Volume - 7 : Issue - 1

Published : Jan. - Mar. 2008

Group : Personalities


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(13 Jan 1936 – 28 Jan 2008)

Prominent Sindhi Scholar – cum – Writer

Dr. Jotwani was very close to the Sindhi community in India, Sindh and abroad

Prominent Sindhi scholar-cum-writer Padmashri Dr. Motilal Jotwani, 72, passed away on 28 Jan 2008 in Pune, due to heart failure and prolonged illness. He is survived by his wife, Mrs Raj Jotwani and two sons.

A jewel of Sindhi community, Dr. Jotwani, a poet, fiction writer, was considered as one of the great research scholars of Sindhi language in India and abroad. He was recipient of many national and international awards for his literary works including Padmashri in 2003.  He was also awarded with Delhi Hindi Academy Kriti Puraskar, 1988, Sahitya Academy Award, Sindhu Ratan, Shah Abdul Latif Award by the Culture and Tourism Department of Government of Sindh for his work on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, the famous Sufi poet of Sindh.

Born in Rohri, Pakistan in 1936, at the age of 11 years Dr. Jotwani left Pakistan alongwith his family in 1947 during the partition.  After leaving Pakistan, his family settled in Delhi, where he was appointed lecturer in Deshbandhu College, Delhi University and achieved distinctions in Sindhi literature and research work.  Even after partition and three wars with Pakistan, he remained spiritually attached with his native land Sindh and made Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai his main subject of writings. He also did his PhD on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai.

Dr. Jotwani was visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions (USA) 1979-1980 and Member Secretary, Sindhi Academy, Govt of India. As Member Secretary, Sindhi Academy, Dr. Jotwani under the guidance of Shri. K.R. Malkani lovingly laboured and completed book on 'Gandhiji on Sindh and the Sindhis' (1998).  True Gandhian, Dr. Jotwani believed Gandhian ideology and practiced it in his life which inspired him to complete the task assigned to him by late Shri Jairamdas Doulatram through Shri. K. N. Vaswani.

Dr. Jotwani wrote about 60 books in English, Hindi and Sindhi languages. Among his well received books in English, Hindi and Sindhi, were: Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai-his life and work (1972), Pratinidhi Rachnayen (collection of Hindi short stories on working women, social and family issues) (1996), Sufis of Sindh (1986,1996), Sindhis  Through Centuries (2006) and Dictionary of Sindhi Literature (1996), Anaasir jee Saazish (1968), Sand'andhani je Sarakuni te (1982), Pursh ain Prakriti (1997), Collections of Poems; Parampaaraa-heen (1970), Kotha (1985), Sunjaanap jo Sankat (1992) and Naen Sire Khan (1998).  He had also compiled Sindhi short-stories composed by the various Sindhi writers on the partition.

After 59 years, he alongwith his wife, Mrs Raj Jotwani, visited Sindh, Pakistan in Mar 2006 on the invitation of the Sindh Culture Department during the annual Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. He toured major parts of Sindh, Pakistan including Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana, where he met poets, writers and intellectuals.

Sindhishaan had the benefit of Dr. Motilal Jotwani's association by way of his regular contribution of articles and since volume-6 issue-1 a regular column 'In My Study'.