Indus identity of Sindhis: Indian authors- DAWN
By Iqbal Khwaja
THATTA, Nov 25: Indian TV producer, playwright and writer Jetho Lalwani and poet and research scholar Hero Thakur have said that Sindh is not merely a name of an area confined within predefined territorial limits but it refers to Indus Civilisation and its people identify themselves with the River Indus.
They were speaking at a reception-cum-dinner given in their honour by the Sindh Tourism and Culture Department at Keenjhar Lake on Monday.
They said that irrespective of the part of the world they lived all the people speaking Sindhi language and their ancestral relevance to the river were recognised as Sindhis. They said that hundreds of thousands of people belonging to different castes and creeds lived along the Ganges and Jamuna rivers in India but none of them identified themselves with rivers such as “Gangoo” or “Jamunoo”.
The guests who were accorded rousing reception by Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals termed partition of subcontinent a tragedy, which had forced the sons of soil to bear its brunt.
They said that those who were compelled to leave the motherland had after a great struggle succeeded in getting Sindhi language officially recognized by Indian government in 1967. They said that wherever Sindhis were serving they always remained true and loyal to their motherland.
Jetho Lalwani said that Sindhi Hindus in India organised Sindhu Darshan Mela regularly at the descending site of the River Indus in Kashmir in order to keep the new generation informed about their past. Both the guests expressed confidence about future of Sindh.
Sindh Minister for Culture and Tourism Sassui Palijo said that one’s love for the land had always proved to be stronger than the love for a beloved and this reality had made itself widely felt after the partition.
She regretted that Indian intellectuals and writers frequently poured into the Punjab without any obstruction but Indian Sindhis visits to Sindh and vice versa had always been obstructed under the pretext of security concerns.
When Ms Benazir Bhutto met Rajiv Gandhi in India it was called a security risk whereas Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf’s visit was welcomed by all, she remarked.
She said that bureaucracy was the real obstruction to bringing people of both the countries closer. Indian Sindhis had created a mini-Sindh in India, she said.
She said that time was ripe for creating an atmosphere of brotherhood among nations.
She said that she felt proud to announce that President Asif Ali Zardari had handed over the Archaeology Department to provincial government. Her ministry would take steps to improve culture and heritage with the help of suggestions and recommendations from intellectuals, writers and poets, she said.
Agha Salem, Qamar Shahbaz, Nasir Mirza, Rochi Ram, Dr Fehmida Hussain, Taj Joyo, Dr Nawaz Ali Shouq among others also spoke at the reception. Allah Dino Khaskheli and other singers enthralled participants through nationalist songs.