NEITHER AMILS, NOR BHAIBANDS,
WE ARE SEHWANIS !
By Motilal L. Butani
Professor Bheroomal Meherchand Advani has, in his rich treatise, in the history of Hindu Sindhis, mentioned that the Butanis of Sehwan were originally Amils, who established Hyderabad in 1781, and became officers of the MIRS.
The Sehwani quarter in Hyderabad was more famous than the hospital for women. Later a Sehwani Colony was also established in Karachi. But inspite of spreading out they would endeavour to celebrate Holi in Sehwan and on that day there used to be a huge gathering at the Jhulelal Saeen Park, and a sumptuous spread laid out. A scramble for Rice, vegetables, “boondi”, “pakoras” would evoke the response of “DAL, DAL, UTHO” from the organizers – meaning – there is more than adequate for all.
Thus this annual gathering held in Bombay in March 1958 was jokingly referred to as 'SEHWAN DAL'. The gathering consisted of – Samtanis, Jiandanis, Lalas, Kanugas, Meranis, Nawanis, Chandnanis, Harisinghanis, Mariwallas, Thakkurs, Kotwanis, Butanis, Ratnanis and Tejwanis etc. They didn't know who were Amils or who were Bhaibands, I, for one, knew who amongst their elders, a century ago, were Amils or Bhaibands. But perhaps, somethings are better left undisclosed.
On one such Holi Dal the Sehwanis honoured Diwan Nandiram Merani for laying the foundation for the Sindhi script. Unfortunately the credit was attributed to an Englishman, Elise – in whose memory, even till date, a bridge stands in Ahmedabad, in his name.
Diwan Nandiram in his acceptance address put forth a thought provoking suggestion – “Just as at the SEHWANI DAL gatherings, all Sehwanis – Amils and Bhaibands come together why not all Sehwani Panchayats assimilate together into a single unit. Parmeshwar dwells in the Panchs' and moreover we Sehwanis are pujaris of LORD SHIV. . .” The original name of Sehwan was SHIV ASTHAN and there existed a prominent temple devoted to SHIV SHANKAR. Later came the name SEWASTHAN and finally SEHWAN.
Following Dewan Merani's call or a United Sehwani Panchayat, there were several separate gatherings held in Sehwan, Karachi, and Hyderabad by the Sehwani Amils and Bhaibands to debate this issue. Undoubtedly there were “Kattar Panthis” on both sides. And several meetings were held to reconcile the differences of the hardliners on both sides. Bhaibands believed in wealth and fortune and they felt that the Amils had an eye on their fortunes and hence this move for amalgamation, so that they can get their sons married to Bhaiband brides, an obtain fat dowries.
On the other hand the allegation of Amils against Bhaibands was that they only had wealth, no culture, education or intelligence – “How can we have matrimonial alliances with them?”
Finally better sense prevailed and both factions realized that whether Amils or Bhaibands, appearances may differ but the fact that we are Sehwanis is undisputable. AND SINCE THEN THE SEHWANIS do not classify themselves as either AMILS or BHAIBANDS but only as SEHWANIS.
|N. B. Butani||Diwan Pritamdas Pursumal Chandnani||Lieut. G. S. Kotwani|
|Lieut R R Kirpalani||Diwan Chandiram Nekrai Merani||Bhojsing G Pahalajani|
|Jethmal||Diwan Tilokchand Harumal Lala||Rao Bahadur Diwan|
|Diwan Chandiram Kotumal Samtani||Moolchand Gianchand Lala||Kewalram Bulchand Kanuga|
|Dr. Khiomal Mohanlal Jiandani||Dr. Alimchand Udharam Jiandani||Chandiram Gianchand Lala|
|Kan Dharamdas Mariwalla||Principal Dharamdas Teckchand Mariwalla||Motilal Lachhiram Butani|
|Lekhraj Mulchand Tejwani||Diwan Khushaldas Samtani||Kundandas Khushiram Nathani|
|Hariram Dayaram Mariwalla||Diwan Gurmukhsing Jawhersing Butani||Shambhoo Thakurdas Merani|
|Nari Tuljaram Jiandani||Thakurdas Harising Butani|
|Diwan Bhojsing, Diwan Gurmukhsing & Principal Butani|