LONDON, DECEMBER 2, 2009. World Sindhi Congress expressed its full support and intended participation in “Sindhi Topi and Ajrak Day” (Sindhi Cap and Scarf Wearing Day) being celebrated all over the world on December 6th, 2009. International cultural get-togethers are already planned in London, Manchester, Bristol and Scotland as well as in New York.
Sindh, currently within the geo-political boundaries of Pakistan and homeland to 35 million Sindhi people, has an aboundingly rich culture, heritage and language dating back thousands of years. Since its inclusion in Pakistan, six decades ago, the indigenous people of Sindh have suffered systematic and institutionalized marginalization of their language and culture.
The situation is even more dire in Karachi and Hyderabad, two big metropolis of Sindh – where Sindhi schools have been forcibly closed down by the past military government and its civilian ally, the .. party, which represents the urban Urdu speaking population. Sindhi is the official language of the province and is still the language spoken by the majority, but its role in government and education has been intentionally diminished. The systematic and deliberate suppression of the Sufi heritage in Sindh .. it is also a direct violation of human rights by threatening the legacy and identity of Sindhis.
“Sindhi people, particularly the educated, urban middle class need to show their support by participating in this celebration” said Dr Lakhu Luhano, Secretary General of WSC. “December 6th marks the celebration of Sindhi culture icons and highlights the importance of respecting one’s own culture,” said Dr. Haleem Bhatti, chairman of WSC. “By respecting oneself, one appreciates the other cultures too”, he further said.
WSC also demanded from the Sindh government that all the Sindhi medium schools in Hyderabad and Karachi once forcibly closed be reopened. Funds should be provided to support education and promotion of Sindhi language and preservation of Sindhi archaeological places and promote the Sindhi arts and handicraft. Promotion of Sindhi culture is a promotion of Universalism, which is tremendously needed in this hostile environment of terrorism and militarism,” Said Dr. Luhano.