DIAL GIDWANI – An Odyssey of His Own
By Sydney Sawyier
Globalization is a ubiquitous process. It encompasses the workings of governments, cultural synthesis, economies, all the way down to the intricacies of the human experience. It is a complex catalyst of global change and growth, breaking down barriers and making connections, while bringing us closer to the idea of a global community. Never before has each corner of the earth been so accessible and never before has our society been so susceptible to the influences of other cultures, when communication and information are now just a mouse-click away. For a high school history student, this process transcends our perception of the everyday world. While we may wear Italian clothes while eating Dim Sum or chat on our cell phones that were manufactured in Bangalore as we drive a Toyota, we don't take the time to appreciate how globalization has truly affected us, or how it will affect our futures.
While globalization takes many forms, immigration plays an imperative role in the blending of cultures. Immigration itself has had a significant impact on the lives of many, as intrepid individuals have had to carve out new lives for themselves, whether with a family, or on their own. The "American Dream" has lured many to the United States. When so many lived impoverished lives, they saw an opportunity to prosper and emigrated from their homelands, in search of something better. As these immigrants have played such an integral part in the transformation of our society, it is our duty to recognize and relay their experiences, past and present, in order to attain a better perception of culture and the ability to look at how we interact as a society with greater acuity. As history is about the interactions of society, we in turn, gain a better understanding of history, and how it has unfolded to embrace all the diverse peoples of our world.
While I grapple with its complexity, Dial Gidwani is an individual whose life embodies globalization; having lived on three continents, speaking seven languages, and whose life is intimately connected with some of the most profound moments in history. His immigration to the United States was certainly a monumental change for him, but also the final chapter in a long and tumultuous life of movement and transformation. He came because of globalization and his immigration was the product of globalization. While he ended up in the United States, he brought his memories and experiences with him, further laying the foundations of and fabricating our "new" world with these pieces of the past.
Dial's personal journey started on August 26, 1926 in Hyderabad Sindh, which was a medium sized city located in modern day Pakistan.
It's an area where the civilization flourished. The old civilization of India - the Indus civilization. And that was a part of India which is now in Pakistan. It was (the) city of Hyderabad Sindh. Beautiful city with beautiful girls… In fact it will not be an exaggeration to say that Hyerabad Sindh was the capital of literature, culture and education. Everything there was magnificent- buildings, gardens, the river, men and women, Sindhworki, Bhaibands and Amils, the literary persons and the gossipers, social reformers, and social parasites- in short, it had all the colors, the dark and the light.
People got around by horse or donkey drawn carriage, train, and a rudimentary bus service. There were public and private schools that offered an advanced education to almost all the city's youth and the city did not have the same kind of poverty that you see in cities such as Mumbai (Bombay) today. This people of this primarily Hindu city were very connected with their heritage. As Dial remarked, "The wealth of culture and civilization goes 7000 years back. Roots, heritage, and culture are the most valuable in life. Material wealth is temporary. Your culture is eternal. Nobody can take it away from you." And so, while they were not the richest society, they were still a happy and interconnected one.
This historic and cosmopolitan area along the Indus River was fertile and lush and provided a good environment for Dial to grow up in. As a kid, the precocious Dial enjoyed spending time with his four brothers and his sister.
……………We were close. We were one family, joined family, and my father was a doctor and he resigned from the government job because they were sending him to World War I as a doctor, a medical doctor, but he refused to serve for the British. And he joined Mahatma Gandhi's movement, for the freedom struggles… He was always a doctor, a medical practitioner. Then when he was not in jail, he had his practice. When he was in jail he could not practice.
He was also very close to his mother as a child, my mother was also a politician (and) she also joined the movement. And she didn't go to jail, she looked after us. And she was even holding a position in the municipal consular. You know, just like we have the mayor's office, and there it was called municipal counselor…My mother was also (an) active freedom fighter (who) ignited the feeling among five sons and one daughter. We wore clothes made by hand spun thread all our life 'till 1947.
Dial was an active little boy- he played cricket and traditional Indian games such as Vunjabati. He greatly enjoyed school and was very focused on his studies. Up through high school, his greatest enjoyment was learning new languages and when he graduated high school, the courses he "specialized" in were English, Sindhi, Persian (Farsi), Physics and Chemistry. He was also very aware of his surroundings as a child and what was going on in India at the time. Both his parents were politicians with deep ties to India's freedom movement, especially his father, who worked in close contact with pacifist icon, Mahatma Gandhi.
………Father joined as freedom activist in 1917 before I was born. He was arrested and in all the movements, he spent a total time of twelve years in jail, the British jail for participating in the freedom struggle. Mahatama Gandhi, Jawahla Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Subash Chandur Bose and many national leaders stayed in our home, when they visited Mirpurkhas.
When Dial was nine years old, the freedom struggle of India became a more startling reality when Gandhi came to stay in their house for two nights. Dial may have been young, but his exposure gave him a first hand look at Indian politics during this chaotic time in Indian history. While his father was going in and out of prison, Dial and his older brothers were also doing their fair share to ensure that they had a free and equal India. When important messages and action bulletins with essential times and dates on them needed to be disseminated among the "freedom fighters" during this time period, Dial and his siblings would illegally make the bulletins on a manual printing press in their home into the wee hours of the morning.
……………I also participated in support of the freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi and the congress organized young children in BANDER SAINA (MONKEY BRIGADE). I was active member of the brigade. My job was to cyclostyle news bulletin after midnight and distribute before sunrise at every house in Murpurkhas (now in Pakistan). This was at the age of 8 years. From the British… if you did anything, they would arrest you. So we used to prepare bulletins in the night and by 4 o'clock in morning it will be in every house, underneath, so that people (could) read news bulletin. (This was done) Illegally because the British government didn't want us to feed public with information. They call it instigation, but we say- bring awareness to our own people.
This time in his life and this exposure to the workings of the freedom movement deeply affected him later in life and dictated how he lived his life for many years to come.
In order to really understand the situation in Dial's native land, one must know what was going on politically at the time. The Indian Independence Movement was the nationalist effort of Indians to liberate the region from British rule and form the nation-state of India. It incorporated several different rebellions, political organizations, philosophies, and religious groups and touched every member of the Indian community, from the untouchables to the Brahman. It truly started in 1857 when various soldiers working for hire in the British East India Company's army outpost mutinied, also inciting a few different Indian kingdoms to rebel against the British rule. The British managed to put down the revolt and then partitioned India (there were more partitions to come) into the Princely States and British India. Over time, the public became less and less enchanted with the British authority; British rule had curtailed many civil liberties for the Indian people through policies and laws such as the Rowlett Acts. This is where Gandhi really came in.
Gandhi hadn't entered the Indian political arena until 1915. He had just been leading and participating in various anti-apartheid movements in South Africa and had not been in his native India for 20 years. At first he agreed with the Indian National Congress, calling for a "unified commerce-oriented territory," but eventually this led to the idea of India as an independent nation-state all of its own. Additionally, he believed that industrial development and educational development were required to mitigate the suffering of many Indians. Gandhi first started to become famous for his pacifism during the Anti-Rowlett Act protests in Punjab, where he employed the use of Satyagraha, non-violent resistance. Through Gandhi's quiet leadership, he brought India's struggle to the common people. While it had once been a struggle restricted to the upper echelons of Indian society, Gandhi made it into a national movement. The first Satyagraha movement made the Indian people find substitutes for various British products, such as cloth, and shun British institutions and courts of law, resign from any government service, abandon any British titles or honors, and decline to pay taxes. Unfortunately these efforts came too late to have any influence on the structure of the new Government of India Act of 1919; however, this movement inspired the masses to act in an unprecedented challenge to colonial rule. This movement ended when an angry mob killed twenty policemen at Chauri Chaura. However, the Congress regrouped in 1920 and changed their aim this time to swaraj, or independence. In 1922, Gandhi was imprisoned and after serving two years was released and brought the peaceful fight for independence to many different regions of India. His travels brought him to regions such as Mirpurkhas where he found support through local leaders such as Dr. Vatanmal G. Gidwani and his wife, the parents of Dial.
As a result of Dr. Gidwani's participation, he was arrested several times and his family was forced to fend for themselves. Luckily, most of their extended family also lived in Hyerabad Sindh and they found support through relatives and friends. It was already financially difficult at the time as they were boycotting all British products and were being heavily taxed, but the loss of Dr. Gidwani's income hit the family hard. But somehow, despite his family's constant struggle to stay afloat, Dial remembers this time as the best in his childhood.
When the British government finally granted India's long-sought independence, the British government and Indian National Congress partitioned India to reflect the different predominant religions and resolve the Muslim-Hindu tensions and fighting. Before partitioning, modern day Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India were one country under the influence of Great Britain. However, at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, these British lands became the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India.
……………Well, I started my education in Sindh, and I studied English. And at the age of twenty one, I was in college, when we had forced migration. I had one year of college still, before graduation. And then the partition came, and so we had to leave. We were forced to leave our motherland of Sindh. And as a consequence of this partition, the entire Sindh province was given to Pakistan, while Punjab and Bengal was divided between India and Pakistan. So Punjabi and Bengali Hindus who migrated to India could have their land and identity. Sindhi Hindus lost every thing.
Literally overnight, Dial became a Pakistani citizen. However, the Islamic government of Pakistan was not interested in keeping the Hindu peoples of the Sindhu-Sagar doab (the "doab" was the term to describe different tracts of land between two major rivers that both the Indian and Pakistani governments wanted as part of their new nation-states) within Pakistan. During this time, the Hindu community suffered from discrimination and backward policies that favored the Muslim majority of Pakistan. Eventually, the Hindis of Sindh were forced out of Pakistan by the Pakistani government. It was Dial's first migration- a forced exodus from his home. A telegram from Dial's father, who was at that time the Congress President of Tharparkar (border province in Pakistan) to the President of the Indian National Congress, the two secretariats, and Mahatma Gandhi, read:
Forced occupation by refugee Muslims (STOP) illegal searches by authorities, utter humiliation of women and children by police (STOP) other circumstances here compelling Hindus to leave Sindh, even confiscating moveable properties (STOP) seventeen thousand evacuees at Mirpurkhas. Seven thousand in open camp (STOP) special trains arranged by Indian Union stopped by Sindh government (STOP) Other trains leaving practically empty (STOP) Sindh government banned exodus male Sindhi Hindus (STOP) Prior permission from District Collector necessary which in turn impossible (STOP) Many services announced as essential under Public Safety Ordinance (STOP) The exodus of all backward classes banned (STOP) winter set in coupled with moisture (STOP) mortality rate of aged and children on increase (STOP) Pray intervene and arrange evacuation.
As this telegram showed, the Sindh government was now a Pakistani authority and conditions were already desperate in the region. There was utter abjection, rejection of civil liberties, fighting, and thousands of refugees just in the small region of Mirpurkhas alone. Once the Pakistani government demanded that the Hindis just leave the country, many members of Sindhi community were happy to do so; however, they found themselves in a new predicament when the Indian government did not want to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of refugees leaving Pakistan.
……………Millions of people had to move. My father wrote to the congress leaders in India and Mahatma Gandhi, He was asked by Mahatma Gandhi to help the exodus... The Pakistani government made us move- Yes, they forced us out. Sindhi were put in refugee camps in India. They made camps to accommodate displaced persons. While millions of Indian were celebrating August 15, 1947. Sindhi Hindus were mourning their loss of mother land.
During this process, the Pakistani government took their properties, took their businesses, their assets, and any valuables that the Hindu community could not carry with them back to India with absolutely no reimbursement of any kind for the Indian people that they cast out. Luckily for the Gidwani family, they had enough savings left that they could rent a modest house in Bombay. To top it all off, the Gidwani family was separated in this struggle and many of Dial's close friends from his youth and old life were sent to camps where he never saw them again.
……………They, my father were still in Pakistan but my mother came to India. My father was instructed by Mahatma Gandhi to stay behind and help the exodus of Hindus. My father lived on the border of Pakistan and India. So he helped the migrants to leave by train and into India. But when we came to India, we had no homes. None of us had homes. So Majority of Sindhi Hindus stayed in refugee camps. They were scattered away, all over India. So we lost our land, we lost our identity, and there was hostility against the displaced persons from Indians from the Indian government. One of the prominent congress leaders Moraji Desai had words like "Why have you come? You want to enjoy Bombay life. So what if few millions were converted to Islam"
By this point the British had almost virtually no control of what was happening politically, having handed over all the power to the Indian National Congress. "They were separate. They had no control. British policy was divide and rule, so they divided and they left."
……………It was a totally new life. And then, I had to go to college. I joined Law College; I did my first year and B.A also. I had to find work and earn. I qualified as pharmacist. Family started a small pharmacy business. My father was arrested in Pakistan for helping exodus of Sindhi Hindus. His warrant of arrest expired and renewal from Karachi did not arrive on time. The superintendent of Jail released him and rushed him across the border to reach Indian Territory. He came to India. He started his practice, my brother was a doctor and they worked together. It was a joined family so we were helping each other. Everybody contributed.
This was clearly a lot of change and a very busy period in the Gidwani household. While Dial was loathe to leave his family, as they had gone through so much together, he was interested in traveling and eager to live in Hong Kong. While Hong Kong seems like an unusual and exotic destination, Dial had no trouble whatsoever making the adjustment and started picking up Chinese very quickly.
Dial returned to India after few years, as he was getting married and had been offered a good position with Air India He worked successfully for a few years in the commercial department. He was later offered a transfer to open the first office in Spain (Madrid) as head quarters, an independent job.
Dial got the opportunity to set up camp in Madrid, where he would expand the airline's reach to also cover Spain, Portugal, and Northern Africa. He lived in Spain for four years as well and overall had a very positive reaction to the "easygoing" and accepting Spanish society. He learned the Spanish language quickly and made friends in the upper echelons of Spanish society. One of these connections was the vibrant surrealist, Salvador Dali. Dial recounts this memory of meeting with him and the exchanges he had with the Spanish people in a better light than any of the other nations in which he lived.
……………I opened the first office of Air India Madrid and made a success, opened Las Palmas and Barcelona. I covered Spain, North Africa, Portugal so I traveled a lot, I learned Spanish in Madrid. So in Madrid, I knew, I met the… have you heard (of) the famous artist, Salvador Dali? I met him and then he designed a beautiful piece of art, for, Air India. I'll show it to you, I'll get it…
……………This ashtray was then reproduced and copies were presented as gifts to many art lovers, corporate client clients and executive .What made this story so memorable for Dial was Salvador's request in response to everything.
Yes. So he designed this, so, I asked him 'what you need from us?' He said, 'I want a live elephant!' Yes! AIR INDIA got him. For he got a live elephant, a two-year old, baby elephant, from Bangalore, which was flown by Air India. But he did the most beautiful piece for AIR INDIA...
The Women's Club of Evanston (WCE) hosted the "Antique Road Show" with Frederick Dose, an expert who appraises antiques before a live audience. He appraised only 50 items. A unique piece of art designed by Surrealist Salvador Dali for AIR INDIA in 1967 was one of the items and was presented by Lakshmi Gidwani for appraisal.
Mr. Dose told the audience that he had heard about Dali's Ashtray but had never seen it before. The piece is interesting, rare and 40 years old and now that I have read the interesting story about its creation. The piece represents Dali's style. The ashtray has a double image of a Swan and Elephant, and snake on the perimeter which he thought represents India. It is a fantastic piece.
Mr. Dose was impressed with the two pieces holding it several time repeatedly and appraised the price from K15 to K 20 plus.
This is an example of globalization in a sense. While it wasn't a transfer of knowledge or technology, it was still the transport of a culturally and regionally significant object (an animal in this case), giving it an international identity and integrating it into a new society. Wherever he went, Dial kept facilitating these transfers of knowledge, items, and tradition.
After four years in Spain, he was then transferred to Hong Kong, this time with his whole family. Dial met his wife in Bombay and the two married in 1958. While moving from society to society (and especially ones that were so radically different) was stressful, Dial appreciates that fact that his children received so much exposure to other cultures while growing up because he believes that this is key to practicing and believing in tolerance.
……………My entire family experienced a gypsy life, with my transfers This is what happens in the experiences, you keep on moving and you move in different cultures and become more tolerant, and uh, you gain an understanding of different cultures,
Dial really enjoyed Hong Kong because the people were fairly open, there was a large Sindhi community there, it was a cosmopolitan place, and totally different from the rest of China.
In Hong Kong, Dial was also dealing with various personal struggles; his health was deteriorating as a result of alcohol consumption and the stress of social life. He was transferred to Japan in 1971. In response to his poor condition, he took up squash. While it may seem like a meaningless thing to include, Dial said, "I dedicated my life to squash. When I encountered so much change in my life, it brought back health for me. And I coached high school kids at the Kobe Club. My son, Anil, is also a national pro in the U.S.A."
"It's another way in which they brought their experiences and passions from other parts of the world to the United States. According to Dial, squash is starting to gain momentum in the United States and his son has an extremely profitable online squash store. (www.squashproshop.com)
Dial lived in Japan for seven years, as always made social and business contact with Indian and Americans and other nationalities. In Japan all foreigners are addressed as GAIJIN (foreigner). Japanese society is a closed society. You get truth from Japanese on in GINZA BAR. One needs a strong liver to live that life style.
Through living all over the world, Dial had gotten used to adapting and assimilating while managing to retain his SINDHI identity. The only place where he really struggled was Japan. The Japanese society is homogeneous and according to Dial, much more closed than any other society.
Additionally, Dial encountered the only overt discrimination and racism outside of his struggles in Hyerabad Sindh, Pakistan as a young man, in Japan. The Kobe Club, of Kobe, at first did not want to accept Dial Gidwani or his friend on the basis that they were Indians.
This was a challenge to take on. He and his friend applied proposed and seconded by American (Kenneth Griffiths of Abbott) and Jewish friend (Jack Ormut) proposed the membership and were thus interviewed and approved.
Kobe club membership was open to all Americans, Europeans and English Jews, but not Indians .I was advised by my Sindhi community not to apply as earlier two Sindhi and Indian prominent members of the community were black balled. l did not pay attention to their advice. I was Air India executive, so I applied. And with me, also close friend, an Indian Businessman in Kobe... they couldn't deny me, so I got my membership, but very hesitantly, my friend also got his membership, then we got integrated with the mainstream. We became friends with the Americans, Jewish Community and I was invited to be on the balloting committee. It's like your saddle and cycle club now with Chicago residents. I brought in about 35 Sindhis and Indian members. Some powerful committee member did not approve of more Indian membership; the board passed a resolution and closed the membership to non Caucasians. This was done while I was on vacation to India.
After the initial insult by the club, the passing of such a clearly racist policy behind his back incited Dial to act. In his letter to the Kobe Club, he pointed out that this policy was obviously in response to the increased Indian membership but unfortunately for them, Indians fall under the definition of "Caucasian" in the Webster's Dictionary as they speak an Indo-European language. A portion of his letter to the president of the club read: (My friend Ram Jethmalani was visiting us and he drafted the letter in 1974)
When you substitute the word non-Caucasian, you reached a new level of racial discrimination while you're still seemingly above that. It is that which I protest, In this case- it has been hidden by camouflage, I'm sure you thought you were achieving the same purpose as hitting Indians, even by changing phraseology. Let me take this opportunity to point out that Indians are supposed to be Caucasians; any modern dictionary or encyclopedia will tell you that.
The Kobe Club was embarrassed by this mishap and subsequently reversed this policy. When he eventually left Japan, they even asked Dial to make sure that to recommend suitable Indian replacement for himself on the board as Dial had proved a very valuable board member.
While in Japan, Dial helped organize funds to install an Indian statue of Gautama Buddha's mother, Lady Maya, at one of the earliest temples in Japan, Tenoji, built in 646 A.D.
As President of Indian Chamber of Japan, Dial raised to two million yen to replace the Statue of Maya, mother of Buddha. 100 year back this statue was presented to Kobe Buddha temple by an Indian Buddhist priest. The Mayor requested the chamber that the Indian community raise funds for the statute. He raised two million yen within 48 hours by making phone calls.
The statue was constructed in marble in Jaipur India and flown by Air India and Inaugurated by Late Air Marshall P.C.Lall the former Chairman of Air India.
……………Mayor of Kobe Honorable Miyazaki is greatly interested in mountain climbing. He expressed desire to invite Mount Everest Hero Mr. tensing Norgay, the pioneer Everest conqueror. He will walk with him along with 10000 Japanese students to mount Futatabi. Air India sponsored Mr. Tenzing Norgay's visit to Kobe.
There was very entertaining celebrations. Three hours walk to Mt. Futatabi and Japanese lunch (Bento) and Sake was served. Thereafter Tenzing Norgay visited SOGO department store and signed certificate for those who walked with him. In the presence of Maharaja of Air India (A Japanese staff dressed as maharaja)
After finishing a seven-year stay in Japan, Dial, his two sons, and his wife moved back to Calcutta, which is in Eastern India, for three years. After Calcutta they moved to Paris where they lived for four years.
……………Then I was in Paris. I met some of the very important people. I joined Maxim Business Club., I met Dominique Lapiere in1974. He was my guest in Japan. He had written book on" Freedom at Midnight," that's about India's freedom. He is very well respected in India. He is a personal friend and privileged friend of Air India and entitled to free travel on AI... He would visit Mumbai/Delhi but never Calcutta. I persuaded him to visit Calcutta and arranged his meeting with mother Teresa and Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. He send me greetings appreciating his visit to Calcutta. He repeated his visits and wrote the book CITY OF JOY.
On behalf of Air India, Dial organized premier Avante of Movie Gandhi and invited several celebrities, Sir Richard Attenborough (producer &Director), Geraldine James, Roshan Seth, movie star and Ravi Shankar attended the dinner. There were 200 important guest and celebrities who attended. "We got all the pictures, I think that album is at home and we had a great celebration in Maxim. Maxim allowed us to serve Indian dinner for first time in the history of Maxim, the first time a non- French cuisine."
This premiere was important on many levels for Dial, not only was the movie "Gandhi" coming out, which of course portrayed a movement and a person that both had a significant impact on Dial's life, but also one can see globalization at work here; a fancy French club opening up to the Indian influence in France for the first time and serving Indian food. It was a sign of acceptance that was sorely missed after coming from places like the Kobe Club in Japan.
At the age of 58 in India, there is a mandatory retirement age. This is because, "In India the average living age is less than (in) America. So, (the retirement age) is 58 (because) there are so many people waiting for the jobs. It's not easy to get the jobs in India." As a result, in 1985, Dial was forced to make a choice regarding where he would settle down. He wanted to pursue a second career, so he could not go back to India as he had just surpassed the mandatory retirement age.
……………I could have lived in Japan; I had a green card. I had a green card for France; I had a green card for Spain and also Hong Kong. So I had to make a choice out of 5 countries. I certainly did not want to go back to India and my sons lived here.
Ultimately, he decided on the United States.
……………My two sons were studying in the USA. Comparing all other countries, United States offered several opportunities in private business. USA offered freedom to do business and it is an immigrant's country for many nationalities. I traveled east coast, west coast, but I loved the Midwest and Chicago. People were friendly and helpful. My two sons were also here. So here I came in 1985 and successfully established a travel agency business in Evanston. My two sons are now running the business. IWTT has over 100 years combined experience in travel industry.
What made this immigration unique was that it was Dial's first immigration of choice. There was no job that absolutely required him to be there and no government casting him out. The transition was not hard for the Gidwani family. They had spent a lifetime practicing for this final immigration. They had previously been offered green cards and did not have to go through any hassle in order to obtain one. Various organizations, and the large and already firmly entrenched Indian community also eased their transition. He had nieces and nephews here before him who had grown up with Dial while both they and Dial's immediate family were living in India. They also joined various organizations to connect with the community.
……………My wife joined local community service groups in Evanston. She connected with them very well. I joined Rotary club of Evanston. I was a Rotarian in Japan, Hong Kong, India, and Paris… I connected with several American and Jewish friends made excellent connections with Air Lines executive, because we speak the same Airline lingo. They would seek my expertise on India route. These airline connections also helped him create a very successful business in America. He's found his own way to prosper. According to Dial, his situation reflects that of all Sindhis in the world today.
……………We believe in non-violence, tolerance. Sindhis have contributed more in India in education, hospitals, and charities. These facilities are enjoyed by majority of non sindhi … Sindhi Hindus spread all over the world after loss of motherland and settled down. Every Sindhi is employed and successful. There is no beggar or caste system among Sindhis...
While Dial enjoys American comedy shows, tried making my mother some of his "famous" Indian chicken, and knows his stuff about American pop culture, he's made a mammoth effort to celebrate his heritage and stay connected to his culture in India and his native land in Hyerabad Sindh.
He has invested superhuman time and energy into the promotion of Sindhu culture. These efforts have included founding the American Institute of Sindhulogy, trying to create a network of the Sindhi freedom fighters like his father, developing an exhibit on the ancient Sindu civilization for the Field Museum, and communicating with various state education officials regarding the inclusion of the Sindu civilization into the standard world history curriculum. And all of that is in the United States alone.
The Indian national anthem, the word Sindh is there "Punjab Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha" and a public litigation was file in to Supreme Court of India and said that SINDH should be removed from (the) national anthem because Sindh is no more a part of India.
Dial Gidwani and his colleagues of AIS raised global public opinion of Sindhis/Indians and mass protest letters were sent to the Prime Minister of India and the President of India. , Mr. Ram B. Jethmalani an eminent Jurist and former Minister of Law and Justice in the Indian Government successfully fought against this case and won. Once more, Dial thinks a lot of this hostility and disrespect towards the success of Sindhis globally is due to lack of awareness of Sacrifice, contribution of Sindhi Hindus towards the freedom of India. Loss of Motherland, Identity, Language. Sindhi must look up to the Jewish people for guidance.
Dial has seen a lot of changes since he has moved here. When he was a little boy, he really didn't know all that much about America. India was close to Russia at this time and had little to do with the United States. The most exposure that Dial had was exposure to big corporations such as IBM that had already dug their roots in India. Later in life, he came to know America as a place of success and opportunity, which was part of why he established his business in the United States. However, he sees some of the same problems in America. In India, poverty is far more prevalent but he sees it as a noteworthy problem in America as well.
He also sees religion as a major problem in each country. Historically, there's been contention and violence between Muslims and Hindus in Pakistan for centuries, but it's gotten especially violent given the dispute over places like Kashmir. Of America, he just said that "religion has been a disaster for America." Partially for these regions, Dial Gidwani does not really practice religion. While technically he is a Hindu, he hasn't been to temple in 40 years and just accepts every religion. This acceptance is the product of his immigrations, experiences, and exposure in other countries.
From a far he's seen the rise of the Indian middle class. "In every way, I see the middle classes getting so strong and everyone in the middle class getting houses and they have their, now they, now everyone has a car. It was never possible."
He agreed that this increased standard of living has been a result of globalization. Indian public education is far more advanced than a standard public education in the United States in math and science. For this reason, India produces a wealth of smart and driven IT experts that American companies frequently hire. English, the language of business in our modern society is mandatory in Indian schools.
You find young, smart in the India- there are 580 million middle class who are prospering. Which is 50% of the population? And there are 400 million Indians who speak fluent English. Which is more than America…? And that's why you find that outsourcing moving to India faster, because of language. Democracy, freedom of movement, Muslims in India are the only Muslims in the world who have enjoyed 60 years of uninterrupted democracy. They are part of us and belong to India.
Dial Gidwani may not be an IT expert, but in a sense Dial Gidwani is globalization at work. His outlooks, beliefs, and current goals in life are all the result of his unique experience and all affect how he will influence those around him in the future. He spends his days protecting the culture and heritage of a civilization from 9000 years ago and at the same time is the most technologically able 80-year-old man I've ever met in my life. He is technically Indian, Pakistani, and American and could switch from Chinese to Urdu faster than you could say, "boo." This extraordinary individual came to this country for opportunity, and will leave behind him his own culture, forged through decades of contact and connection. Listening to his remarkable story made the world seem like a bigger place to me. While our world keeps "shrinking" as more people are introduced to the internet everyday, the possibility that tomorrow holds approaches the infinite, as evidenced by the life and accomplishments of Dial Gidwani.
GET INTO THE MAINSTREAM AND BE IDENTIFIED AS PROUD SINDHI INDIAN.