SINDH AND SINDHI CONNECTION
by Fayaz Soomro, Toronto, Canada
It is indeed a great privilege for me to write for Sindhishaan and come into contact with Sindhis who are living in India with the connection of my janambhoomi Sindh. Sindh is the most effected part of the Sub-continent and Pakistan, which has suffered on account of the migration during partition, when over 1 million Hindu Sindhis migrated to India. It is unfortunate that their psychic wounds and ruptures remain unknown to most of the world. These ruptures still continue to devastate the lives of countless Sindhis. For those Sindhis life can never be the same as they were living in Sindh before. Some scars heal with time but others continue to disfigure their minds up to now.
Sindhi Hindus left the shores of Sindh and migrated to different parts of India and the world but the bond with Sindh - Sindhi language, and Sindhi culture keeps us connected all over the world. For centuries, Sindhis have maintained their collective existence and over centuries they have developed and maintained a language known as Sindhi. Sindhi is one of the ancient languages of the world and it is spoken in India, Pakistan, USA, Canada, Europe and Asia. It is the language which is spoken by more than 40 million people worldwide. Sindhi language and culture play a significant role in uniting the Sindhis all over world.
No doubt, the Sindhi Sabhyata is experiencing hard times in history and concern for the existence of Sindhis as a community and Sindhi language are very high. The status of Sindh and Indus civilization which existed 2000 to 3000 years before Christ, when Sindhis used to grow grains and live in well built houses and Sindh was leading the world is now completely lost. But the conditions were not as bad as up to pre-partition. Before partition, Sindh was linguistically one territory and Sindhi language enjoyed domination in every aspect of life in Sindh. But the post- partition realities are very harsh for Sindh and Sindhis as a whole. When a large chunk of educated Sindhi Hindus migrated to India and huge influx of immigrants from India and other provinces of Pakistan came to Sindh and changed the whole fabric of Sindhi society. As a result, Urdu language is now predominant in the big cities of Sindh.
In the above context, it is true that Sindhi language is passing through a difficult time but when we see history we know that it is not the first time that Sindhi language and Sindhi Sabhyata has faced threats. When Arabs invaded Sindh, Sindhi faced Arabic challenges, then Parsian and then English but Sindh and Sindhi language faced all the challenges and survived. Though, we do know that Indian and Pakistani governments are not sincere to promote Sindhi language and culture, I am hopeful that Sindhi Sabhyata will get its lost status back and Sindhi language will survive. Sindhi language has its own rich culture, with a vast body of classical and modern literature and history.
As far as survival of Sindhi language in India is concerned, the situation is much worse than Pakistan. Sindhi language is crippled in India. Sindhi language, culture and literature are almost going to die. There are hardly any Sindhi medium schools imparting education in Sindhi language and Sindhis are becoming nothing more than just a caste.
Before partition, a little community of Urdu speaking peasants from India migrated to Mauritius but still their community is well alive and they are able to write and speak in Urdu. Not only that, but they are also organizing International Urdu conferences for the promotion of Urdu language since many years. If they could preserve their language and culture why could not the Sindhis in India? I hope that the rich history of struggle for the survival of Sindhi language not only keeps it alive but also energizes Sindhi language, if we can start a movement of awareness for the importance of Sindhi language as a uniting tool or bond of our community.
We are lucky that information technology has brought us closer to each other. The cheap sources of communication are providing us so many opportunities to share ideas and thoughts very quickly to promote our language and culture. Due to information technology, the barriers of geography are becoming irrelevant. It is such a big opportunity which today’s technology is providing us to develop interaction between Sindhis all over the world.
My friends, as the New Year 2007 comes closer, let us pray and light the lamp for the prosperity of Sindh and Sindhis in the coming years and also to light the spark of promising ourselves that we never forget our contribution to our very own Sindh and Sindhi language.
Sindhi language and Sindhi literature is a treasure not only for our coming generations but for the world too. It is the moral responsibility of all Sindhis to protect and promote Sindhi language and Sindhi culture for our future generations.