Volume - 5 : Issue - 2

Published : April - June 2006

Group : Language


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by Dr. Manohar Matlani

On 9th March 2006, an International Sindhi Seminar, organized by Department of Sindhi, University of Mumbai was inaugurated at the Audio- Visual Centre, Jai Hind College, Mumbai by Dr. Vijay Khole, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mumbai.

“Media is performing its role perfectly in present day hectic life. Internet has unified the world and satellite T.V. channels are proving a boon for various languages; and in this age of commercialization, if a child is provided with knowledge about his mother tongue at home, it will certainly help in the preservation and progress of regional languages”, said Dr. Vijay Khole. He stressed on the need of 'Certificate Course in Sindhi', introduced by the Department of Sindhi, which can reverse the decline of Sindhi language with just two hours of study per week. He was all praise for Dr. Baldev and Dr. Manohar Matlani, who have been organising International Seminars unfailingly on annual basis, despite the constraints of resources. This time, they had been able to rope in Mr. Mohd. Ali Kazi, Managing Director of two satellite T.V. Channels 'K.T.N.' and 'Kashish' in Sindh and his associate Mr. Naz Sahito, Editor, Daily 'Sham', Hydarabad, Sindh, which will go a long way towards the establishment of mutual friendship and respect between Sindhis of this sub- continent.

Mr. Mohd. Ali Kazi, visiting dignitary & chief guest on the occasion admitted that the Sindhi communities of India and Pakistan face different issues as regards the survival of Sindhi language. He added that organising these type of seminars will prove beneficial to Sindhi society as a whole, as Sindhis from either side can sit together and come out with novel remedies to help in the preservation and progress of Sindhi language. He stressed that Sindhis of India must persuade cable operators to carry and transmit 'K.T.N.' and 'Kashish', both Sindhi satellite T.V. channels, as this move will help a lot in the spread of Sindhi language in India.

The seminar began with a welcome address by Dr. Baldev Matlani, Head, Department of Sindhi, who emphasized the fact that Sindhi language has its roots in the land of Sindh and therefore it was necessary to have regular interaction with Sindhis of Pakistan and keep ourselves up-to-date with Sindhi literature created in Sindh.

Smt. Paravati Venkatesh, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Mumbai, also seconded the view point that progress in communication media has provided fresh avenues and opportunities for the progress of regional languages. This way, University of Sindh can have regular interaction with Department of Sindhi at University of Mumbai, enabling the propagation of Sindhi language in India.

The Guest of Honour, Dr. L. H. Hiranandani disclosed, that he has willed that his ashes be immersed into river Indus after his demise. He appreciated the efforts of Dr. Baldev Matlani to invite such popular writers from Sindh, on a regular basis since the last ten years, which in turn gives fillip to the education of Sindhi on both sides of the border.

Mr. Nanik Rupani, Chairman, Priyadarshani Academy, informed the audience, that he has been distributing prizes since many years to encourage Sindhi writers. He complimented Dr, Vijay Khole and & Dr. Baldev Matlani on the choice of appropriate topics and agreed with other speakers that the proper use of media can certainly help in the progress of our language. He also opined that Sindhis should have one world class Sindhi newspaper, which can unite the Sindhis of the world.

The Chairman of Sahyog Foundation, Mr. Ram Jawhrani, informed the audience that he has been distributing Narain Shyam Award to unite the Sindhis of Sindh and India. He further said, that the efforts put in by Dr. Baldev Matlani to provide a platform to writers of Sindh and Hind, has resulted in the progress of Sindhi language and research.

Well known Bollywood producer, Mr. Pahlaj Nihalani agreed with others that with the help of media like newspapers, radio & T.V., the language can be infused with fresh blood. He announced his intent to produce a Sindhi film, which will go on the floors within a short span of time.

After the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Murlidhar K Jetley presented his paper, titled 'Media and Sindhi Language'. The session was presided by noted poet, Krishin Rahi. He gave many examples of the present day Sindhi spoken by Pakistanis and Indians, which prompted the audience to discuss their respective merits. Prominent among the speakers were Prem Tolani, Prem Matlani and Hari Motwani. Finally, Krishin Rahi clarified all issues in his presidential address.

Later Dr. Baldev Matlani presented his paper, titled 'Media & Sindhi Cultural Awakening'. It contained many informative and technical points, which were discussed extensively by the audience. Mr. Prem Tolani, Maya Rahi and Jairam Rupani were noteworthy speakers on the issue. The session was presided by Dr. Dayal Asha.

The last session was presided by senior writer, Mr. Kirat Babani, when the esteemed guest Mr. Mohd. Ali Kazi & Mr. Naz Sahito presented their papers, titled 'Impact of Sindhi Media on Sindhi Society' and 'Impact of Media on Sindhi Literature' respectively. Both the papers were quite exhaustive and were a treasurehouse of information. Its finer points were discussed by Mr. Hari Motwani, Prem Tolani, Jairam Rupani and Dr, Murlidhar Jetley. Mr. Kirat Babani in his presidential address, analysed   both papers extensively.

Other dignitaries, who graced the occasion  included Prin. Nanik Shivdasani, Prin. J. K. Bhambhani, Prin. Govind Shahani, Prin. Bhawan Wadhwani, Neeta Nihalani, S. P. Menghani, Ghanshyam Vaswani, Anila Sunder, Arun Babani, Laxman Chandwani,  Meera Gyanani, Kajal Ramchandani, Ram Lalchandani  and Devidas Ratanpal etc.

To conclude the seminar, Dr. Manohar Matlani, conveyed his gratitude to the visiting guests, dignitaries and the audience, and expressed the hope that every one would do his bit to work for the progress and preservation of Sindhi language and literature.