AN APPEAL FROM THE HEART
By Arun Babani
Being associated with Sindhishaan for the past ten years has given me an opportunity for a very close encounter with the Sindhi community and this is what I discovered and observed and felt. This piece is my humble verdict on the community.
Sindhi community has problems. Problems that are age old and refuse to go away. With the result there is a tremendous loss of progress and development of Sindhi culture, language and the Arts. There are obvious reasons for this. For example there are umteen Sindhi institutions and organizations, separated and scattered from each other, even working at cross purposes from each other. Instead of cooperating they often work in competition with each other thereby creating much ill will and hostility. Some years back we at Sindhishaan even threw open a debate around the concept of Sindhi unity but it received a lukewarm response. One Sindhi organization doesn't seem to stand any other organization, one Sindhi college or university throws dirt on the other university. Often there has been an appeal to have one global or pan Indian umbrella organization that unites all the smaller units but to no avail. Tremendous amount of energy and resources are wasted because of this competitive atmosphere in the community.
The basis of this competitive spirit is the Ahankaar, the false pride that gets into many Sindhi workers and leaders to have an organization around themselves. There are hundreds of Sindhi sansthaas that distribute awards, organize seminars and celebrate Sindhi events. All this individualistic attitude is detrimental to the community's well being and good health. For example there are half a dozen Sindhi TV channels. Isn't it a laughing matter that with a handful of actors and directors and with very little quality software, what passes off as Sindhi TV programs is a substandard comedy here, a joke there or a shaadi there?
Every Sindhi seems to be so much full of self pride and ego that there is a lot of distrust and dishonesty everywhere. Which brings us to another problem of the community which is their religiousity.Many educated elders in the community believed that Sindhis are a progressive and forward-looking community, free of religion and its crippling rituals. But on a closer look more Sindhis are what I call the 'HARI OM' Sindhis, complete with the red SAGDA, TIKKA AND KADA. Sindhis are the most horribly superstitious people with their Kundalis, Pujas and five days a week fasts. Hypocritically weighing everything on the scales of rupees, annas and paisas.The community is totally submerged in blind faith, dominated by Babas, Sadhus and Sants. This is the single most important reason for an average Sindhi's lack of vision and vitality.
You can join the dots now. Ego is known to be the product of insecurity, fear and a lack of selfworth.More the insecurity and inferiorty,more solid an ego blowing its own trumpet.Sindhis seem to be by nature a fearful and insecure lot which gives birth to a dishonest pride on the one hand and to a submission to Gurus and Babas on the other hand. A sort of 'God-fearing bullies'. Both these polarities are ultimately self destructive.
So the competitive spirit, born out of ego, powered by hypocrisy of religious rituals, I'm afraid is going to ultimately suffocate Sindhi progress. I blame the Sindhi leaders, Gurus, intellectuals and other such so called guardians of the community and selflessly and humbly appeal to them to free themselves from these imprisonments of selfish and narrow interests and with open arms join hands and take a plunge into a broader and wiser vision to make the community really strong, healthy and harmonious'