SINDHIAT AT A DEAD END?
By Arun Babani
For a long time now we Sindhis have been lamenting that there are no youth in Sindhiat. Of late I have realized that there are no intellectuals, thinkers and dreamers in Sindhiat either. We have been carrying research articles and comments for over a dozen years now and I have to report that we have not received a single piece of rejoinder or an intelligent critique which proves that either we have been royally ignored by the thinking Sindhis or that there is no such tribe amongst us.
Basically it is a well known fact of life that Sindhis are a business community, engaged since centuries in trade and commerce. But there have been a few assorted voices, strong and intense among Sindhis, which are I’m afraid either dead or on the verge of dying. So it does seem like we Sindhis are living in a kind of an intellectual vacuum, with an occasional cry for the dangers of extinction.
Here at Sindhishaan we have invited comments, views and debates time and again on certain crucial issues facing the community, issues like unity, identity and Sindhi pride, but received absolutely nil or extremely poor response. In fact, I am a regular reader of Sindhi journalism like the Hindwasi, Koonj, Rachna and Sipoon. Even in these literary journals the emphasis seems to be on creative work like short stories and poems. There is an absolute shortage of thinking on the status and value of Sindhi community, the direction it seems to be taking and the things that need to be done.
For years one has heard commandments like-Speak Sindhi, Read Sindhi, but there is very little hard brainstorming and search for direction is rarely seen. Even in Seminars that happen every other week, the emphasis seems to be more on Mushairas and picnics. International Sindhi Sammelans also are an occasion for Band Baja Barat, food and matchmaking. I wonder now whether there is anything concrete that needs to be addressed and achieved. Is there anything more needed to be done, to be thought about, to be conquered? Dr. Satish Rohra, who is, to my knowledge the only comprehensive thinker in the community, has been speaking of bringing back the Sindhi pride among the youth. Others have been insisting that Sindhi vocal culture be promoted. Yet others speak of running Sindhi language classes. While yet others speak of the search for Sindhi identity. In what way the Sindhis at large, the Sindhi Junta is to think and act in order to support Sindhiat? What must an intellectual and thinker think about, that may actually benefit the community, especially the generation yet to come? What and how to build the community strength and how to create the culture of Sindhiat to give it pride and preciousness that it deserves, so that the Sindhi Junta of today and tomorrow feels the joy and value of being a Sindhi?
I sometimes wonder and feel helpless at not being able to offer anything by way of comfort and solace to the lost generation of partitioned-Sindhis. I feel equally helpless in front of present and future Sindhis at not being able to fulfill anything in their lives. I have inherited an enormous loss, the loss of a motherland and I feel equally miserable and stupid. I have no ideas, no vision and no hope. I live in a vacuum and within my own life time I will witness the withering away of our beloved Sindhiat. I wish this was only my imagination. Maybe I must learn more about the facts of life…about why such powerful civilizations and cultures happen to be transitory…fleeting…I must learn to accept change, accept defeats, accept decays of human beings, of histories, of kingdoms. I have to learn a lot…maybe I’ve stopped learning….