Open letter to Sindhis Worldwide
Fellow Sindhi brethren and Sisters, From the time Hindu Sindhis our predecessors were driven away from their homeland due to violence and unbearable conditions that prevailed during the partition, a lot has transpired in our Sindhi society. We have strayed way!
One of the most significant losses which we the so called ‘Vilayti Sindhis’ have incurred is our culture, our language- our mother tongue being its quintessence. Awareness is now emerging to the fact that our language hangs at the perilous precipice from where it is poised to leap into the chasm of oblivion.
Our language is dying and still there is not much awareness and or interest in securing our culture from fading away. Our mother is tongue is dying a slow death and there are people who are gladly announcing its demise without any remorse or retribution.
Right in front of our eyes our language has been devoured by our negligence and not finding enough time from cocktails and parties and card games. Our penchant for amassing money and passion for indulgences and fanfare are reaching the peaks of comparison and competitiveness un-abetted resulting in a complacent attitude towards our Sindhi culture.
So the big question is “If Sindhi is dying then what kind of corpse are we going to bequest to the future generations?
To sum up the current scenario, we the Vilayti Sindhis have become a crystallized mix of the old generation (55 age and above), the middle generation (age 25- 55) and the younger (age 5 and above) generation.
The current scenario in illustrative terms is as follows: The older generation, carry memories and sentiments of Sindh and the Sindhi culture. Many like to revel in such memories and make attempts to recreate memorable events, functions, song, melodies, read Sindhi papers etc in rapture. In this way they feel that they are doing justice to their being a Sindhi.
The middle generation all born after the partition of 1947 carry no sentiments for Sindh and having grown up with English as their mainstream language don’t feel the need to learn Sindhi at this time of their lives. No tangible attempts are made to speak Sindhi at home or find means to keep the language going or to salvage whatever is left in the lives of this generation. To speak Sindhi with each almost seems a proletariat convention.
The new generation cannot understand head or tail of Sindhi and still have not woken up to the question of identity crisis that looms ahead in their lifetime. The currents of Bollywood seem to have enveloped the Sindhi culture by Hindi culture and have come to regard Hindi as their mother tongue. Hindi language undoubtedly is our national language but Sindhi is beyond doubt now or in the future our mother tongue.
There is an old axiom that “some things are taught and some things are caught”. What then is caught by the new generation is the responsibility of the middle generation and what is passed on to the middle generation is the intense obligation of the older generation. Clearly this transfer of relevant information is not taking place; some are trying, some have given up in frustration, and some people like myself, “the hopefuls” are working towards this cause and simply praying for that one idea to strike and take its roots in the mind of the Sindhis.
Do we want Sindhi genes, Sindhi culture, Sindhi dharma, Sindhi language to die in front of our eyes or should we stand upright to arrest its decline to revive and make our forefathers proud and compensated for all the sorrows and sacrifices made by them so that we could live an enriched life?
For the first time we have the opportunity to gather together in one spirit for one call, one cause and one commitment and under one banner that come what may we the Sindhi will all stand arm in arm as brothers irrespective of the geographical distances.
The battle to salvage Sindhi first and then teach the children language and script will be arduous but we will succeed if each one takes out the sword from the scabbard and fight for this unity and prevent our children from being vanquished into the wilderness of obscurity, in cultural chaos and an unparalleled-severe identity crisis.
Protocol to perpetuate our mother tongue:
1) Sing Sindhi Bhajans at Satangs
2) Sindhi to be spoken at homes
3) Arrange picnics or gatherings with children.
4) Arrange Sindhi or Sindhlish plays on a regular basis at homes or halls.
5) Associations to send circulars with Sindhi News and to include famous Sindhi idioms (pahakas).
6) All associations to have Sindhi website for sale or propagations and connecting to all Sindhi websites.
7) On Jhulelal festivities get modern Singers and or Sindhi Rock bands as well to keep up with the times.
8) Introduce Romanized Sindhi to the children to salvage spoken Sindhi.
9) Arrange Tutors from Adipur or India to teach Sindhi to children or participate in existing Sindhi tutorials.
10) Give credence to Sindhi artists and encourage competitions amongst children.
11) Co-operate with other Sindhi organizations for promotion of Sindhi culture.
Dayal N Harjani aka Daduzen 25th August – Janmashti Day