STANDARDIZED ROMAN SINDHI SCRIPT LA 2009
UPDATED AHMEDABAD 29 MARCH 2010
Respected Sindhi brothers and sisters
I am grateful for having been given an opportunity to elaborate on the issue of
STANDARDIZED ROMAN SINDHI SCRIPT LA2009 UPDATED AHMEDABAD 29 MARCH 2010 in the esteemed columns of SINDHISHAAN and I do so hereunder to the best of the facts known to me
Origin of the Script:
My senior Mr. G L Chandiramani Mumbai writes as under:
Actually my first article on Romanized Sindhi was published in Hindvasi in August 1997. Vikram Shahani helped me with the chart in Arabic and Devnagiri scrip.
It was full of mistakes. I realized that the future lay in evolving something out of existing computer keyboards. I got an excellent comment from a reader. He wrote "2 cats are already fighting over a piece of sweet; where has this crow come from?” Until today I give credit to the commenter. In 2OO6, Poonam Malani, Mumbai helped me to make an alphabetical chart with hand written Devnagiri and Arabic script. I have still preserved it. Then I proceeded with the translations. It was my point of view, that children and elders both should find something interesting So there was Folklore for children and Short stories and Jokes for the grown ups. Before Singapore International Sindhi Sammelan 2007, Arjan Daswani of Singapore took the mantle of introducing this work at the Sammelan but evidently this did not happen for the time was not ripe. --------
G. L. Chandiramani Mumbai.
In the year 2006 when I was approached and had undertaken to be a voluntary coordinator on International Sindhi Sammelan Singapore July 2007; I was also approached by Mr. G L Chandiramani to introduce his version of Romanized Sindhi Script at the Sammelan. I had no idea at all of what the implications were of the script and because I was too busy on the Sammelan on which I worked not less than 18 hours a day for nearly 500 continuous days (which includes 4 weeks medical leave for my major Cervical Spondylosis surgery) I definitely had no time to study the script. I consulted with my Senior, Vice President of Alliance of the Sindhi Associations of Americas Inc Mr. Kishore Lala, the sponsors of the Sammelan, who strongly recommended me to take on to this job. I approached Mr. Chatru Vaswani, a Senior Committee Member of Singapore Sindhi Association. Mr. Vaswani writes reads and speaks Sindhi very well and he was kind to have spent his personal money on making some 300 17-paged catalogues on Mr. G L Chandiramani's script and distributed them free to the Sammelan attendees with his commentary. Unfortunately the attempt did not bring any known results. After the Sammelan I was approached again by Mr. Chandiramani and then I found it necessary to study his, and others' scripts. I realized that Arbi Sindhi has 52 alphabets whereas Romanized system has only 26. I realized also that some Sindhi alphabets are almost similar in sound values and therefore, some of them were dropped. Actual Sindhi alphabets which had no equivalents in Romanized were only 15. It was easy to make these 15 new alphabets in Romanized by combination of existing alphabets added with a suffix of one of the signs that are readily available on all common computers all over the world.
I realized too that unless the audio and video clips are made the learners would not be able to pronounce Sindhi words correctly. I made audio clips with my voice myself but my sister friend Asha Chand was not happy about the quality of my recording. But one thing I realized that whatever new alphabet is created with audio clips, it needs to be saved and indexed as a document name on computers. I found many of such signs, available on computers, as suffix for making up new alphabets were not savable as document names on index or dictionary. This is the error ALL other Romanized Sindhi developers made because they used the signs that cannot be saved on document names index. I quickly replaced them all with the signs which CAN be saved on audio/video clips. I approached many so called developers of Romanized Sindhi to join hands for making Standardized Roman Sindhi which can be saved on Audio/Video clips so that we may all use the same script. All of them claimed superiority and none of them was ready to join; some argued “why can't you use special software with special fonts that fit into computer system?” My polite answer was “not all computers in the world will have that special software and our intention is that anyone and everyone should be able to write to any one or every one in the globe at one's will from the very computer one is using without adding any special software. The only person who understood and cooperated was Dr Satish Rohra of Sindhology, Adipur, Kutch, who also guided me. Based on the script of Mr. G L Chandiramani (www.chandiramani.com) and Dr Satish and many others scripts that I studied, floating over internets, I made one common script and after consultation with Professor Baldev Matlani (head of Sindhi Dept of University of Mumbai) standardized it and put it before a large crowd of delegates attending Los Angeles International Sindhi Sammelan July 2009 with the help of my friend Mr. Mohan Dadlani, Sammelan Chairperson Kamal Lala (wife of late Mr. Kishore Lala) and Dr. Dayal T. Meshri, President of the Alliance of Sindhi Associations of Americas Inc and the Script was overwhelmingly accepted, approved and adopted named as “STANDARDIZED ROMAN SINDHI SCRIPT LA2009”. Later Professor Baldev Matlani advised me to have the Script version vetted by other Top Level Sindhi Professors of whom he gave me names and contacts. Although the list that he gave me included some Sindhi Professors from Sindh too, my colleagues and Principals advised that for the time being we should work at home (India) only for the benefit of Indian Sindhis living in India and abroad and that when we have sufficiently built up our home (Indian Sindhis in India and in abroad) we move to the neighbors.
Followed by that, I am pleased to advise that a historical event to tackle the standardization of Romanized Sindhi script was sponsored by the Alliance of Sindhi Associations of Americas Inc USA and hosted by Indian Institute of Sindhology, Adipur, at Sindhu Bhavan in Ahmedabad at 9.30 AM on the 29th March 2010.
Besides the valued observers, all of the official invitees, named below, were present:
Dr Dayal Meshri Alliance President, USA – (He chaired this meeting)
Mr. Prem Lalvani Alliance Chairman, USA
Prof Baldev Matlani, PhD, Heed of Sindhi Dept University of Mumbai
Prof. Murlidhar Jetley, PhD, retired Sindhi professor from University of Delhi,
Prof. K.B. Lekhwani, PhD, Western Regional Languages Centre, Pune,
Dr. Satish Rohra PhD, from Indian Institute of Sindhology, Adipur (Kutch)
Mr. Lakhmi Khilani. Indian Institute of Sindhology Adipur Kutch
Mr. G L Chandiramani, Mumbai (Founder/Adviser on Romanized Sindhi Committee).
Col. Ram Gulrajani (Retd) Chennai (Adviser on Romanized Sindhi Committee)
Dr. Devendra Kodwani, PhD, UK (Adviser and Active on the Romanized Sindhi Committee)
Mr. Arjan Daswani, Singapore (Alliance Board Member Active on Romanized Sindhi Committee)
I am further pleased to say that after the day long deliberations and slight changes for the better, STANDARDIZED ROMANIZED SINDHI SCRIPT VERSION LA2009 was vetted by all the Professors present unanimously. The Script is now adopted and known as “STANDARDIZED ROMANIZED SINDHI VERSION LA2009 AS UPDATED AT AHMEDABAD 29 MARCH 2010”.
It was decided that in due course and at the ripe time a separate High Level Committee would be formed to endeavor to implement the Script into the education system.
We have promised Prof Baldev Matlani that we will call Professors from Sindh at one of the next International Sindhi Sammelans for their inputs for further stabilizing the “STANDARDIZED ROMANIZED SINDHI VERSION LA2009 AS UPDATED AT AHMEDABAD 29 MARCH 2010” on Global level.
My (backbone) colleague Col (Retd) Ram Gulrajani Chennai, a veteran solider having actively been involved in 3 wars; with chestful of medals and with fairly good knowledge of reading, writing and speaking English and Sindhi writes as under:
Looking back, I remember Arjan once telling me to go to Chandiramani's site and read the Romanized Sindhi he has used to write some articles and messages. I was impressed and told Arjan that though there is room for improvement, the first effort is certainly laudable. Arjan thereafter doggedly pursued the matter and worked on it with a zeal unmatched at his age. He found many wayfarers from the net who put in their suggestions, but left when things became hot and serious. The scholars were apprehensive whether this approach of re-clothing Arbi Sindhi with Roman attire will really work. Many gave their opinions but most were meant to dissuade us than to encourage us. Arjan stood his ground and found two lieutenants in me and Devendra Kodwani to support him to the hilt. As it turned out, Ahmedabad conference on 29.30 Mar '10 was an historical event when all important Sindhi scholars and academics of Sindhi community of India finally approved our efforts with negligible modifications. --------- Col. (Retd) Ram Gulrajani Chennai.
My another (backbone) colleague Dr. Devendra Kodwani, PhD, UK, writes as under:
This new Romanized Sindhi script will be very easy to learn. To support the learning and use of the new script a dedicated website will be launched where audio-visual lessons introducing the Sindhi sounds and corresponding Roman script will be available free of charge for everyone to view. The website will also provide short articles, stories and poems written in the new script. The new script chart will be available for download. The website will also start building up a depository of Sindhi words in Roman script with aim to associate each word the meaning in English and audio of the word. The website will have feedback link where the users would be able to provide feedback on the usefulness of the new script. -------- Devendra Kodwani PhD.
I am grateful to all herein who helped me and who came to Ahmerabad meeting to serve the Community cause selflessly.
My special thanks are due to Mr. Syham Gianchandani of New Jersey USA (Tel 1 973 361 9204) who was the one who first introduced me to Prof Dr Baldev Matlani Mumbai and to the Professor himself who has been very polite and helpful on this project.
Thanks are also due to Mr. Lakhmi Khilani, Director of Indian Institute of Sindhology, Adipur, Kutch for making all that conference arrangement and the lodging and boarding arrangement of the delegates at Sindhu Bhavan Ahmadabad.
Arjan Daswani Singapore
(L-R) Prof. Kanhaiyalal Lekhwani Pune, Prof. Murlidhar Jetley Delhi, Prof. Baldev Matlani Mumbai, Dr. Devendran Kodwani UK, Mr. Prem Lalvani – Chairman, ASAA USA, Dr. Dayal T. Meshri – President, ASAA USA, Col (Retd.) Ram Gulrajani Chennai, Dr. Satish Rohra – Indian Institute of Sindhology, Adipur Kutch, Mr. Arjan Daswani Singapore and Mr. Lakhmi Khilani – Director of Indian Institute of Sindhology Adipur. Mr. G. L. Chandiramani, the seniormost of all is not present in this photograph, as he was taking rest at the end of Day's Meeting.