Reflections on Being a Sindhi
By Tariq Mahesar
My “Reflection on Being a Sindhi” could not be descriptive without the tale of my motherland SINDH, where I born 48 years ago and continue living with my career in Engineering. My early days of life remain confined to my native village near Larkano, exclusive of any knowledge of geo political situations.
I heard very little about patriotism for Pakistan at my primary school and from parents. When I got to high school at Public School Hyderabad (Sindh), there were more number of students speaking Urdu. Children of migrants from India who occupied precious properties of Sindhis who left for India. These students mostly called themselves “Mohajir” and for the first time violence broke out between Sindhis & Mohajirs, when they refused to accept Sindhi as the language of Sindh!!!!.
This violence broke out in 1972, after the separation of East Pakistan (formation of Bangladesh). These were the same Mohajirs who when the Bengalis of East Pakistan revolted in 1971 against the injustices of the Pakistan army, which mainly comprised of Punjabis; took up the side of the army rather than that of the masses of Bengal.
The mohajir industrialists were an integral part of Punjabi investor elite. Even the Mohajir rickshaw pullers in Dacca identified industries & properties of Bengalis at the behest of their masters and thousands of Bengali women were raped and the Bengali population killed with the help of Mohajirs. It was only after India's intervention that Bangladesh become a state.
While looking into the past history and the example of above stated historical fact, I can foresee re-occurrence of similar circumstances in Sindh, where Mohajirs have joined hands with the Pakistan Army and Sindhis have been deprived of their basic rights, employment and justice.
During my 25 year career I visited several foreign countries. I could see that the Sindhi speaking population of Sindh was in a horrible state, compared to other parts of world where economic & industrial growth has been largely achieved. Countries like Korea & China which would have been considered far behind the prosperity prevalent in Sindh about 60-70 years back are today far ahead.
Sindh has been the most prosperous and fertile land since centuries and remained the centre of trade & commerce for various commodities but now only 24% of its land is being cultivated due to shortage of water and the existing authorities want to squeeze further by constructing dams on Sindhu to retain more water for the barren lands of Army Generals in Punjab. This course of action will bring acute short of water with resultant, poverty and crime. (which is growing every day).
I do not think that the present state of affairs in Sindh would be of concern to Sindhis living around the world and as a matter of fact they may not even be aware about the situation or the location of Sindh on the world map! However my reflection on being a Sindhi relates to the circumstances where I live and now more than ever questions come to mind about the need of creation of Pakistan. Countries are not made on the basis of religions but are built on the basis of their history, culture and language.
My reflections on being a Sindhi stem from facing hypocrisy, injustice and the horrible picture of the future in a country like Pakistan. A well known crony of Jinnah, recently said that if Jinnah came back to-day he would not recognize the Pakistan he created: Who knows what happens next?
Looking back on all these events one would be a fool not to wonder whether it was worth it.