Jhamatmal T. Wadhwani
We migrated from Sindh for the sake of preservation of our religion, culture and language. It matters nothing if we only passively and, for the namesake, visit temples and offer prayers at holy places. What is required is to perform our duties and discharge our obligations in the true sense of ordination. In that sense alone we perform in our life and that is the co-ordination of duty, nature and the God. Every one has his own duty (Dharma) to perform in life. The teacher is to impart education (Gyan). A child’s duty is to imbibe in himself the learning with discipline. In the same way, everyone – the child, the parents, the friends, the partners, the Guru, etc. have to perform in life the duties, which are based on high ideals. This is the true dharma. We left Sindh to protect our honour, Dharma, language and culture and we have to nurse all these here.
The ugly show of wealth is the cause for jealousy and heartburn. This splits the society and sows the seeds of hatred. Wealth is required for our material needs. The mind, intelligence, and the soul, contribute to the development of language culture and spiritual upliftment. It is unfortunate that we like to simulate or counterfeit conditions in Sindhi society similar to those prevailing in American society. It is sad that we do not think of enriching our language and culture. This kind of attitude had made us bankrupt in the real values of cultural life. WE ARE BORN IN THE SINDHI SOCIETY. GOD HAS WISHED US TO SERVE SINDHI SOCIETY. IT IS OUR DHARMA TO SAVE SINDHI COMMUNITY. SINDHI LANGUAGE IS PIVOT OF SINDHI SAMAJ. KEEP ALIVE SINDHI LANGUAGE AND THUS SAVE OUR SINDHI COMMUNITY AND INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION. We have to put in efforts to uplift and infuse life into the development of our society. Thus therefore there is intense need to organize ourselves and extensively work in that direction. There is an uphill goal and we need to have a network of devoted and understanding cadre of workers. We are sadly lacking in the leadership of our society. It is all an empty void. There is no sign of unity of action. The entire society is broken and scattered hither and thither.
What we need is a strong frame of organizational network. We Sindhis by and large live in big cities or in big conglomeration of the Society. Such big pockets of population are serviced largely by Panchayats. These Panchayats, if provide selfless services without ulterior motives, can indeed be the focal points of social and economic revival. We need workers and leaders to ameliorate the lot of the society. Each geographical unit of human habilitation – cities, villages, etc. living harmoniously can strive for programmes and organizational setups for larger units like states and ultimately the country. The entire Sindhi society should with one voice provide unity of constructive thought, essential for commanding deferential esteem from other communities. We should project ourselves through our social and cultural occasions, not forgetting that Sindhi language is our bonding instrument. BY LEARNING SINDHI LANGUAGE WE ARE STRENGTHENING OUR ROOTS. LET MOTHERS AND SISTERS LEARN SINDHI. OUR ROOTS WILL BE STRONGER. A WOMAN IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE
REJUVENATION OF EVERY SOCIETY. IF THE ROOTS ARE STRONG, WE STAND UP ERECT AND PROUD, WE WILL HAVE SELF-RESPECT AND SELF-CONFIDENCE.
We have both the capacity and the courage to do it. Having lived through thirteen hundred years of terror and agony and now we are in India, that is Bharat, mustering up courage, we have some respite. We shall not accept defeat. We shall march forward, with strong will and awaken the latent energies – the supporting legs being, dedication and sacrifice.
Let us ponder over this and steel your determination to serve the Sindhi society.
SINDHIS OF THE WORLD UNITE
MIND WE ARE LOSING OUR IDENTITY
INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION IS VANISHING
President, Sindhi Association of UK
This year, Sindhi Association of United Kingdom is celebrating its Silver Jubilee Year. On behalf of the Sindhi Association of UK and the Executive Committee, I would like to welcome you all to the Eleventh International Sindhi Sammelan in London. This is the first time such an event is held in London and our aim is to bring together the Global Sindhi Nation.
I would like to offer my deep gratitude to The Alliance of Sindhi Associations of America for their support and guidance.
My special thanks goes to Raj Daswani for his readiness to devote time, effort and his invaluable guidance. He has been working day and night and without him this Sammelan would not have been possible.
The partition of India has been very much akin to the Jewish Diaspora of 2000 years ago. The Sindhi Hindu has almost been relegated to the position of the wandering Jew. One must however recognize a major difference between the two situations. Though the Sindhi Hindu has encountered subtle discrimination and often pronounced hostility, he has not suffered the indignity and persecution of the Jews. But the emotional trauma of a people left without a land to call their own is just about the same. The trauma has not been without its compensation. Like the Jew who has overcome his handicaps and made good in every inhospitable soil and clime, the Sindhi too has been spurred into bringing forth the best in him. Take almost any field of human endeavour and a Sindhi will be found who will hold the candle to the very best. Successful Sindhis in trade, commerce, industry, medicine, law and almost every profession will make a fair sized directory.
The primary and paramount mark of Sindhi identity is their distinct language and script. Rich though it is in lore and literature it faces the prospect of extinction as more and more children refuse to speak and learn it. It will be a pity if this beautiful flower ceases to be a part of the Indian bouquet.
We must remain eternally grateful to the galaxy of Sindhi poets and writers who are keeping our language and script alive. And our gratitude is doubtless due to the organizers of our annual Sammelans where Sindhis from the world over mingle and meet and savour the flagrance and flavour of Sindhi culture, and meet brothers and sisters who live in the Sindh we have left. By all accounts they are not happy socially and politically. The literature produced in Pakistan testifies to the longing for reunion that saddens the heart of Sindhis in Pakistan. Now that relations between the two countries are getting friendlier, I hope and pray that this longing will bear fruition and fulfillment. Forget them we never shall.
Sindhi NRI’s are concerned about their language and culture and the Sammelan provides an opportunity for all the community brethren to come together and put up a joint endeavour towards this goal.
Prem T. Lalvani
Chairman, Alliance of Sindhi Associations of America, Inc.
We have come a long way to achieve some of our goals and objectives but the promised land is still a long way. The theme of the Eleventh Sammelan is “The Making of Global Sindhi Nation.” We all have to do our best to reach that goal.
We Sindhis have made United States our home for a number of years. Many Sindhis came to United States in early 1960s and some even came earlier. Some of us have reached retirement age. The fact is, one or the other spouse will be departing first. We have not developed support system for the spouse left behind. The Alliance would like to promote building retirement and senior centers where Sindhis can retire and live among other Sindhi brothers and sisters.
We Sindhis have made home in many countries and we assimilate with the local causes. Now is time that we also get involved in politics of our local communities by getting elected to local governing bodies. There is only one Sindhi in USA who has been elected in public office, Ramesh Advani of Norfolk, Mass. Diptika Lalwani came very close to be elected in town of Milpitas, Ca. We have Sayu Bhojwani who has been appointed as a Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs by the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. We hope that our next generation will take more interest in serving in Public office of the town where they reside.
Barrister Ashok Advani
Let’s forge unity and get together to achieve our common goal of promoting Sindhi art, culture and language.
Sindhis should shed their egos and stand united. Like Lord Hanuman, the Sindhi community is unaware of its inherent strength and once we realize this we will achieve success in whatever task we decide to undertake. But instead of saying “I”, we Sindhis should stress on “We”.
The time has come to raise our demands for political rights. I carry a message from Smt. Sonia Gandhi congratulating all the participants in this Sammelan and regretting her inability to be present here with us.
After partition the threat of extinction of Sindhi language loomed large over our heads, but in the past five decades the scenario has improved and such a danger no longer exists today.
Sindhis are scattered all over the world and therefore no country or state can redress their grievance of non preservation of their language and culture. For redressal of such grievances, seminars and sammelans like this one are the only hope.
Sindhis have happily adopted the customs and religious beliefs of the communities of the regions to which they have migrated. Sindhis in Maharashtra worship Lord Ganesh and participate in the Ganpati festival. Although a nice gesture on the part of Sindhis they should not forget their own deity – Jhulelal. And by worshipping Jhulelal they will be able to preserve the Sindhi culture.
Besides the serious working sessions, cultural programmes were held in the evenings conducted by artists from London and Mumbai. Kaajal Chandiramani, Divya Raisinghani, Koshi Lalwani and Anita Raj Daswani deserve special mention for their scintillating and outstanding performances. All the 23 participating artists were presented SAHYOG FOUNDATION TROPHIES at the hands of M/s. Ram Jethmalani, Ram Jawhrani and Chander Manghnani.
Several stalls distributing books, magazines and audio/video CDs’ were also put up to cater to the seekers of Sindhi culture and literature.
One cannot conclude an article on a Sindhi Sammelan without mention of the culinary highlight. High quality authentic Sindhi cuisine was served on all the days
The programme was compared with impeccable grace and style by the charming baritone voiced Dr. Baldev Matlani.