Category Archives: Sindhi Media

Software to melt India, Pakistan’s Sindhi script barrier

By , TNN

PATIALA: Bringing down the script barrier between 25 lakh Sindhis in India and four crore in Pakistan, a first-of-its-kind software will enable Sindhis settled on both sides of the border to read each others’ literature despite the different scripts.

The yet-to-be-launched software has been developed by Punjabi researchers in Punjabi University, Patiala and Manchester University, England.

Despite having the same language, Sindhis residing on both sides of the border could not read each others’ literature since Pakistani Sindhis use Perso-Arabic script and those in India follow the Devnagari script.

The software, which is in trial stage, will remove this barrier as it will transliterate Perso-Arabic Sindhi into Devnagari and vice-versa.

“Like Punjabis, Sindhis also follow two scripts. Hence, the immense need to remove this language barrier. We had begun work on this project in March, last year. A Punjabi scholar form Manchester University is also collaborating on this,” said Dr GS Lehal of Punjabi University, coordinator of the project.

Dr Lehal said that the software will be equipped with over one crore Sindhi words in Perso-Arabic script and around 50 lakh Sindhi words in Devnagari script.

“Word bank of Sindhi words in Devnagari is smaller as the volume of Sindhi literature published in India is much less than that in Perso-Arabic. We found soft copies of numerous Sindhi magazines, newspapers and books published in Perso-Arabic script. These words were converted into data bank. Besides, there is dictionary of over 25,000 basic words, which is part of the word pool,” he added.

He said that phase I of the project is complete, which means that software has the capacity to transliterate with 90% accuracy. “We will launch it after we achieved accuracy rate of 95%, which likely in the next few months”, he added.

TRANSITION

Till 1850s, Sindhi was written in several scripts including Perso-Arabic and Gurmukhi by people of different religions residing in Sindh province of Pakistan. “However, in 1850s, a special committee constituted by British mandated use of Perso-Arabic script to write Sindhi, said Dr Lehal. The practice continued till 1947, when large number of Sindhis migrated to India and settled in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Shortly after Partition, Indian Sindhis adopted the Devnagari script.

Courtesy: The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Software-to-melt-India-Pakistans-Sindhi-script-barrier/articleshow/41556896.cms

Analysis of gruesome murders of Secular Sindhi Nationalist Leaders and biggest-ever peaceful rally of Freedom March by the people of Sindh

Must watch analysis of gruesome murders of liberal and secular Sindhi Nationalist leaders of Maqsood Qureshi and Saleman Wadhu and the biggest-ever, 5 million peaceful rally of Freedom march by the people of Sindh. The language of the video clip is in Sindhi language. Discussion by Naseer Memon and Moeson Baber.

Courtesy: Sindhi Tv channel Aawaz Tv

Sindhi version of US Consulate website, Karachi

Brad Sherman
Hon. Congressman Brad Sherman

Hon. Congressman Brad Sherman, Hon. Congressman Adam Schiff, and Hon. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney have signed the letter to have the State Department produce a version of the website of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi in the Sindhi language. They have sent the letter below to Honorable Secretary John Kerry”:

Dear Secretary Kerry,

We write to respectfully request that the State Department produce a version of the website of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi in the Sindhi language. This modest goal has the potential for enormous benefits for the United States’ diplomacy efforts in Pakistan. The response from the Sindhi population, including Sindhi journalists and intellectuals, to previous U.S. outreach in their language has been extraordinarily positive.

The Sindh province is home to tens of millions of speakers of Sindhi, which is spoken by at least 12% of Pakistanis and has more native speakers than the national language of Urdu. The translated website will serve as an important source of news and understanding of U.S. policy in Pakistan for a large segment of the population.

It is in America’s national interests to reach out to this historically marginalized segment of the Pakistani population in their native language. Sindhis in Pakistan help advance U.S. interests in the region by opposing extremism and violence. Many Sindhis, highly influenced by rich Sufi traditions, share our core values and seek our help in a more secure and safe world. We strongly support the translation of the U.S. Consulate website in Karachi to Sindhi.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, SAPAC and Social Media

Twin Islands Dingi and Bhandar (Bodha Island) are the property of Sindh

Another hitch pops up for foreign investment

By: Ramzan Chandio

SINHD: KARACHI – The controversy over the ownership of twin islands near Karachi has been resurfaced between the Sindh government and Port Qasim Authority, which allotted islands to the UAE-based company for establishment of Island city here.

The Bahria Foundation and UAE firm inked an agreement of US$20 billion to establish Island City on twin islands-Bundal and Buddo in sea near Karachi.

The controversy over the ownership arose during the PML-Q-led Sindh government of former Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Port and Shipping Ministry of federal government in 2006, when federal government unilaterally allotted the islands to the Emmar Company of UAE.

Then opposition and present ruling party PPP, nationalist parties and fishermen had launched a protest campaign against the allotment of twin islands to the foreign firm, which compelled the foreign company from taking over the control of islands.

However, the issue resurfaced between the Sindh government and Port Qasim Authority when foreign company and local company Bahria Foundation of Malik Riaz inked a deal just two days ago. Sources said that Sindh Board of Revenue has moved a summary to the Sindh chief minister, urging him to take a position not to allow the allotment of islands to the foreign company as federal government sealed a deal with the foreign company even without asking from the Sindh government, which is the owner of the islands. Sources said that the Sindh government had taken notice of the recent deal between the foreign firm and Bahria Foundation and decided to take up issue with the federal government.

The Sindh PPP ministers led by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah met with President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday evening at Bilawal House and urged the President to resolve the matter.

It may be recalled that a committee comprising of then Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan from federal government and Sindh law secretary Ghulam Nabi Shah and officials of Board of Revenue Department held meetings in 2006 as both sides remained stick to their views and issue could not be resolved. The Board of Revenue Department through their documentary proof has been argued that the area of sea was given to the Port Qasim Authority during the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for operational purpose but ownership rights were reserved with the Sindh government. The PPP-led Sindh government while pleading same arguments raised the issue with President Asif Ali Zardari.

Meanwhile, the PPP ministers and MPAs have shown strong reaction over the sudden deal on the Sindh government’s property of twin islands-Bundal and Buddo near Karachi.

Continue reading Twin Islands Dingi and Bhandar (Bodha Island) are the property of Sindh

Arbab declares twin islands property of Sindh.

Business Recorder | February 28, 2007 – After consulting with legal advisers, Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim on Tuesday declared that 300 islands, including Dingi and Bhandar (Bodha Island) were the property of Sindh. “The national as well international laws support our contention, therefore, I declare ownership of Sindh over these Islands,” he said.

Talking to electronic-media after holding meeting with former federal law minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, advocate; former Sindh law minister Justice E. Abdul Qadir Halepota, and Dr Amjad Bukhari at the Chief Minister House here, Arbab Rahim said: “Such issues used to develop between the center and the provinces, therefore, there was no need to approach the court, however, if required, wewould certainly do it.”

“We have consulted with our legal experts and they have unanimously opined that all islands seen above the sea level were provincial property while those submerged in the sea were federal property,” the chief minister said.

Continue reading Arbab declares twin islands property of Sindh.

Hon. Brad Sherman on the Sindhi Language

At 49:45 (49 minutes and 45 seconds in) you can see and hear our esteemed US Congressman Brad Sherman mention the Sindhi Language and advocate for Sindhi VOA Programming in today’s Subcommittee Hearing!

More details » Foreign Affairs
http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/rebalance-asia-why-south-asia-matters-part-i

Another February 24

By Amar Sindu

Today is February 24. Last year, on the same date, Rinkle was picked up from her house. Her house was left in a state that suggested that a burglary had occurred and valuables were stolen. Her dupatta and her chappals were left lying on the doorstep.

When she was first presented in a court in Mirpur Mathelo, she requested to be returned to her parents. The court, instead of listening to her, replied that she ‘was confused’ and therefore, should spend time reconsidering the predicament and handed her back to her abductors. It was as if the court was confused itself.

She was presented in court again on Feb 28, where, in her statement, she recited the kalma and became ‘Faryal Bibi’ from Rinkle. The entire process took less than 10 minutes. Her conversion to Islam was greeted by aerial firing by her captors who had brought her to court surrounded by armed guards. This was a new victory for them.

‘Faryal Bibi’ was then taken to Dargah Bharchondi’s seat-bearer and PPP’s Mian Mithu, while the gunfire echoed across the town. She was his guest and was taken to and from court surrounded by his guards. Actually, this victory was not the only feather in the dargah’s cap. The dargah’s deeds, ranging from the Manzalgah mosque that became famous for its role during the pre-Partition communal riots in Sindh to the assassination of the singer Bhagat Kunwar Ram of the Hindu faith, were oft repeated. The dargah commonly converted non-Muslims to Islam before the Partition and this exercise continues steadily today.

Continue reading Another February 24

Canada – Calgary Sindhi Community celebrated Shah Latif Day

By: Mashhood Qazi, Calgary

Calgarian Sindhis met over lunch last month where a vast majority of friends attended the program along with their families. We celebrated this program with a theme of ‘Latif Day’ and encouraged our youth to speak about sufi poet Shah. The objective was to have our kids understand Sindh’s heritage and the life of our great poet of peace, Shah Latif. This gesture was very well praised by all the attendees. The beauty of this program was the enthusiastic attendees who spared no single minute but to get involved in our traditional Katchehri.

Courtesy: SANA list + Sindhi e-lists, February 14, 2013.

PPP Government’s 5-Year bad performance and National Interests of Sindh

Pakistan Peoples’ Party’s “Reconciliatory” Provincial Government’s Five-Year bad performance and National Interests of Sindh

SWTF will launch mass movement if SPLGA-2012 is not annulled before next elections!

Respected Journalists!

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) is generally considered as the party mainly belonging to Sindh and Sindhis, which is enjoying the power of being the largest parliamentary party on the basis of Sinshi vote. However, unfortunately instead of safeguarding Sindh’s rights, it has caused fatal damage to the integrity, economy, human development and developmental infrastructure of Sindh through bad governance, corruption, nepotism and misuse of people’s mandate. PPP Government’s notorious decision of Sindh Peoples’ Local Government Act (SPLGA) 2012 has caused an unprecedented damage to ethnic harmony and social cohesiveness of society of Sindh.

We, the intellectuals, writers, poets, journalists, civil society activists and concerned citizens strongly believe that PPP’s sitting government has betrayed the democratic mandate of majority of people of Sindh.

Continue reading PPP Government’s 5-Year bad performance and National Interests of Sindh

50 Most Widely Spoken Languages – Sindhi language was also on International RADAR screen even in 1996

In 1996, Sindhi was the 50th widely spoken language in the world. Very useful and impressive information. More than 20 million persons spoke Sindhi in 1996. It is about the same number of people as those who spoke Dutch, Thai and Yoruba. Sindhi language deserves to be preserved and developed. Just as Sindhi people deserve to be more developed and more prosperous.

More » http://www.photius.com/rankings/languages2.html

via – Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 28 Jan 2013.

India: ‘Sindhi should be included as subject in competitive exams’

India: Chhattisgarh: Thanking Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh for according him with status equivalent to a State Minister, Chhattisgarh Sindhi Sahitya Academy President Murlidhar Makhija has requested the State Government to include Sindhi language as one of the subjects for the competitive examinations including Public Service Commission (PSC).

Addressing a press conference at Raipur Press Club, Makhija informed that Sindhi language has been approved by the constitution of India in schedule 8 and it allows the candidate to compete for IAS, PCS and other exams in Sindhi as well. Therefore, he proposed the Chief Minister to include the subject in syllabus of PSC exams too. He also requested State Education Minister Brijmohan Agrawal to include Sindhi as an optional paper in Chhattisgarh Madhyamik Shiksha Mandal so that students would have an opportunity to learn the language.During the conference, Makhija expressed his concern for the great personalities from Sindhi society like Vir Shaheed Hemu Kaladi, Sant Kavar Ram, Sai Jhulelal and Maharaja Dahirsen.

Courtesy: Daily Pioneer
http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/raipur/123176-sindhi-should-be-included-as-subject-in-competitive-exams-.html

In solidarity: ‘There are conspiracies to make Hindus leave Pakistan’

SUKKUR: At a time when forced conversions are happening all-too frequently, hundreds of political and social activists in Ghotki expressed their solidarity with Hindus by organising a rally on Sunday.

Led by the chairman of the Sindh National Movement, Ali Hassan Chandio, and chief of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Dr Niaz Kalani, hundreds of people carrying placards and banners marched through the main streets of Ghotki. They shouted slogans against the establishment, sardars and waderas. The protesters made their way to Main Chowk, where a two-hour sit-in was staged.

Chandio vociferously condemned atrocities against Hindus and placed the blame squarely on the influential people of Sindh. “The kidnapping of Hindus is on the rise because the general elections are just around the corner and sardars as well as waderas need money to run their campaigns,” he alleged. Chandio also voiced his anger at the kidnapping and forced conversions of Hindu girls. According to him, such incidents are part of a conspiracy to make Hindus flee from Pakistan.

“The establishment was scared of the brave sons of this soil, including Bashir Khan Qureshi and Muzaffar Bhutto. That is why they eliminated these people,” added Chandio. He contended that Sindh is producing natural gas which is mostly consumed by Punjab. “The industries of Punjab will come to a grinding halt if we stop the gas supply from Sindh,” he said. “Sindhis constitute a brave nation and nobody will stop them when they unite.” He cited the shelving of the Kalabagh dam project as an example of the power wielded by Sindhis when they came together.

“We are all Sindhis regardless of our caste or religion,” Dr Niaz Kalani told the protesters. “Ghotki is blessed with natural resources and there are many multinational companies here. It is sad that Sindhis are denied jobs in these organisations, but all others are more than welcome,” he said. Dr Kalani urged Sindhis to join hands and struggle for their rights.

The president of the Sindh Hari Committee, Mandhal Shar, expressed his anxiety over the deteriorating law and order situation in Sindh. “The police themselves are kidnapping Sindhis, especially Hindus, for ransom,” he said. “The province is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, but its people are leading miserable life. They are being treated like strangers in Karachi and denied jobs in Thar, which is enriched with coal.”

Continue reading In solidarity: ‘There are conspiracies to make Hindus leave Pakistan’

Ayaz Latif Palijo comes for Lyari rally despite govt. ban

SINDH – KARACHI: Awami Tehreek (AT) leader Ayaz Latif Palijo has entered in Lyari for the party’s scheduled ‘Mohbat Sindh Rally’ despite the Sindh government’s ban over public gatherings in the province, SAMAA reported on Sunday.

Palijo managed to come at the venue of the rally. He came by a bus.

On the other hand, the government has closed the road with containers leading towards the rally venue.

Yesterday, Sindh Home Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Palijo ….

Read more » SAMAA

Inauguration of Sindhi Magazine “Ameeq” in Canada

On 13th May, 2012, Paar Publication Canada formally launched its quarterly Sindhi / English Magazine in an impressive ceremony held in the city of Mississauga Canada.

Participants including ladies belonging to Sindhi & Non-Sindhi communities participated in the ceremony. Addressing to the audience the Editor of the Magazine K.M. Kolachi and sub-editor Dileep Ratnani expressed their pleasure that they have introduced Sindhi Publication/ Magazine in the plural and multi-cultural society of Canada. They also, requested the audience to come forward and join hand-in-hand to serve the language and Sindhi people through their articles containing their experience, knowledge, research etc,.

Distinguished guests who addressed the gathering also included Syed Akbar Adil Shah, Abdul Razzaq Khsuhk, President SANA CANADA GTA chapter, Syed Shahnawaz Shah, Rafiq Memon, Barrister Abdul Hameed Bhashaani Khan, and others who appreciated the initiative by the Paar Publication & expressed their appreciation for the hard work, dedication, and determination of the editor and complete support for the magazine.

Participants enjoyed the session, with poetry, jokes, stories and later few songs were also sung by some of the participants followed by Dinner and meeting and mingling.

I.A. Rehman on forced conversions – THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms

Unwelcome conversions

By I.A Rehman

THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity for several weeks. Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms.

The issue of Hindu girls’ conversion to Islam and marriage to Muslim men, both transitions alleged to be forced and often after abduction, is not new. Indeed, it has always been high on the Hindu citizens’ list of complaints. What is new is the scale and intensity of their reaction and the large number of their appeals for justice. It seems three recent cases involving Rinkal Kumari, Lata Kumari and Aasha Kumari have unleashed the Hindu community’s long-brewing fears of loss of its religious and cultural identities.

The three cases are not identical in detail. Dr Murli Lal Karira, who belonged to Jacobabad and practised medicine at Suhbatpur, in Jafarabad district, was reported to have been abducted while travelling homeward. Some days later, his niece, Aasha Kumari Karira, who was taking lessons at a Jacobabad beauty parlour, did not return home after her work hours, and was believed to have been abducted. Her whereabouts are unknown.

Dr Lata Kumari, the 29-year old daughter of a medical practitioner from Jacobabad and employed at one of Karachi’s premier medical institutions, was reported to have married a young Muslim man after converting to Islam. Her father alleged that her conversion and marriage took place under coercion after abduction and he moved the high court for redress. The lady denies these allegations. She came to the court when her husband applied for bail before arrest.

The brother of Rinkal Kumari (18) says she was abducted by unknown persons, allegedly backed by an influential MNA. Her family had difficulty in filing an FIR. The next day she and the young man she was said to have married after conversion to Islam were presented in a court at Mirpur Mathelo, while her family had been told to go to a court in Ghotki. The family was not allowed to see her. It is said that she told the magistrate she wanted to go with her family but the latter reportedly expressed his inability to allow a Muslim girl to go to a non-Muslim house and sent her to a Darul Aman. Subsequently she is said to have modified her statement.

One suspects that these cases have provoked an unusual wave of protest because unlike the poor and voiceless victims in earlier cases of forced conversion-marriage affairs, the women now involved come of socially noteworthy families who have some access to electronic means of communication.

Several non-Muslim citizens have argued that these women have been, or are being, forced to accept conversion and marriage under threats of dire consequences to their families if they refuse to surrender.

The state of the common Hindu citizens’ mind is reflected in the e-mail Rinkal Kumari’s brother addressed to the chief justice of Pakistan (copied to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan). He says that Rinkal’s abductors have told her that “if she wants to save her parents’ life she should choose to convert [change] her religion and marry [an] unknown guy…. And yesterday [the] judge ordered that [the] girl wants to change her religion and want[s] to marry …Naveed…. [The] judge even didn’t allow [the] girl to meet … her parents or anybody from her family. There were 500-700 people in [the] courtroom all with guns and there was nobody from [the] girl’s family…. Now hundred[s] of people will take advantage of [the] 18-year-old girl and after that they will sell her to somebody”. Nobody with a reasonably sound heart will fail to be moved by the feelings of anguish and despair oozing from these words.

These cases raise several questions of a fundamental nature.

Continue reading I.A. Rehman on forced conversions – THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms

Postcard Campagin for 24 Hours Sindhi channel – Sindhis of India Demand a DD SINDHI channel from the govt. of India

Promoting Sindhi through Media , Demanding our Right, Send this letter to Prime Minister of India.

Post Card Campaign — a unique campaign for 24×7 Sindhi DD channel is launched and Sindhi-speaking people across the globe would send a post card to Prime Minister of India Demanding our Right. Keep postcards ready on Cheti Chand (Sindhi Thanks giving day), Get signatures from Sindhi and post to PM of India.

We Sindhis are a gifted community, always addicted to success in everything we do. This time let us put all our might to save our Sindhi language and culture. The language of the video clip is Sindhi.

Courtesy: Sindhi Sangat » Asha Chand

Kidnapping of Rinkle Kumari & her forced conversion to Islam under coercive conditions

The Executive council of Sindhi Association of North America Canada Chapter has condemned in strongest terms the kidnapping of a Sindhi Hindu girl Rinkle Kumari and her forced conversion to Islam under coercive conditions in Mirpur Mathelo, Sindh, Pakistan.

Sana Canada chapter is of the view that it is well planned act of aggression and intimidation against peace loving Hindus of Sindh to scare them and make them feel un-secure in their own motherland and force them to leave the land of their birth by the religious extremist groups with the help of existing PPP government.

Sana Canada chapter believes that it is a well thought strategy of religious extremist groups on the behest of government in Pakistan to torn a part the fabric of tolerant Sindhi society and promote hatred and break the unity of Sindhis as a nation on religious grounds.

Sana Canada appeals the Prime Minister of Canada, Human rights commission of Canada to help stop these acts of aggressions against Hindus in Sindh and other religious minorities in Pakistan.

Sana Canada also appeals Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motto action in the case of Rinkle Kumari and provide her coercion free environment to decide her future and establish a mechanism where all such kind of kidnappings and forced conversions can be decided by courts in a coercion free environment in the presence and satisfaction of human rights commission of Pakistan.

President

Sana Canada, Chapter

– – – – – – – –

-/-/-/-/-

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For more details » Save Daughter of Sindh → RINKAL KUMARI

International Mother Language Day 21 February

By

It seems the founding fathers of Pakistan never really imagined a place for a Bengali speaking, large Hindu minority province. This is because the TNT demanded a full divorce from all that was Hindu. Such was the force of the ideology, there was even an effort to make Bengali arabicized and de-sanskritized!!

Bengali muslims were at the forefront of the partition movement but giving up Bengali was a bridge too far for them.

In the course of the Pakistani government’s occupation of Bangladesh (is there a better word though there were benighted efforts to improve “East Pakistan” it seemed an occupation stroke colonisation) to “Arabify” & “DeSanskritise” Bangla or Bengali (I don’t know which is appropriate to refer to in the English language I prefer using Persian over Farsi, Gypsy over Romany, Eskimo over can’t remember what oh yes Inuit, etc etc) it inadvertently sparked off a global movement to preserve “mother languages” (the usage of the word mother language reminds of me of the elegant song ….

Read more » Brown Pundits

21st February is an ‘International Mother Language Day’- Sindhi Adabi Sangat will hold a `National Language Conference’ in Islamabad to mark the day and highlight the importance of mother language in history and the culture of people.

Mother Language Day: National Language Conference to be held tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: Sindhi Adabi Sangat (SAS) will hold the `National Language Conference’ tomorrow (Tuesday) to mark International Mother Language Day and highlight the importance of mother language in history and the culture of people.

The national conference is being arranged in collaboration with the National Language Authority (NLA), which will be attended by writers, intellectuals, linguists and leading politicians from across the country.

Talking to APP, SAS Secretary Sarwan Chandio said the national conference was expected to prove a milestone in the promotion of mother language, besides providing an opportunity to intellectuals to sit together and understand each other’s viewpoint.

“The national conference is being arranged for the first time in the history of the country where intellectuals and politicians will highlight the issues related to mother languages,” he added.

Member of the Federal Assembly Nawab Yousaf Talpur will be the chief guest, while the conference will be presided over by Sindhi Adabi Sangat Secretary General Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Phull.

Senators Sabir Baloch and Zahid Khan, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi, Jami Chandio and senior journalist Ejaz Mehar will be the honorary guests.

Writers from across the country, including Saleem Raz, Dr Shah Muhammad Marri, Abdul Rehman Baitab, Wahid Bozidar and Khalid Majeed, will highlight the importance of mother tongue as a national language on the occasion.

Continue reading 21st February is an ‘International Mother Language Day’- Sindhi Adabi Sangat will hold a `National Language Conference’ in Islamabad to mark the day and highlight the importance of mother language in history and the culture of people.

Something fishy going on: Human Rights in Sindh

“In January 1948—about four months after the creation of Pakistan—the federal government of Pakistan sponsored pogroms by refugees against Hindu Sindhis in Karachi, then the shared capital of Sindh and Pakistan. The pogroms resulted in the massacre of over 1200 Sindhis. When the Sindh government attempted to restore public order and return looted property, Pakistan removed the duly elected Sindh government from office. Today, exiled Hindu Sindhis are denied the Right of Return.”

“Of the approximately 30 million Sindhis living in Sindh today, approximately 3 million are Hindus and suffer particularly under Pakistan’s oppressive laws and dis-criminatory practices. Pakistan imposes the death penalty for blasphemy or apostasy.”

“With the connivance of the Pakistani authori-ties, tens of thousands of Sindhis, including a disproportionately large number of Hindu and Christian Sindhis, are held in virtual slavery as bonded laborers.”

“The last census systematically undercounted the number of Sindhis. The census forms in Sindhi were simply printed in insufficient quantities so data could not be collected in many remote villages. In addition, Hindu Sindhis were intimidated by Pakistani authorities who ac-companied the census takers in Sindh.”

“The Pakistani government has designated homes and businesses of Hindu Sindhis in this area as ‘Enemy Evacuee Property’ and seized the legal deeds to their properties.”

“Religious Studies has been made a compulsory subject for Muslims in all government and private schools. The officially mandated textbooks preach a fundamentalist and militant ideology, contravening the indigenous universalist Sufi beliefs of the Sindhis.”

“Pakistan controls all public and private advertising in newspapers through a government body called the Pakistan Information Board. In 2003, the government ordered a cut in Sindhi newspapers’ advertisement ‘quota’ by an additional 50%. Although Sindhi speakers account for about 20% of Pakistan’s population, Sindhi newspapers now receive less than 1% of the total advertising revenue.”

“In 1999, the largest circulation Sindhi monthly magazine Subhu Theendo (‘A New Day will Dawn’) was banned for spreading disaffection against the ‘ideology of Pakistan.’ The magazine focused on sustainable development and environmental protection.”

“A majority of the officials and government employees appointed in Sindh do not speak the Sindhi language. Pakistan refuses to allow the use of Sindhi in University entrance examinations or in job interviews for government employees in Sindh, and severely limits radio and television broadcasts in the language.”

“Pakistan has built several mega-dams and barrages up-stream that have impeded the flow of the Indus (Sindhu) River and its tributaries to Sindh. As a consequence, the floodplains that fed Sindh’s forests are gone, resulting in massive deforestation: less than 20% of the original 600,000 acres of forest land is now being regenerated. ”

“Water no longer flows to the sea; as a consequence, the mangrove forests have experienced a 90% decline—from 2400 square kilometers to 200 square kilometers. With-out protection from the mangrove forests, seawater has encroached—inundating 1.2 million acres of agricultural land and uprooting residents of 159 villages. The once plentiful seafood catch has been drastically reduced. The net result is that throughout Sindh, poverty levels, malnutrition and disease now match those in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

“The Sindhi national poet, Shaikh Ayaz (d. 1999) was charged with treason—a crime punishable by death—for advocating peace with India.”

Courtesy » Sonething fishy’s going on

Sindhis should rethink their priorities before it is too late!

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

The Sindhi political analysts and thinkers in Sindh continue to provide further insight into thinking of educated and middle class Sindhis who live in Sindh. These should help Sindhi Diaspora to better understand the ground realities in order to chalk out their actions about their supporting role in awakening of Sindhi society. Indeed, only the determined resolve and courageous actions by masses of Sindh would bring about enough changes to thwart the ill designs of internal and external anti-Sindh forces. Yesterday, I have shared my review on Naseer Memon’s article published in Sindhi daily Kawish on August 13, 2011 under the title “PPP’s recent decision to revive Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own manifesto‏”. Today, I am reviewing an article by Zulfiqar Halepoto that was published yesterday (13 August 2011) in Sindhi daily Awami Awaz. I am currently reviewing Jami Chandio’s article “PPP & a New Sindh” that was published in Sindhi daily Ibrat on 13-14th August, 2011. The purpose of these reviews is to provide a compilation of what Sindhis in Sindh so that Diaspora Sindhis can assess the need and formulate their actions in support of Sindh interests.

Zulfiqar Halepoto articulates the need for “paradigm shift” in Sindh where one political party has been looked upon as the only capable force that can protect their interests and Sindh’s integrity. Where once PPP leaders were honored and welcomed in their communities, most Sindhis are angry and hold PPP responsible for many of their problems.

According to Zulfiqar Halepoto, people of Sindh overwhelmingly voted for PPP in 2008 with the following four expectations:

1. The government of Sindh will be formed without the participation of those that had ruled Sindh for the several years in immediate past. During that time, the Sindhi interests suffered the most as the regimes became oblivious of the collective interests of Sindh and focused on only their personal gains. Sindhis expected PPP to adhere to its pledge not to share power with MQM and dissipate impression that in order to have peace and prosperity of the people of Sindh, MQM must be made a part of the government.

2. The PPP government will find the killers of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and bring them to justice.

3. The PPP government will bring about the required constitutional and administrative changes that the dictatorial regime had brought to weaken native Sindhis and allow only one ethnic group to control Sindh’s larger cities.

4. The governance in Sindh that had suffered greatly in the last 12 years under the regimes that violated Sindhi Rights on all fronts will end. Sindh’s government would be an example of an exemplary governance in Pakistan ensuring welfare of all those who live in Sindh.

Unfortunately, the government of PPP has gone even beyond the status quo and has made sufferings of Sindhis much worse. Sindhis often express that they are now lost and wonder who will protect their interests? PPP thinks that Sindh vote bank is in their pocket and they are not afraid of any backlash from their actions that regularize injustices of previous regimes and further compromising on Sindhi Rights. Like the previous regime headed by a Sindh Chief Minister, PPP too has surrendered its power to MQM whose discriminatory policies against all groups of Sindh not only continues unabated but has worsened. There is an increasing feeling among the people of Sindh that PPP has become part of problem and looking at it as a solution provider is a big mistake!? Most Sindhis think it would be far easier to wedge struggle against a dictator and racist political parties without PPP’s presence.

It would seem to me that PPP had been, at minimum, a silent partners of those who do not wish Sindh & Sindhi identity to survive in Pakistan. These forces want Sindhis should leave their mother tongue and centuries old culture of peace & communal harmoney and to adapt the language of minority as their first language.

Sindhis are angry with PPP and with themselves for misplacing their trust and hopes in PPP. Sindhis do not understand why a PPP which won 90 seats in Sindh would forget their voters within a span of less than three years. Sindhis are disappointed that on the pretext of saving their regime at the center, they have been continually ignoring aspirations and hopes of Sindhis. Instead of creating more opportunities for Sindhis, doors for Sindhis continue to shut, particularly in those areas where they are controlled by MQM. People of Sindh can no longer tolerate this situation and a determined movement towards forming a genuine unity of Sindh on the point that “protection of interests of Sindh is their first priority” is fast spreading among Sindhis living in villages, towns, and cities.

President Asif Zardari has played Sindh as “Sindh card” whenever his rule faced a threat from opposition and the Pakistani security establishment. The “Sindhi Topi Day” was also a part of that gimmickry. It is said that most people in Pakistan think that regardless of what happens, Sindhis will continue to support PPP? This myth is now to great extent shattered as people of Sindh are able to see through the politics of exploitation of Sindhis by internal and external forces. Some non-Sindhi Pakistanis are noticing that a change is brewing among Sindh. Sindhis are now condemning the decisions of PPP that are counter to the interests of Sindh. They are also realizing that Sindhis are not against the integrity of Pakistan and that main demand is to secure equitable rights in Pakistan and preserve their identity, culture, and language.

The anger of Sindh is lost on other political parties in Pakistan as most are now taking steps to seek support of Sindhis. Awami National Party, Jamat-e-Islami, and Sunni Tahrik are now supporting Sindhi demand for cancellation of former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, black, repressive, & discriminatory Local Government Ordinance. MQM is staying silent about the demands of Sindhis. On other side, Sindhis have notice support of Pir Pagaro on this issue. However, Sindhis have not forgiven for his pro-Kala Bagh stand and his support of General Musharraf’s policies that hurt the interests of Sindh.

The Sindhi nationalist parties are remain divided. Although most Sindhis respect those nationalist parties for their their stand on the interests of Sindh, some of these political parties are likely to keep themselves away from the upcoming elections. Their divergent views including the separatist leaning of some have kept their voter bank constrained.

Zulfiqar Halepoto urges Sindhis to look at all aspects of this complicated situation, weigh all options before jumping on any bandwagon. Sindhis should think and formulate strategy, long-term plans and be ready to effectively respond to any tactical challenges. One should look at the success of Pakhoons, who have more than one credible options for exercising their vote. Without a fundamental change in the political landscape of Sindh, Sindhis still only have two serious options – Muslim League and PPP. The Sindh chapters of these two parties are dominated by anti-Sindh waderas, who together with MQM and anti-Sindhi business owners will continue to damage the interests of Sindh.

It is imperative that Sindh nationalist parties create a formidable political party or group that will become a credible second alternative for Sindhis. If this is achieved, it will be an important paradigm jump for Sindhis that will likely bring about a positive development for not only Sindh but also for Pakistan.

Courtesy: → Sindh e-lists/ e-groups, August 14, 2011.

We, the Sindhi nation, will never allow our motherland to be divided

Press release: (Aug 11, 2011) We the undersigned Sindhi Diaspora Organizations (SDOs) that represent the most educated, progressive and economically stable section of Sindh Civil Society and who continue to maintain deep and robust socio-economic and political relations with Sindh. We REJECT the recently promulgated Sindh Governor Ordinances aka dictator Musharraf’s repressive & discriminatory ordinance that has been used to deny Sindhis to access Karachi, the Capital of Sindh built by our forefathers!

This thievery , gerrymandering and trickery by the obscure back room dealings between the MQM and the PPP in blatant disrespect of the recent parliamentary decision taken by the Sindh National Assembly.

We the diaspora members of the Sindhi nation, who are forced to live abroad due to lack of opportunities and freedoms in our own resource rich motherland will defy all and any attempts to introduce Military Rule or Civil Government Rule through Ordinances or Armed Threats.

We , the Sindhi nation will never allow our motherland to be divided politically, administratively, geographically or militarily.

Undersinged;

Sindhi Association of North America, SANA

World Sindhi Congress, WSC, UK-USA, Europe

World Sindhi Institute, WSI, USA-Canada,

Sindhi Sangat of Middle East, Dubai

Those Who Reconcile Every Thing For Their Personal Interests, Have Finally truncated Their Motherland

– By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom, Singapore

When the world was still to be born
When Adam was still to receive his form
Then my relationship began
When I heard the Lord’s Voice
A voice sweet and clear
I said “Yes” with all my heart
And Formed a bond with the land (Sindh) I love
When all of us were one, My bond then began.
Sufi (mystic) poet of peace, Shah Abdul Latif

There are Protests and Rallies being organised by caring, concerned, loving and valiant children of Motherland against the threats to mother Sindh, throughout the length and breadth.

My apologies for not being able to attend the Protest Rally. However, in spirit, I shall be there with you all. My full and comprehensive support and prayers shall be there for my kindred folks of my Motherland.

Mother Sindh is wounded – by our own traitors! Capitulation, Surrender and Submission! This is the first step towards the annihilation of Sindh – the Cradle of Civilisation. This is the step towards the extinction of Sindh as a glorious Nation, as cultured citizens of earth and as gregarious people living in Love, Peace and Harmony on the surface of this Planet.

STAND UP and BE COUNTED! Fight against the partitionist forces & threats to the integrity of mother Sindh from barbarians now! Peace-loving, people of Sindh CANNOT tolerate threats to mother Sindh.

In the annals of history every act of treachery, betrayal, and treason, is punishable! What is our duty? Are we going to be a witness to the destruction, and drowning of our Motherland by traitors??????

Are we going to watch and see our Motherland being truncated, tormented and finally annihilated? Are we going to sit on our haunches seeing the extinction of the Cradle of Civilisation, Sindh?

Enough is enough! Time for silly talks is gone! Now, is the time to DELIVER! STAND UP and BE COUNTED! FIRST UNITE!  AND THEN FIGHT AGAINST HATE AND FASCISTS GROUPS. We have to STAND UP against tyranny for Survival!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-groups/ e-lists, August 8, 2011

Sindhi Sangat Seminar – if we all come together, we can make miracles happen!!

Sindhi Sangat Seminar In Mumbai on 30th April

Mumbai: Calling all dedicated Sindhis … All those who want to do something to save their identity… Here is the right opportunity for you… We invest our time & money in so many things – do we treat this important?

We like Hindi and English dramas, dances, music and movies – have we realized such milestones are achieved by Sindhis also in our language but only a handful know about this. Do we realize that our culture is dying out to great extent? Do we know the people behind our rich Sindhi heritage and culture?

A platform to VOICE YOUR ideas Sindhi Sangat invites all young and ‘not so young’ individuals to come and discuss their ideas. Sindhis are dynamic and practical… If we all come together, we can make miracles happen!!

This is a get together of like minded, proud Sindhis will be held in Mumbai on 30th April 2011 at 5 pm. Entry by Invitation Only. You will be informed about more details of the event via email / sms / phone.

A meaningful contribution is what we are looking for from every individual who is a true Sindhi at heart! Contribution is not in monetary terms.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, April 22, 2011

Watch SindhTV Live on your computer

by Sarfraz Memon, Gaithersburg. MD

I want to congratulate the management of Sindh TV on launching their new website, and thank them for providing us the opportunity to watch live broadcast on computer. On their website http://www.sindhtvnews.net/index.htm you will find current news for “webTV” and “NEWS Video”. I think this website is now one of the best website we have in Sindhi.

To visit Sindh TV website, click here

http://www.sindhtvnews.net/video.htm