s from Mr. Dyer. The family controls the company to this day and has successfully managed to keep the 156 year old alcohol empire flourishing in the otherwise prohibitionist Pakistan.
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Cover image via: shutterstock.com