What Started it all ..........
‘Sindh’ controversy : SC notice to centre Times of India - Mumbai 4th January, 2005
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the union ministries of home, external affairs and HRD on a PIL seeking deletion of the word ‘Sindh’ from the national anthem, it being a part of Pakistan and substituting it with ‘Kashmir’ or some other word.
A bench comprising chief justice R C Lahoti and justice G P Mathur issued the notice despite the Centre in its informal response stating that the word ‘Sindh’ in the national anthem represented the culture and not the province.
Contesting this statement from Centre, the petitioner argued that the author of the national anthem, Rabindranath Tagore, had himself translated his work into Hindi stating therein that the word ‘Sindh’ referred to the province and not the culture. “Who would be more accurate in translation and interpretation of a particular part of the anthem than the author himself,” the petitioner asked.
The Centre, in its response had said that the national anthem, as it is sung today, was adopted by the constituent assembly in the presence of national leaders in 1950 and all were aware of the fact that ‘Sindh’ was part of Pakistan at that time.
Stressing that exclusion of ‘Sindh’ from the national anthem would hurt the people of Sindhi community, the Centre said granting relief to the petitioner would result in similar demands from other quarters.
As an instantaneous and spontaneous reaction SINDHISHAAN reacted with a message to the Times of India, copied to all the members registered on its website www.sindhishaan.com :-
Thank you Hindustan –
How easily do your forget – that your very name is derived from SINDHU!
How easily you disregard the immense contribution made by the minuscule Sindhi community to the nation in the Educational, Medical, Scientific and Commercial Sectors!
A community whose fabric was totally shattered after being uprooted from its homeland in 1947!
Today instead of righting a wrong and giving the Sindhis a state of their own – you intend to even delete ‘SINDH’ from the National Anthem of Hindustan?
Depriving us of even this namesake feeling of belonging?
- Do we deserve this? absolutely no !
Please forward this message to as many as possible and lodge your protest at :
1. http://in.indiatimes.com/ in daily poll or SMS ‘Poll’ to 8888 & Email to Editor Times of India : email@example.com
2. Chief Justice R C Lahoti & G P Mathur – Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Shri Arjun Singh – Hon’ble Minister – HRD – Email : email@example.com Fax No : +91 11 23382365 / 23017404
4. Shri Manmohan Singh – Hon’ble Prime Minister – Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Shri Shivraj Patil – Hon’ble Home Minister – Email : email@example.com
Simultaneously SINDHISHAAN launched a signature campaign on 5th Jan., 2005 on a Memorandum of protest addressed to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
Sindhishaan has been flooded with a deluge of e-mails in response.
A few of them :-
K. P. Samtani (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This matter should be addressed in its entirety...namely,
1) The International Jurisprudence
2) Ground realities of Sindhis’ contribution in India and all over the world
3) The role of the Govt. in redressing any historical anomalies in contextual matters.
4) Refraining from emotional contents in this para legal matter.
5) Intent of the action.
From all of that we have heard from you, it seems the proposal is mindful of correcting a political matter..not in any way denying Sindhis’ their rightful place in the affairs of the Nation.
“ A rose is a rose by whatever name you call it....”
However, it is mystifying why this has become so important NOW!
Sarfraz A. Solangi (email@example.com)
It was such a surprise news from India that they have remove SINDH from national anthem. We Sindhi from Karachi Sindh have also expressed sorrow about that act, Sir whenever we heard the word SINDH in national anthem we feel very proud and it is surprisingly that after several years now Indian Govt removed SINDH from national anthem. Me and my whole family is highly appreciated you people for protest against this act. I hope Respected Dr. Manmohan Singh will take some suitable notice for this thing.
We Sindhi from both countries perform such a vital role regarding to the friendship of India & Pakistan.
Dr. Nandlal Jotwani, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Educationist - Professor of Peace Education Intercultural Open University (Netherlands)
Thanks for sending me a copy of the letter sent to the Prime Minister of India in Protest against the proposed PIL-move to delete the word ‘Sindh’ - symbolic of Sindhi culture - from our national anthem.
Kudos on mobilizing the community solidarity and support in this regard. Great! Keep it up!
I too have followed the suit and have motivated many Sindhi NRIs in USA to do the same so as to help preserve and protect our great heritage - Sindhyat - Sindhi culture and Sindhi identity.
India and Sindh share a common ancestry and their shared roots date back to the Indus valley civilization. There is always hope that one day, the Pakistani govt. will have better sense and allow Sindh to secede from Pakistan and join India, which is what most Sindhis, even in Pakistan, prefer. This is not impossible, considering how East and West Germany reunited.
To remove Sindh from the anthem would be to deny and destroy our heritage. This petition is bizarre and makes you wonder if it is sponsored by forces aligned with or funded by Pakistan.
Where are the Sindhi lawyers and Sindhi groups to stand up against this lunacy and assault on Indian heritage? This case suggests that PIL probably really stands for “Purely Insane Lunacy”. I hope the Supreme Court will have better sense than to succumb to this Purely Insane Lunacy and focus on other serious matters instead of tinkering with our national heritage and culture.
Sudhir S Hingorani (email@example.com)
I am honoured to be part of your campaign and would like to be a signatory of the Memorandum of Sindhishaan send to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
Harish Tekchandani – USA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We should ask our Government to be true to their word and give us a state that should be ours and called Sindh I have a lot of respect for Mahatma Gandhi but now must agree with those that say, he was unfair to Sindhis. Sindhis are the pride of any nation, we need a state of our own, this was promised to us, and we must have this Respectfully Submitted
Pooja Ladkani (email@example.com)
We wholeheartedly agree with you and protest as such. we have never ever asked for a separate state, even though one of our prominent Sindhi is in parliament high profile position, have integrated ourselves into Our great nation India, leaving our roots behind, bringing with us only our culture, values and a name which is SINDHI. Whoever has started this ball rolling about Sindh being deleted from the national anthem should be charged as a criminal against national integrity. Though we are thousand of miles from our beloved motherland, nevertheless we are Indians first and Sindhis second BUT FOR SURE WE ARE SINDHIS.
Now I know how Muslims in India must be feeling at times when they are attacked for their supposed leaning towards Pakistan.
KISHAN HINGORANI (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chief administrative trustee Sindhu Centre, Norwalk, California.
We Sindhis of Southern California are with you and would like to send our protest to the Prime minister and the President of Hindustan. Thanks.
Kailash Rajesth (email@example.com)
it was very sad to hear about the name Sind being deleted from anthem and hence I also wrote email to Times of India’s editor as a protest and hence i think Sindhis should unite in every city and work for unity and rights of Sindhis since the population is less then unity is more important so that there is no exploitation on Sindhis - always with you a member of Sindhishaan.
Dr. Nargis Awatramani (NargisAwa@aol.com)
Thank you SO MUCH for sending the Fax No. and the E mail address. I have collected a bunch of signatures from members of the Chicago Sindhi Association (more in the next week) and was wondering how to get this over to the PM of India.
Amar Ochani – London (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Entire Sindhi community worldwide is concerned over this uncalled for attempt. Sindhis are the only people who suffered the loss of their homeland after partition. The word “Sindh” in the National Anthem is a matter of pride for all Sindhis who made their contribution to freedom struggle and development of India after India achieved freedom. To contemplate such a move after 55 years of independence is beyond our comprehension. I along with millions of Sindhis spread all over the world hope that wiser counsel will prevail and any such move will be dropped for ever. This is the least Government of India can do to compensate Sindhis for the loss of their homeland and not giving them with state of their own in India.
Ashok Uttamchandani (email@example.com)
Dear Mr. Butani
I wish to express my personal gratitude to you for having approached the Government of Maharashtra to intervene and influence the decision regarding the deletion of the word “Sindh” from our national anthem.
Thank you for your continued service to our community. May your tribe increase.
MAHARAJ DEEPAK M.SHARMA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘Haridwar’ 22 K. Kamaraj Road, Bangalore - 560 042.
I have forwarded the letter sent by you to the South India Sindhi Federation and also to the prominent families here in south India whose email addresses are mentioned in the Sindhi directory of the federation of south India and it is highly appreciated by us that we have people to take up our cause and also it has been 55 years now and we have not been given a place and we being a displaced lot have been tolerant but that should not be taken as a sign of meekness and timidity and this is the right opportunity for us to protest and show our strength i close with blessings hariom.
Sattesh Khubchandani (email@example.com)
PROJECT CANCER FREE WORLD.
Thank you for taking a stand for our community.
At a time when we have more important priorities, the jokers who pick up such issues to create a communal divide are the real tyrants of INDIA. We should condemn them & look at continuously building INDIA as we Sindhis have been always doing. INDIA is our country & we cannot be ignored/deleted from the National Anthem.
Kamal Mukhi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is excellent. Keep it up. At this rate, the PIL would have done us a favour, and we shall get our own state, which is long overdue.
Ajeet Raisinghani (email@example.com)
Respected Prime Minister;
I express my solidarity with the memorandum of Sindhishaan and I hereby express my strong and irrevocable opposition to any attempt to remove SINDH from the national anthem. It is sad that someone can even think of this though the Sindhis have given so much to India without even getting their due share of statehood.
I would suggest to carve out a small region out of Gujarat, Rajasthan Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and name it Sindh so that the Sindhis get their right to statehood which should have been done at the time of partition
Niranjan Dudani (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks. I am not certain about the innocence or apolitical nature of Mr. Bhatnagar. I think in 2004 at some point, some Urdu writers, probably including Javed Akhtar had raised the same issue-they wanted deletion of Sindh. To me it was the Mohajir or MQM lobby in India-it was a strong lobby. The matter was not going to disappear so easily. Glad to know you have taken a lead in this matter. Do keep in touch.
“Sindhis want Sindh in anthem” (The Asian Age : Mumbai, Thursday 6 January, 2005)
Mumbai, Jan 5: The Sindhi community is sending a signed memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to express its strong and irrevocable opposition to any attempt to remove “Sindh” from the national anthem.
The memorandum has been signed by prominent Sindhis like Ram Jethmalani, Mahesh Jethmalani and Ranjit Butani, editor of Sindhishaan, the community paper. “It is sad that India could not secure the Sindh province during the Partition, but its mention in the national anthem reminds us of the Sindhi community’s rich heritage, glorious culture and wonderful history of India prior to the 1947 Partition,” said the memorandum.
“The Sindhi community has been a rootless mass of civilization, but still has managed to make tremendous contribution in the fields of trade, politics, human rights, industry, medicine, social work, education and law not only in India but across the globe. We appeal to you to kindly defeat the divisive forces that are trying to further divide and weaken the secular fabric of our multi-cultured country,” it added.
The letter said that the Indian government “should rather give us a Union Territory or a small state of our own where we are most populated and not even remotely entertain the thought of deleting the word Sindh from the national anthem.” Human rights activist Mahesh Vaswani claimed that Mr. G. Patel, who moved public interest litigation for the removal of the word “Sindh” from national anthem, “just wanted to get into the limelight.” He added, “If our forefathers died, are we going to change our surname? Just because Sindh in Pakistan, does it mean that it is not part of our culture.” Mr. Jhamatmal T. Wadhwani, the president of the Vivekanand Education Society and national president of the Bhartiya Sindhu Sabha, said: “We are going through this phase for 54 years. We always remember Mohanjodaro, the oldest civilization, which is the Indus civilization, on the bank of the Sindhu River. There are 70-80 lakh Sindhis throughout the world who have been humiliated by this PIL.”
“Jethmalani to lead fight for Sindhis” (Mid-Day : January 9, 2005)
MEMBER of Parliament and leading jurist Ram Jethmalani will lead the Sindhi community’s fight against the petition in the Supreme Court seeking to remove the word ‘Sindh’ from the national anthem. The former union minister flew to the City from Delhi to attend an urgently-convened meeting of representatives from the city’s Sindhi-speaking community on Saturday at his Nariman Point residence to chalk out a plan to fight the petition.
Jethmalani said that they have formed an ‘Action Committee’ to challenge the petition. “We will intervene in the petition with an application in the court. It will be a representative intervention on behalf of the Sindhis,” he said adding that he will be representing the community in the court.
Ranjit Butani of Sindhishaan, said that several Sindhi groups have been holding meetings since last week to discuss the petition. Last week, the apex court, in reply to the petition issued notices to the Union Home, External Affairs and Human Resources ministries asking them to reply to the petition. The petition has said that since Sindh is no longer a part of India, the name of the province should be removed from the anthem and substituted with the name of another Indian state.
The central government has already told the court that the word ‘Sindh’ represented Sindhi culture and language brought to India by Sindhi migrants and that changing the national anthem would hurt their sentiments. The government said that when the new constituent assembly of India and national leaders adopted Tagore’s Jana Gana Mana as the national anthem in 1950, they were aware that ‘Sindh’ had become a Pakistani province. According to Jethmalani, the petition was not “maintainable”. “The Supreme Court should not have entertained the petition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Labour, Food and Civil Supplies, Baba Siddique, whose constituency Bandra has one of the largest concentration of Sindhis, has sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that ‘Sindh’ should not be cut out. “I have been flooded with calls from the community. Their strong feelings should not be ignored,” he said.
“The land’s lost, let the anthem alone” (The Times of India : Mumbai, January 9, 2005)
Put in my claim for property, you say?
I claim the whole of Sindh - Sindhi poet Lekhraj Aziz
Once again, salt has been rubbed into an old wound. A dispossessed people, torn from their homeland 57 years ago, now find themselves at the receiving end of another emotional assault – a judicial petition to delete the word ‘Sindh’ from India’s national anthem.
Last week, when the Supreme Court admitted this decidedly strange petition by Delhi advocate Sanjeev Bhatnagar, Sindhis nationwide were hurt and outraged. An action committee with representatives from all the major Sindhi organizations was subsequently formed, with former law minister Ram Jethmalani as its advocate. But though Jethmalani dismisses the petition as “the superficial and stupid idea of someone looking for free publicity”, he too is upset by the idea of the last umbilical cord sought to be severed.
What was Bhatnagar looking to do? While the advocate explains his stand at length (see box), the crux of his logic is that Sindhi’s presence in the anthem is a geographical anachronism – one that trespasses on the sovereignty of Pakistan to boot. The literalism of the stance has piqued Sindhis to retort that Sindh is much more than a geo-political entity – it is a people a culture and a civilisation, and deserves at least the dignity of a name.
“The irony is that if such an issue has to be raised at all, it should be raised by Pakistan, not us,” says Jethmalani wryly. “Sindh is not a piece of territory-it has its own civilization, and as the cradle of Sufiism, which distilled the essence of many religions, it is synonymous with India’s secularism. “Sindhis may be stateless but they are still live representatives of this civilization. And as far as the anthem is concerned, Sindhis glow with pride when they hear the word ‘Sindh’ in the national anthem. Do you want to take that away too?”
Anthem controversy galvanizes Sindhis
Mumbai : A petition in the supreme court asking for the word ‘Sindh’ to be deleted from India’s national anthem has reopened old wounds, the most raw among these being the fact that Sindhis were the only community to be diddled out of a state after Partition. While Hindu-and Muslim-majority areas determined the route of Radcliffe’s scythe in Punjab and Bengal, all of Sindh went to Pakistan, although at least one district-Tharparkar, abutting Rajasthan-had a hindu majority. “The Congress was indifferent to Sindhi interests,” claims Ram Jethmalani. “Although the party had Sindhi stalwarts such as Acharya Kriplani, who was Congress president in 1947, and Choithram Gidwani, many Sindhis subscribed to the Jan Sangh’s ideology, which alienated the Congress.”
Older Sindhis say that it was Gidwani who protested vociferously when Congress leaders, immediately after independence, allegedly contemplated dropping the word ‘Sindh’ from the national anthem - Gidwani reportedly told Nehru that if it was deleted, Sindhis would find it hard to stand up and honour the anthem. “The anthem should be deemed sacrosanct since it was ratified by the constituent assembly in 1950 even though Sindh had already been handed over to Pakistan,” says a writer. “Why this renewed effort to fiddle with its lyrics?”
AND THE PAKISTANI PRESS POUNCED
“HIND ACCEPTS ANCESTRY OF SINDHU PEOPLE” (The Star : Karachi, Saturday 8th January 2005)
LARKANA : The Indian government has decided to drop the word Sindhu from their national anthem.
Minister of Maharashtra and Sindhi Hindu community of India has strongly protested the deletion.
According to a report on an internet website, the Indian government has decided to delete the word Sindhu from their national anthem after 55 years as a goodwill gesture to Pakistan.
This wonderful work of great poet Rabindranath Tagore’s verse was adopted as national anthem of India in 1950.
In 640 AD, last of Achaemenium kings, the chroniclers of our history, accepted that they were 2 distinct people, the people of Hind and the people of the sacred Sindhu. With the change in the Indian national anthem, it is an acceptance of a fact that the Sindhu civilization evolved from the early human settlement of 1,00,000 years ago.
The evolution of this far more ancient civilization was manifest in the early Vedic and later Vedic in Sindhu religion and the highly evolved society that existed at the time. The era of Mohenjodaro was the peak of the creative genius of that people. The centre of civilization along the Gangetic plane evolved subsequently 900 years after the tail-end of the supremacy of the Sindhu people. Its identity took another 800 years to develop after the introduction of the Arian people among the people of the Sindhu.
In their attempt to stamp their supremacy over the region, their ancient text sought to invert history. The perception of the people of Hind stems from history that was made to stand on its head.
The former Hindu rightwing BJP government took this perception to what it perceived was the logical conclusion. They went into higher state of denial and further re-wrote history showing that the Saraswati River was the centre of a civilization as opposed to Mohenjodaro. This revision was being done unabashedly as there is not a shred of evidence in support of their contention. The proposed change in the Indian national anthem speaks to right the intentional misrepresentation of history.