(On his second anniversary being observed in Hyderabad)
Mohammad Hussain Panwhar (known as M.H. Panwhar) was born in 1925 in small village of Dadu district. He died two years ago in April 2007. By profession he was a Mechanical engineer but beside his job he had a deep interest in history of Sindh, its people, climate, archeology, agriculture, irrigation, water and anthropology. He is remembered for his outstanding and unmatching contribution in areas which were hardly explored prior to him.
Late Panhwar saheb was a very hard working men, despite retiring at age of 60, he did not stop working, he established small office in his residence in Clifton, hired staff and continued to research work. His innovative work in agriculture remains unmatched, the works that he and his wife jointly produced I doubt even a agricultural university produced.
A man who loved and lived with books, in his personal library he had 63,000 thousand books, which he during his life had donated to ‘M.H. Panhwar Trust’ that he along with his Scientist wife Farzana Panhwar established. Both donated their libraries, assets and agricultural form to the Trust. It is heartening to see his family now furthering his life’s dreams and planning to establish a ‘M.H. Panhwar Research Chair’ at University of Sindh, at Jamshoro, to be inaugurated soon.
Though government of Pakistan awarded him SITARA- E-IMTIAZ by the PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN, in 1992 for outstanding work in ENGINEERING and AGRICULTURE but we as people are indebted, the right way to pay tribute him is to further the uncompleted works that he left. To promote research in agriculture, history and archeology, I recall his address at Seminar on ‘Exploring Fort of Rani Kot’ where he complained that technological tools could be hire and used to establish the origin of this fort, which has not been done yet, thus research papers and material regarding fort of Rani Kot heavily relies on speculation. Arbab Rahim’s previous government probably did that a good work by organizing a seminar on Rani Kot at the spot, but since then what has been done in follow up, hardly anyone knows. Cultural department can take up the research and realize the dream of late M.H. Panwhar.
Late Panwhar’s autobiography, which is to be inaugurated on his second anniversary, is a beautiful addition in Sindhi literature and greatly contributes in analyzing social history of Sindh during British period from a progressive and scientific perspective. He was interested in everything which was concerned with human beings. In his writings he has rejected religious bigotry, promoted reason based understanding of complex human relationships. He writes in his autobiography that “he hated those people who treated women with meanness” he was against all forms of exploitation.
In modern history of Sindh when reawakening movement started in pre-partition period M.H. Panhwar sahb searched for historical identify of Sindh, after receiving a degree in Anthropology in 1950s he collected source material on history of Sindh, and later in 1970s published a book in two volumes. He emerged as a Sindhologist and played active role in strengthening scope and role of Institute of Sindhology, established in Jamshoro.
Panhwar saheb, no doubt, continues to be source of knowledge and inspiration to new generation, we believe establishing a Research Chair, dedicated to his work, would prove to be an unusual seat of learning and research.