Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why We are Sindhi

A few days back entire country was celebrating annual festival Republic Day, as this was the 61st time for citizens to involve in national celebration and feel the proud of being Indian and to mark the completing of 60 years of accepting constitution for the republic way of ruling, a musical tribute was prepared in the form of new revised edition of one of popular patriotic song “Mile Sure Mera Tumhara” which is the true reflection of rich linguistic and regional diversity of the country. This is certainly highly upsetting happening that this new version of “Mile Sur” is without few nodes of Sindhi, which was integral part of old version.
This is a fact that population of Sindhis in India is hardly 2 – 3 % of total population of country, but who will dare to deny that Sindhis are contributing at least twice of there population towards the economic growth of the country. In these conditions if the Sindhi community is shocked, feeling dejected, neglected, insulted and there are waves of anger among the Sindhi youth, nothing is wrong in it. All this is quite normal. I have received a few mails like one from the 21 years young Brahmkhatri Niraj of Vadodara Gujrat and various SMS from the different parts of country asking for my reaction over this.
Certainly this is shocking and insulting happening for the Sindhi community but more importantly for the nation because by excluding Sindhi from the new version of “Mile Sur” should be taken as the killing of rich linguistic and regional heritage held by the country. In another way this can also be taken as the insult of Indian constitution which recognized Sindhi as one of the languages of country. Surely this ignorance of very high quality and every Indian should protest for this, but being a Sindhis I had tried to look at my inner conscious over this issue and find “Why we are Sindhi?” awaiting for a reply.
This is historic fact that over the centauries Hindu people living on the banks of Holy River Sindhu and worshiping God Jhulelal [Water God] as their deity were identified as the Sindhi community. At the time of partition of country in 1947, alike other Hindus, Sindhis were also forced to migrate to India. Eventually this partition has resulted in creation of two religions for the people of Sindhi community, population migrated to India remained to their original religion Hindu, where as most of Sindhis, who opted to live in Pakistan, have created new section Musilim Sindhi by being converted into followers of Islam. Being born and brought up in India and working as the teacher in the Sindhi medium school, I have seen the hard work, troubles and pains sustained by our elders for re-establishing themselves after the migration. Keeping a space open for being disagreed, I am trying to answer the question why we are Sindhi?
At the time of partition of country there was no population rich area in the free India for the Sindhis as the others like Punjabi, Bengali and Rajasthani, [on the basis of which states of country are formed] hence migrated Sindhis were accommodated in the different parts of country. As the result of this minority community Sindhi reached to stage of being with very isolated population and without a state in India. This is also fact that though Sindhis in India were left without a linguistic state but hard working Sindhis have tried to keep their linguistic identity intact by establishing Sindhi medium schools, unfortunately here one of greatest quality “Adoptability” of Sindhi community [Probably Sindhi community is most adoptable among the human communities of world and that’s why in every part of globe people belonging to Sindhi community are present] functioned as the hard to sustain obstacle for existence of these Sindhi schools, as during these 60 years, either most of Sindhi schools are closed or converted into schools with other than Sindhi language as the medium of instruction.
We are Sindhi just because we have Sindhi language for communication, which gives our community a separate and individual state and work as our identity. Being a community of business attitude, Sindhis started to learn the local regional language and English and it was natural that slowly and gradually Sindhi language, which was and is the identity of Sindhis, was sidelined. Unfortunately in the free India, Sindhis were also left with status of being without any strong political leadership and dispute over the adaptation of Arabic or Devnagiri script for Sindhi language. Language is the root, which supplies water and growth essential minerals to tree of customs, traditions and rich social heritage. As the use of Sindhi language in the day to day life is reduced [This is unfortunate, though hard to digest truth that at most places Sindhi language is not used even for communication between the family members] so the community tree started to become weak and weaker due to insufficient supply of life elements and for this none else but we Sindhis are responsible because we stopped using Sindhi language.
I wish to conclude with a very clear message for Sindhi youth, If you are in the mind set, that whole nation should oppose and raise a wise to protest revised version of “Mile Sur” you should start speaking Sindhi language. Do remember Parasi community has much lesser population than Sindhis in India. Parasi New year is the holiday in the country but how many other community members from your own city knows about the “Cheti Chandu” Sindhi New Year day? We are Sindhi and will remain Sindhi only if Sindhi language remains alive.