THE FOUR PILLARS OF SINDHOLOGY
DR. SATISH ROHRA
Dr. Satish Rohra was born on 15th August at Dadu – Sindh. He is one of the founder Directors of Indian Institute of Sindhology and remained one for 12 years. At present he is the Chairman of Cultural University Development Board of Sindhology. Dr. Rohra is a distinguished Sindhi scholar, writer, critic, poet and a linguist. He is a good speaker. With his clear thinking and rational ideas he puts forth his arguments with full conviction. Dr. Rohra can keep his audience spell bound for hours enumerating the qualities of Sindhi culture. He narrates many episodes from Sindhi history which delights the audience and brings awareness about Sindhi culture and its relevance to modern times. He is one of the most sought after speaker in Sindhi community with an excellent command over Sindhi, Hindi and English languages.
Dr. Rohra is very optimistic about the future of Sindhi community. According to him, we have to keep Sindhis, scattered around the globe, united through the bond of Sindhi culture. With his clear vision he has played a pioneering role in establishing Indian Institute of Sindhology, a center of higher learning and research into Sindhi studies, which is being developed into Sindhi Cultural University.
Dr. Rohra has obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Poona. He was professor of Hindi at Benaras Hindu University and also a visiting professor of Hindi at University of Guyana, West Indies. He retired from the central Institute of Hindi in 1990 as a professor of applied linguistics.
Dr. Rohra has several books to his credit which include books in Sindhi, Hindi and English. He has done research on origin of Sindhi language. His philosophy of life is to pay back to the society with full interest the debt which he has incurred from it. Whatever he is today, he believes is because of the gifts society has bestowed on him.
(Courtesy : Lakhmi Khilani)
SHRI LAKMI KHILANI
Shri Lakhmi Khilani was born on 2nd October 1935 in JahanKhan – Sindh. After getting a degree in Civil Engineering from Benaras Hindu University he established himself in the construction business in Kolkata. He is well conversant with literary and artistic trends of Bengal and has been deeply influenced by Tagore and Satyajit Ray.
Shri Khilani is the moving spirit of Indian Institute of Sindhology of which he is the Director. He has an undying passion for everything in Sindhi and is a visionary of the Sindhi Community. As a writer he has touched all literary disciplines from short stories, novels, plays, travelogues, biographies, translations and editing. He has over two dozen books to his credit including a Sahitya Academy Award winning work Gufa – Je – Hun Par. Shri Lakhmi has been editing a literary quarterly 'Rachna' for over 25 years now. Rachna is the most sought after Sindhi Magazine of our times. Its editorials are radical and original, reflecting often on current times and issues facing humanity. They are often full of rich philosophical insights into humanity and society. Shri Khilani's knowledge and scholarship are impeccable and his concerns genuine. In this sense he is a true missionary of Sindhiat. He seeks to unite all Sindhis and make them aware of their rich heritage and preserve their unique identity as Sindhis.
Mr. Khilani is a widely traveled gentleman. He must've covered most of the globe and wherever he goes, he spreads the message of Sindhiat. He writes his experience of his fascinating travels, collections of which are published as 4 volumes of 'Rachna Yatra'.
As the founder of Indian Institute of Sindhology, Mr. Khilani has worked day and night and almost fulfilled his dream of a monument of the Sindhi community. He is a tireless man with a robust mind and a no-nonsense attitude towards life.
SHRI SAHIB BIJANI
The third pillar of Sindhology is Shri Sahib Bijani. He was born on 25th January 1946 in Karachi – Sindh. He passed from M. S. University Baroda and set up an Architects firm by the name of 'Bijani associates' in Delhi. In 1995, he closed down the thriving practice and shifted to Adipur to honor his first and last passion, Sindhi language, literature and music. Since then he is passionately involved in creating a library and documentation center at the Indian Institute of Sindhology.
There are over 13,000 books at the Sindhology Library. Apart from that, bound volumes of Sindhi (old and new) periodicals. Audio and video CDs of Sindhi music occupy a pride of place in the library. There are over a thousand plays and photographs in the script bank of the library. The library is a gold mine of information and knowledge about Sindh and Sindhis, which is properly categorized and catalogued. Rare books and precious manuscripts too, are part of the library. The future promise is of a Sindhi museum, work on which has already begun.
This is a massive achievement for Mr. Bijani and his service to the community as a whole is beyond value. His passion for Sindhi literature is so deep that on his own personal level his has set up 'Usaat Sahit Mala' with the intention of publishing rare books in Sindhi language.
He has used his first profession of an architect too in the service of Sindhology as all the major construction and designing of homes, offices, schools etc. has been done by Mr. Bijani.
He has often been referred as the encyclopedia of Sindhi literature. Infact those who know or have come in contact with this amazing gentleman can say very few words about him except saluting him!
DR. MOTI PRAKASH
Dr. Moti Prakash was born on 15th May 1931 in Sindh. He has been an educationist par excellence for the most part of his 75 years. Dr. Prakash started his teaching career in 1951, at the age of 20, and went on to become the principal of K. J. Khilnani High School, Mumbai. He was the founder principal of the Indian High School, Dubai, the most sought after school in Gulf. He retired from Indian High School after almost 25 years and joined Sindhology as one of its directors.
Dr. Prakash is a poet and playwrite of a high caliber. He has written about 15 books including a travelogue to his motherland Sindh which won him the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award in 1988. Dr. Prakash did his Ph.D. on the subject of 'Portrayal of Women in Sindhi Poetry.' Recently in 2007 he compiled and edited a collection of post partition Sindhi poetry for the National Book Trust, New Delhi.
Dr. Moti Prakash is a self made man. He migrated to India in the wake of Partition at 16 facing grave economic problems. With 10 members in the family, he started his life humbly in a one room chawl. His small school going brothers started working to pay their school fees, a great struggle for bare survival. But Dr. Prakash didn't give up and amazingly, starting from a part time teacher, rose to become the head of massive institutions in India and the Gulf.
The soft spoken and handsome Dr. Prakash is a self confessed workaholic. Even at this ripe age he works tirelessly at Sindhology. He is a voracious reader and skilled writer. He has won scores of literary awards for his contribution in the field of education and literature.