Sindhi Writers and Seminars
Reflection and Suggestions
by - Dr. Moti Prakash
(Translated from Sindhi by Arun Babani)
These days many literary seminars are being organized either by Central Sahitya Academy or by various State Academies in different parts of the country and on various different subjects, where writers and critics from all parts of India gather and discuss various topics of interest to the Sindhi literary community as well as the general Sindhi public. These Seminars go on for two to three days and the arrangements are done either by the concerned organization or by some Dharamsalas. There can be more than two opinions on the success of such Seminars, but all the same the good intentions of such efforts are praiseworthy and they must be encouraged to go on in the same right direction. Apart from Sindhi Academies it is only the Mumbai University that has been organizing literary Seminars in the recent times.
Even if no other purpose is served, these Seminars surely help create a social strength of the Sindhi community. We are scattered all over India and it is very difficult for us to meet each other, so through these Seminars we come in contact with each other, start the process of writing and meeting each other and thereby come to know each other’s thoughts, ideas and feelings. Apart from the social gains the informal gatherings at such Seminars serve a great purpose of sharing each other’s work and at times gains more importance than mere academic aspect of the Seminar.
Nowadays even the subjects and topics for discussion are no more run-of-the-mill and ordinary. Therefore the writers write papers after a great deal of research and hard work. And so during these Seminars these papers receive well versed and scholarly reviews and opinions which for writers is an enriching experience.
Although one cannot say that every Seminar is of quality. In some Seminars more importance is given to the picnic aspect rather than the serious literary discussion. In some Seminars writers don’t even attend discussions which is not a good thing at all. Some organizations call for Seminars on some or the other pretext just because NCPSL or some other sponsor gives them enough funds to do so.
Akhil Bharat Sindhi Boli Ain Sahit Sabha has been very active in organizing Seminars throughout India. Recently the Sabha invited a Seminar in Pachmari where subjects and topics were entirely new and a whole lot of creative ideas were discussed. Very interesting papers were read by Dr. Satish Rohra, Arjan Hasid and Hiro Shewkani. A very intense ant thoughtful discussion followed these well researched papers. Even Indian Institute of Sindhology and Sita Sindhu Bhavan have often organized very successful Seminars.Akhil Bharat Sahit Parchar Sabha also organizes Seminars but in these very young and inexperienced writers take part and the papers too are not very qualitative. We present here some suggestions for such Seminars:-
1) Instead of many organizations organizing different Seminars they should come together and organize one major Seminar which would be beneficial to the community.
2) At the time of working out the budget for the Seminar, a separate budget to put together all the papers in a book form should be sanctioned from the sponsors.
3) A central sub-committee should be set up to decide on the topics for the Seminars so that there is no repetition in such subjects.
4) Sindhi as well as Devnagiri writers should be invited to attend as was done by Sahit Sabha.
5) Old as well as new young writers should be invited; such lists should be prepared by the central sub-committee.
6) Only literary writers should be invited for literary Seminars and social scientists should be invited for Seminar for social concerns
7) It has been observed that sponsoring agencies sometimes put pressure on the organizers to invite certain people and such people are usually politically connected or belong to majority political party.
8) Action committee should be created for Seminars that spreads the message of the Seminar to the general public as well as people in power so that a movement can be created further.
At the Pachmari Sammelan president Sunder Agnani opined that for Seminars, instead of depending on government funds the writers should spend from their own pockets, otherwise the political interference cannot stop. Some suggestions were also brought forward during this Seminar.
a) Every Seminar should be named after some immortal Sindhi personality,egBehrumal Meherchand Literary Seminar, so also the poetry reading (Mushaira) can be named after some poet e.g. Shaikh Ayaz Memorial Mushaira
b) Every participant must wear pure Sindhi dress
c) Only pure Sindhi food should be served.
d) An exhibition of Sindhi books, CDs and VCDs should be organized at such events.
We hope these suggestions are of some help in organizing any future Seminars.