The Chief Editor,
I have read the article written by Dr. Satish Rohra in the Volume 9, Issue 3 (July/Sept 2010) of SindhiShaan titled 'LET THE MOUTH SURVIVE – LET THE BODY PERISH.'
Since you have invited not comments but appropriate analysis and considering the essentiality of language I, a Sindhi concerned with the Sindhi community, write for the readers as well as educationists, linguistics; without any malice or prejudice so that the essence and importance of Sindhi language, for which we all are endeavouring and hundreds of articles are written regularly does not fade away. Moreover the right message should go to the Sindhi masses.
Before I affix my opinion in this regard, I would like to refer to a few instances or arguments placed by Dr. Satish Rohra so as to elaborate vividly the subject under discussion.
“Language is means of communication with society and for the study of literature of the community. Language is means to acquire knowledge about the cultural heritage of the community.”
Language is certainly the means of communication with society but not necessary to study literature or to create literature. The literature could be read in several other languages and even the heritage or history could be read or imbibed through other written languages. But communication with society can be only in the mother tongue i.e. Sindhi. Moreover how many persons who speak or know Sindhi language all over the globe are involved in reading or creating literature? Merely a microscopic number.
Sindhi cultural programmes, as cited by the writer, such as Cheti Chand, Chaliha Sahib Utsav or singing of cultural songs, Ladda, Jhumer, Bhagat etc. are surely being performed in Sindhi language only, through which our young generation will be inspired and motivated to speak Sindhi and to acquaint themselves with Sindhi at least upto the speaking level. Hence cultural activities will surely promote our language. But without knowledge of Sindhi language the culture will not enlighten their minds with a proper perception and essence.
Take the example of Ramayana. The play staged by the artists of Indonesia was in Sanskrit. The Geetanjali of Tagore will give more soothing sense to the readers in Bengali. Therefore unless our youngsters understand Sindhi Language at least upto the speaking stage, how can we retain our culture?
Beside this, one more hypothetical example will elaborate this subject. One Sindhi family consisting of five daughters and sons, married and settled in different provinces of India, one in Kolkata another in Chennai, one in Satara (Maharashtra), one in Navsari (Gujarat) etc. Now the children as we see today communicate with their parents in their respective provincial languages - Bengali, Tamil, Marathi and Gujarati. When these children assemble at the residence of their grandparents or get together on any occasion they will not be able to communicate. With the result, their emotions and bonds of familihood will be disturbed. This will lead to the disintegration of the Sindhi families. Then what will remain?
Therefore, the language is the only base of Identification of the community. This could be retained at least at the speaking level.
Moreover the title of the article is contradictory with the last two sentences written by the writer - “we must strive to keep the whole body vital, vibrate and healthy and not concentrate on the mouth.” But the title is “Let the Mouth Survive, Let the Body Perish.” Hence it is rather perplexing what message the writer intends to convey?