“THE SINDHI CULTURE IS VANISHING.
THE CURRENT GENERATION IS NOT INTERESTED”
By R. Suryanarayan
An almost unanimous accusation. Strangely, hardly protested by the youth, themselves, not without steadfast corroboration though. It is worthwhile to explore and evaluate the judiciousness of the contention of these animated Sindhi youth –
“How are we to blame? Our elders were busy with the revival process? Were they interested? The community has a de-linked and scattered presence. How many Sindhi teachers are there in urban schools? How many significant and informative magazines are regularly published? Has the media been effectively used?”
Sindhishaan’s initial view. Peace. Peace. Peace. They all seem passable and reasonably judicious. “Over to the plaintiffs.”
The reticent senior generation –
“Actually . . . . . er . . . . . cough . . . . .choke . . . . huh. . . . . you know . .. . . . well . . . . . it is not entirely true. Not as categorical as they make it seem. Isn’t it true that we had to work hard to ensure and hasten the revival process? It is not fair to say that there are not many educational institutions. If you see, there are more Sindhi-promoted institutions than those by any other community. Then again, where was their initiative? Haven’t we equipped them with more than adequate resources, in terms of quality education, economic comfort and an inbuilt penchant for enterprise? We may have been pre-occupied with our fight for survival. But were we wrong? What is cultural survival without economic bearing? We recognize the need to protect our heritage today. There is hardly any participation from them in our recommencement efforts.”
Sindhishaan’s dilemma!! True. True. True. They both seem convincing. Who is to be blamed?
Sindhishaan’s (diplomatic) verdict. “This seems to be a case of a gap in communication between generations. You may shake hands and join forces. We seek that new communication bridges be built between you, with immediate effect. We also ask for additional reinforcement and revitalization of all cultural vehicles for future avoidance of such quarrel.”
Cultural Vehicles? What are these? Let us intone some of the known carriers of culture. Community Meets, Discourses, Places of Worship, Literature, Education, Language, Print and Electronic Media, Food, Theatre, Dance, Music, Handicrafts and some more that are beyond our immediate recollection.
Not that platforms were not created. There are Panchayats, Sabhas, Congresses, Foundations, Institutions, Satsangs, Societies and some more establishments, again beyond our immediate recollection. All claimants of being the Sindhi cultural watch-dogs, torchbearers and propagators. And they have played their parts in the hitherto preservation of their inherited legacies. They deserve due laurels. We all owe them a salute.
Their initial members, the erstwhile Sindhi youth, have blossomed into respectful elders today. Their children resisted them to these social conventions. There were decreasing elements of their interest in such meets. They preferred to stay back and play with their friends. Both parents and wards, were unsuspicious of the isolation of the adolescents from their rich and vast pedigree.
Let us immediately delve into the repair measures. We will begin with taking stock of the strengths and advantages of the current situation in the Sindhi community. There is wealth. There is general and professional education. There is global presence. Is there willingness amongst the youngsters to shoulder a community responsibility? We will assume there is willingness. Therefore, there is possibility.
We need to do the following urgently. Promote the teaching of Sindhi Language in educational institutions. Identify and acknowledge the learned few from the community and request for sharing of their knowledge. Increase and make more effective use of the electronic media for far-reaching communication. Intensify efforts through publications. Make greater use of Music as a medium. Create global “exchange” forums for the youth. Encourage involvement and reward the interested.
Sindhishaan aims to take an initiative. Sindhishaan launches its publication today with an assurance to be with you, once, every three months. Sindhishaan has bought television space in Doordarshan – Metro (a television channel in India) for the first ever continuous effort to provide you with entertaining Sindhi programs. Sindhishaan has built a website for you. Please do visit www.sindhishaan.com.
Sindhishaan promises to support existing sister initiatives and pledges support for emerging sister initiatives. Our team is keen. Our team is willing. Our team is young. Our team is not beyond mistakes. Our team will gracefully accept lapses and gratefully acknowledge your corrections. Our team has worked on the support of just ONE conscientious and enthusiastic Sindhi, in the form of our Managing Director, Mr. Ranjit Butani. Despite and ignoring his instructions to avoid making a mutual admiration podium of this publication, we thank him profusely for his uninterrupted support and encouragement.
His clear mandate was to avoid diluting the content with interspersed advertisements in the launch issue. The initiatives that we have planned does require a larger fund resource. We will be meeting and communicating with potential advertisers to update them on our efforts. We hope to ensure more than adequate exchange of service and value for their largesse. We would have built far-reaching and effective media in the form this quarterly publication, the television programs and the website, by the time they begin evaluating the worthiness of their assistance to us.
Our team has NO other Sindhi Members. We are a group of some Tamilians, some Malayalees and some Maharashtrians. We worked hard, we researched a lot, we learnt a little, we are trying to do plenty more. We are fascinated with your company. We respect your achievements.
Dear Sindhi friends, just because we did, you don’t have to. But if WE can make a modest attempt, YOU could do a much better job. Hold our hands. Let US work together.