Tag Archives: Ancient

How Did Ancient Indus Civilization Avoid War for 2,000 Years?

By Annalee Newitz

The Harappan civilization dominated the Indus River valley beginning about five thousand years ago, many of its massive cities sprawling at the edges of rivers that still flow through Pakistan and India today. But its culture remains a mystery. Why did it leave behind no representations of great leaders, nor of warfare?

Archaeologists have long wondered whether the Harappan civilization could actually have thrived for roughly 2,000 years without any major wars or leadership cults. Obviously people had conflicts, sometimes with deadly results — graves reveal ample skull injuries caused by blows to the head. But there is no evidence that any Harappan city was ever burned, besieged by an army, or taken over by force from within. Sifting through the archaeological layers of these cities, scientists find no layers of ash that would suggest the city had been burned down, and no signs of mass destruction. There are no enormous caches of weapons, and not even any art representing warfare.

That would make the Harappan civilization an historical outlier in any era. But it’s especially noteworthy at a time when neighboring civilizations in Mesopotamia were erecting massive war monuments, and using cuneiform writing on clay tablets to chronicle how their leaders slaughtered and enslaved thousands.

What exactly were the Harappans doing instead of focusing their energies on military conquest?

Read more » iO9
http://io9.com/a-civilization-without-war-1595540812?utm_campaign=socialflow_io9_facebook&utm_source=io9_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

The 4,500-Year-Old City of Mohenjo Daro Is Crumbling, And No One Is Stopping It

Mohenjo Daro likely was, at its time, the greatest city in the world. Roughly 4,500 years ago, as many as 35,000 people lived and worked in the massive city, which occupies 250 acres along Pakistan’s Indus river.

Mohenjo Daro sat beneath the soil for thousands of years, a preserved relic of the ancient Indus Valley civilization. But excavation exposed the city to the elements, and now, says the Telegraph, the ruins may have as little as 20 years left.

[T]he once lost city is in danger of disappearing again as its clay wall houses, grid system roads, great granaries, baths and drainage systems crumble to dust, a victim of government neglect, public indifference and tourists’ fears of terrorism.

Archaeologists have told The Sunday Telegraph that the world’s oldest planned urban landscape is being corroded by salt and could disappear within 20 years without an urgent rescue plan.

Last year, heavy flooding threatened the ruins, but even outside of natural disasters the town is fading fast.

Preservation work has been going on since the first major excavations in 1924 and intensified after it was made a World Heritage Site in 1980, but the effort has flagged as scarce government funds have been diverted by earthquakes and floods, officials said.

They need 350 labourers, as well as masons, supervisors and technical staff, but on the day The Sunday Telegraph visited there were just 16 men wheeling barrows of mud to shore up the walls.

Mysterious Mohenjo-daro, Sindh

Mohenjo-daro meaning Mound of the Dead was one of the largest city settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization which thrived in ancient times along the Indus River. Mohenjo-daro itself is located in Larkano District in the modern day province of Sindh. Built before 2600 BC, the city was one of the earliest urban settlements in the world, existing at the same time as the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. The archaeological remains of the city are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Skyfall: Dead falcon sparks spying fears on Pakistan-India border

By

JAIPUR: Indian security forces have found a dead falcon fitted with a small camera which has sparked alarm near the country’s highly militarised border with Pakistan, an official said Monday.

The carcass was discovered near the ancient fort city of Jaisalmer in the far west of the desert state of Rajasthan where the Indian armed forces regularly conduct drills and war games.

“It was fitted with some device and an antenna,” a senior Border Security Force officer stationed in the state told AFP by telephone on condition of anonymity.

Suspicions were initially that the bird might have been used for military spying, but the camera did not appear very sophisticated and it might instead have been the work of Pakistani hunters, the official said.

“However, the possibility of it being an espionage attempt from Pakistan cannot be ruled out at this stage,” he said, adding that an investigation was being carried out.

In 2010, Indian police detained a pigeon under armed guard after it was caught on an alleged spying mission.

Continue reading Skyfall: Dead falcon sparks spying fears on Pakistan-India border

One bride for five brothers

Grooms’ sex-rota in one-room shack

By EMILY NASH

A YOUNG mum told last night how she has five husbands — who are all BROTHERS. Rajo Verma, 21, lives in a one-room shack with all five, sleeping with a different one each night on a rota. The housewife has no idea which one is the father of her toddler son. She said: “Initially it felt a bit awkward. But I don’t favour one over the other.” Husband Guddu, 21 — the first to make her his bride — insisted: “We all have sex with her but I’m not jealous. We’re one big happy family.” The couple got hitched in an arranged Hindu marriage four years ago and he remains her only official spouse.

But the custom in their village is she had to take as husbands his brothers Bajju, 32, Sant Ram, 28, Gopal, 26, and Dinesh — who married her last year when he turned 18.

Eldest brother Bajju said: “I consider her my wife and sleep with her like my brothers.” Rajo cooks, cleans and looks after 18-month-old Jay while her hubbies go out to work in Dehradun, northern India.

She said of the ancient tradition, called polyandry: “My mother was also married to three brothers so when I got wed I knew I had to accept all of them as my husbands.

Continue reading One bride for five brothers

Tradition of nonviolence originated along the banks of the Sindhu (Indus) River

Tradition of nonviolence originated along the banks of the Sindhu/Sindh (Indus) River. The American Institute of Sindhulogy (AIS) is dedicated to spreading the lessons of the ancient Sindhu-Saraswati River Civilization and its message of nonviolence. ….

Read more » American Institute of Sindhulogy

More » Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky supports American Institute of Sindhulogy’s Nonviolence Initiative

Ancient Jain temples in Tharparker

Temples too discriminated!

By Kapil Dev

You may dislike President Asif Ali Zaradari for his political smartness for he had outwitted many of his opponents and for his failure to deliver to masses. But you may not dislike him for his love for environment. The reason may be he himself held portfolio of Environment Minister in Benazir Bhutto’s first government or his instinctive love for environment.

On Monday, President Asif Ali Zardari expressed concern over the damage to the centuries-old Kataas Raj temple near Choa Saidan Shah, Chakwal, due to the environmental degradation caused by the construction of industrial complexes around the temple and asked for a report from the relevant ministry.

Similar reports were also published some time ago regarding dilapidated conditions of temples in Sindh, particularly ancient Jain temples in Tharparker and an attempt to demolish a Hindu temple in Choorio, Nangarparker, by a Granite lease owner. But the Presidency did not move to instruct authorities for protection.

On Kataas Raj temple located in a small village of Punjab, the President called for a report after taking note of a media report that the building of industrial complexes around the Kataas Raj temple had destroyed its pristine beauty and threatened the natural water pond with complete extinction.

The report was published in Dawn Newspaper on April 22 under the headline “Holy pond at Kataas Raj dying up” and reported by Nabeel Anwar Dhakku.

The natural pond had been in existence for thousands of years attracting pilgrims from far and wide in the South Asian subcontinent. Since ages water flowed from the pond to downstream villages of Wahoola, Tatral and Dulmial without any drop in the pond level that was constantly replenished by the spring waters underneath. However, the industrial units constructed near the site had sucked up groundwater and diverted the flow of the springs resulting in the drying up the pond, the report said. ….

Read more » The Sindh Journal

Once upon a time in Afghanistan

PART THREE – THE LOST HISTORY OF HELMAND

By: Adam Curtis

When you look at footage of the fighting in Helmand today everyone assumes it is being played out against an ancient background of villages and fields built over the centuries.

This is not true. If you look beyond the soldiers, and into the distance, what you are really seeing are the ruins of one of the biggest technological projects the United States has ever undertaken. Its aim was to use science to try and change the course of history and produce a modern utopia in Afghanistan. The city of Lashkar Gah was built by the Americans as a model planned city, and the hundreds of miles of canals that the Taliban now hide in were constructed by the same company that built the San Francisco Bay Bridge and Cape Canaveral. Here is what Helmand province looks like today. ….

Read more » BBC

In Israel, women’s rights come under siege

By Ruth Marcus

Women are forced to board public buses from the back and stay there. Billboards with images of women are defaced. Public streets are cordoned off during religious holidays so that women cannot enter.

Continue reading In Israel, women’s rights come under siege

Spectacular bloodshed – By Nayyer Khan

In agricultural society, live stock represents wealth and hence sacrifices. In an urban society wealth is represented by money. If one contributed the equivalent of the price of a goat or a cow to charity — i.e. feeding the poor, donating to hospitals etc, it should have the same effect

Every year, on Eid-ul-Azha (3 days long annual Muslim Festival, starting in a few days, during which animals are sacrificed to please Allah), I feel as if I am living in one of the ancient civilizations ….

Read more » ViewPoint

We are still the prisoners of a culture of conspiracy and inferiority

Let’s stop blaming America

By DR. KHALID ALNOWAISER, ARAB NEWS

I AM a proud and loyal Saudi citizen, but I am tired of hearing constant criticism from most Arabs of everything the United States does in its relations with other countries and how it responds to global crises. No nation is perfect, and certainly America has made its share of mistakes such as Vietnam, Cuba and Iraq. I am fully aware of what happened when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the unprecedented abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. However, what would we do if America simply disappeared from the face of the earth such as what happened to the Soviet Union and ancient superpowers like the Roman and Greek empires? These concerns keep me up day and night. It’s frustrating to hear this constant drumbeat of blame directed toward the United States for everything that is going wrong in the world. Who else do we think of to blame for our problems and failures? Do we take personal responsibility for the great issues that affect the security and prosperity of Arab countries? No, we look to America for leadership and then sit back and blame it when we don’t approve of the actions and solutions it proposes or takes.

For instance, if a dictator seizes and holds power such as Egypt’s Mubarak and Libya’s Qaddafi, fingers are pointed only at America for supporting these repressive leaders. If the people overthrow a dictator, fingers are pointed at America for not having done enough to support the protestors. If a nation fails to provide its people with minimum living standards, fingers are pointed at America. If a child dies in an African jungle, America is criticized for not providing necessary aid. If someone somewhere sneezes, fingers are pointed at America. Many other examples exist, too numerous to mention.

I am not pro-American nor am I anti-Arab, but I am worried that unless we wake up, the Arab world will never break out of this vicious and unproductive cycle of blaming America. We must face the truth: Sadly, we are still the prisoners of a culture of conspiracy and cultural inferiority. We have laid the blame on America for all our mistakes, for every failure, for every harm or damage we cause to ourselves. The US has become our scapegoat upon whom our aggression and failures can be placed. We accuse America of interfering in all our affairs and deciding our fate, although we know very well that this is not the case as no superpower can impose its will upon us and control every aspect of our lives. We must acknowledge that every nation, no matter how powerful, has its limitations.

Moreover, we conveniently forget that America’s role is one of national self-interest, not to act as a Mother Teresa.

Continue reading We are still the prisoners of a culture of conspiracy and inferiority

SINDHIS OF KURDISTAN

The Aryan Period

People in the ancient world that came from the region of India were known as ‘Sindhi. There are people recorded in Turkey and also North of the Black Sea who were referred to as Sindi.It was like people nowadays that are in Canada or the UK are referred to as Indians.This fact is also the source of the theory that the Kurds of the SE Greece, Turkey, NW Iraq and Northern Syria are believed to have had their origin in India as the tribal name ‘Sindi’ is big amongst the Kurds.

As early as 2000 BC, the vanguards of the Indo-European speaking tribal immigrants, such as the Hittites and the Mittanis (Sindis), had arrived in southwestern Asia. While the Hittites only marginally affected the mountain communities in Kurdistan, the Mittanis settled inside Kurdistan around modern Diyarbakir, and influenced the natives in several fields worthy of note, in particular the introduction of knotted rug weaving. Even rug designs introduced by the Mittanis and recognized by the replication in the Assyrian floor carvings, remain the hallmark of the Kurdish rugs and kelims. The modern mina khâni and chwar such styles are basically the same today as those the Assyrians copied and depicted nearly 3000 years ago.

The name ‘Mittani’ survives today in the Kurdish clans of Mattini and Millani/Milli who inhabit the exact same geographical areas of Kurdistan as the ancient Mittani. The name “Mittan,” however, is a Hurrian name rather than Aryan. At the onset of Aryan immigration into Kurdistan, only the aristocracy of the high-ranking warrior groups were Aryans, while the bulk of the people were still Hurrian in all manners. The Mittani aristocratic house almost certainly was from the immigrant Sindis, who survive today in the populous Kurdish clan of Sindi—again—in the same area where the Mittani kingdom once existed. These ancient Sindi seem to have been an Indic, and not Iranic group of people, and in fact a branch of the better known Sindhis of IndiaPakistan, that has imparted its name to the River Indus and in fact, India itself. (footnote 8) While the bulk of the Sindis moved on to India, some wondered into Kurdistan to give rise to the Mitanni royal house and the modern Sindi Kurds. …

Courtesy: http://oldenhistory.blogspot.com/2009/12/sindhi-people.html

The People’s Nauroz

An ancient festival that has the power to heal

by Rafi Ullah

21 of March is the day of Nauroz, a cultural festival spreading over a wide geographical as well as cultural area. It is celebrated in different parts of the world as the beginning of a new year as well as a spring festival.

When a culture’s facts get diffused and are incorporated into others, a vast new cultural area emerges. The more extensive the communication between peoples, the more substantial this development will be. And all this might have happened to Nauroz, especially during the Achaemenid era, in which a lot of religio-cultural syncretism took place over a large geographical area. …

Read more : The Friday Times

Responsibility to preserve Mohenjodaro transferred to Sindh

By Shahid Husain

Sindh: Karachi – The responsibility to preserve and maintain the 5,000-year old city of Mohenjodaro has been transferred to the provincial government, the Sindh Minister for Culture, Sassui Palijo told The News on Wednesday.

The minister said that this decision is in accordance with the current devolution plan in the country.

“Health, education, culture and tourism are being given to the provinces, in accordance with devolution plan, to ensure maximum provincial autonomy,” Palijo said. “The Antiquities Act will also be amended after a long time.”

Palijo further said that the Sindh Government has signed an agreement with UNESCO for the preservation of Mohenjodaro, which happens to be one of the largest heritage sites in the world. “The majority of the funding for the preservation of the site will be provided by UNESCO, while the Sindh Government and others will also make contributions,” said the minister.

Palijo credited Senator Rabbani for playing a vital role in the devolution plan. She said that work will also begin on ‘frozen projects’ that had been neglected for quite a while due to the lack of funding. Mohenjodaro was one of the greatest civilisations of ancient times and flourished on the banks of the River Indus (Sindhu).

“Before the arrival of the Aryans, the people of the Indus (Sindh) had already become a highly developed civilisation that spread over half a million miles. But then the civilsation vanished and all its glory was buried under massive mounds of sand. Excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harrapa proved the maturity and refinement of the people living in both areas. They used cotton for textiles, built large spacious houses and there were a number facilities for the residents, such as public baths ad well as an excellent drainage system. All these factors indicate that in many ways, the Indus Valley civilsation was more advanced than the Persians, Egyptians and Mesopotamians,” wrote former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and distinguished intellectual, Aitezaz Ahsan in his book called “The Indus Saga and the making of Pakistan. …

Read more : The News

No country for kafirs?

Insecurity envelops Balochi Hindus after a series of abductions. Many are emigrating.

by Mariana Baabar

In the inhospitable terrain of Balochistan, perennially outside Islamabad’s shrinking circle of control, marauding gangs have made it a habit of targeting people even on days of celebration. It was so with Maharaj Lakhmi Chand Garji, the 82-year-old head priest of the ancient Kali Mata Mandir in the town of Kalat. …

via- Globeistan -Read more : OutLook

Baluchistan

 

Free Baluchistan

 

by Selig S. Harrison

As the Islamist nightmare envelops Pakistan, the Obama administration ponders what the United States should do. But the bitter reality is that the United States is already doing too much in Pakistan. It is the American shadow everywhere, the Pakistani feeling of being smothered by the U.S. embrace, that gives the Islamists their principal rallying cry.

Evidence is everywhere of what the Economist calls “a rising tide of anti-American passion.” The leading spokesman of traditional Muslim theology, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), opposes the “war on terror” because “it is an American war” and blames a U.S. plot for the recent assassination of the moderate Punjab governor, Salman Taseer.

The endless procession of U.S. leaders paying goodwill visits to Islamabad, most recently Vice President Joe Biden, evokes sneers and ridicule in the Urdu-language press, accompanied by cartoons showing Pakistanis scratching fleas crawling over their bodies. The late special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, liked free-swinging encounters with Pakistani journalists that left a trail of bitterness expressed in the Urdu media, but this did not deter Holbrooke and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from return visits. …

Read more : National Interest

Sindhyat means unity through diversity

. Sindhyat

by Govind Chandiramani, India

Lots of Sindhis write about Sindhyat from time to time in different parts of the world. They write beautifully well, show the articles to their friends, who praise them. Afterwords they forget about it. But have we gone deep enough to understand Sindhyat? For understanding it, one has to go to the most ancient records available.

1. What are the oldest monuments still existing which provide us proof of the great civilisation we had in the past? .The answer is Moen jo Daro , Mehrgarh, Kot Diji etc.

What steps have we taken to preserve it? On the google , one comes across reports of neglect and chaos in Moen jo Daro. Our 25OO B.C monument. If Mohan jo Daro is neglected like this, what about places like Kot Diji and Mehrgarh? All these ancient proofs of our civilisation should be protected.

It is very heartening to know that Tata’s Institute of Research which is highly respected all over the world, is undertaking research on Moen jo Daro to find out if the city was laid as per astronomical placements of stars at that time. They have appointed a team of 4 experts. I can send the information to anyone who is really interested.

Continue reading Sindhyat means unity through diversity

Hundreds of Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Condemned the religious intolerance and human rights violations in Pakistan

HOUSTON, TX, USA. Tens of hundreds of Sindhi-Americans gathered in Houston on Saturday, January 15, 2011 to commemorate the 107th birthday of Mr. G. M. Syed, a national leader of the Sindh who waged a nonviolent struggle against religious fundamentalism and for freedom.

Sindh is home to the ancient Indus (Sindhu) Valley civilization and is now a unit of Pakistan. A vibrant Sindhi-American community numbering in the tens of thousands lives in various U.S. cities. More than 30 million Sindhis live in Sindh today. Sindhis are supportive of democracy and secularism and have been marginalized by security establishment of the country and its religious extremist reactionary ideology.

Continue reading Hundreds of Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Behind Tunisia Unrest, Rage Over Wealth of Ruling Family

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

HAMMAMET, Tunisia — This ancient Mediterranean hamlet, advertised as the Tunisian St.-Tropez, has long been the favorite summer getaway of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his large extended family, many of whom have built vast beachfront mansions here with the wealth they have amassed during his years in power.

But their new and conspicuous riches, partly exposed in a detailed cable by the American ambassador and made public by WikiLeaks, have fueled an extraordinary extended uprising by Tunisians who blame corruption among the elite for the joblessness afflicting their country. …

Read more : The New York Times

A divided Pakistan buries Salman Taseer and a liberal dream

by Declan Walsh in Lahore

Liberals have long been a minority force in Pakistan, reviled for importing ‘western’ ideas and culture; now they are virtually an endangered species.

There was silence in the ancient city of Lahore yesterday as Salman Taseer, a pugnacious son of the soil who made his name by speaking out, was lowered into an early grave. …

Read more : Guardian.co.uk

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To read BBC urdu column, click here

Islam’s arrested development

– Islam did ancient science brilliantly, but today Muslims lag behind. To catch up, they must demand the freedom to question.

by Pervez Hoodbhoy

The question: Can Islam be reconciled with science?

Material resources are immaterial to the current sorry state of science in Islam. To do science, it is first necessary to accept the key premises underlying science – causality and the absence of divine intervention in physical processes, and a belief in the existence of physical law. Without the scientific method you cannot have science because science is all about objective and rational thinking. Science demands a mindset that incessantly questions and challenges assumptions, not one that relies upon received wisdom. If this condition is not fulfilled, all the money and machines in the world make no difference.

Can Islam accept the premises of science? There are some versions of the religion that can, and others that simply cannot. …

Read more : Guardian.co.uk

Speech of Dr. Zafar Baloch (BHRC) to the conference on South Asia

The conference on South Asia was organized by International Center for Peace & Democracy (ICFPD) in collaboration with Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada). The conference took place at Hotel Radisson Toronto, Canada on December 11, 2010.

SOUTH ASIAN PERSPETIVE ON REGIONAL STABILITY THE ROLE OF THE STATE: DEMOCRACY, DICTATORSHIP, AND EXTREMISM

ICFPD

Following is the speech delivered by Dr. Zafar Baloch, president of Baloch Human Rights council (Canada) in the conference.

Continue reading Speech of Dr. Zafar Baloch (BHRC) to the conference on South Asia

We are proud of our ancient history, civilization and cultural heritage

By Humaira Rahman

By chance I saw Irfan Husain’s latest offering in daily dawn and was amazed at Irfan’s lack of understanding of the young population that inhabits the Pakistani states current territorial boundaries (in spite of being a resident of Sindh for 60+ yrs?):

Irfan Husain writes, and I quote:

In order to justify the partition of the subcontinent, rulers have resorted to bewildering mental contortions. Many have tried to move our roots to the Middle East from our true origins in South Asia. This confusion is reflected in school textbooks and the media. Thus, we have young people unsure of their past, and unable or unwilling to claim their rich cultural patrimony.

Please note that perhaps what Irfan says is true of the youth that hails from the sliver of the population that you come from/represent: immigrants from north India (7% of total population of Pakistan, max??)

However I can say with certitude that no Sindhi or Baloch young or old person (the two nations within which my own roots lie and that I have intimate knowledge of) is at all confused about their past, origin or history.

We, the Sindhi and Baloch indigenous nations that live within the state of Pakistan are, on the contrary, extremely rooted —— in spite of all the attempts by civil -military bureaucracy to “cleanse” us through education, militarization, extra judicial practices and other policies where we were/are deprived of opportunities to speak and study in our own languages or practice our culture in a way that free nations practice their cultures.

Please note that we are proud of our ancient history, civilization and cultural heritage and as well our robust abilities to carry on creating and reproducing our language, literature, music, journalism, dance and as well practice of our civilized culture under the direst conditions (mostly imposed by Urdu hegemony practioners)

Please note that we are neither unsure of our past nor unable/unwilling to claim our rich cultural matrimony/patrimony;

It is true that the vast military civilian bureaucracy (of which you remained an erstwhile part for decades) have attempted to “cleanse” us over the decades, but they have failed.

Historical Look at Hingol : Hinglaj Devi was last mother queen of Matriarchal era of Indus Valley

Another name of Hinglaj Devi is Goddess Naina which is very akin to Goddess Nania of Sumerian Civilization

by Jagdeesh Ahuja, Hyderabad, Sindh.

Originally Hinglaj has nothing to do with religion or nationalism. Hinglaj is the historical monument of Sindhu Civilization. Hingol was one of the great many kingdoms of Sapta Sindhva (Sindhu des of seven rivers) and Hinglaj Devi was last mother queen of matriarchal era of Indus Valley. Another name of Hinglaj Devi is Goddess Naina which is very akin to Goddess Nania of Sumerian Civilization. The great poet of Indus Valley, Shah Latif called her “Nani Ama(n)” and after then Hinglaj Temple became famous as Temple of Nani Ama(n) especially in the Muslim populace. And Hinglaj Yatra has now got a great new altitude beyond religious divide.

We are unfortunate people who disown our own history. Ironically people of India own our monuments of ancient civilization as their sacred religious shrines and we are ever ready to give up our past and destroy our future. What a great alienation and ignorance of our own history! How can one weigh the advantages of destruction of Harappa, Taxila or Mohen-jo-daro!? Hinglaj is even more ancient than these historical sites. Mehargarh and Hinglaj are the monuments of advent of civilization. Legend of Shiva Parpati explains the transition of matriarchal era to patriarchal era. Shiva is the first male god of Sindhu Civilization whose whole Shakti (Power) was enshrined in his spouse Parpati (Hinglaj Devi) that is why she is also called Shakti Devi. It is well known fact that Shiva was the Lord of Indigenous Dravidian people of Indus Valley. When they were forced to migrate to Ganges Valley by Central Asian Aryan invaders, they continued to worship their Lord Shiva there. Long after the Aryans settled in Sapta Sindhva and owned Shiva along with their Lord Indra (God of Storm), people of Ganges valley started to visit the land of their ancestors. Hence the tradition of Hinglaj Yatra took place.

We must not forget the fact that the word Hindu itself is nothing but Sindhu. The Persians pronounced Sindhu as Hindu. And later Greek invaders pronounced Hindu as Indu, thence words Indus and India came into existence. Due to our ignorance we have lost sense of our history. Religious and nationalistic narrow mindedness has blurred our vision. Hinglaj doesn’t belong to any single religion or nation only, it is a great asset of Indus Valley and heritage of whole humanity, which should be put in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.

The Silk route & the ancient Indus Valley

By Aftab Kazi, PhD

Silk was among the items exported from the ancient Indus Valley emporiums to Mesopotamian city-states approximately 4000 years ago through both land and sea-borne silk-routes. Historically China has maintained cross-continental trade through the port cities of the Indus Basin River state, i.e. Sindh, Ind, Hind, Al-Hind respectively, the land areas that are now called Pakistan. Most recent early medieval example is that of the Kushan Empire (included land areas comprising modern Central Asia, Pakistan with a thin inland incursion into Bharat up to Mathura) which also had an excellent relationship with China. Both empires traded silk, spices, malmal (cotton cloth made in Sindh), indigo, etc all the way to Roman Empire through the Indus port city of Barbarikon (ruins of Barbarikon are likely to be that of Bhambhore located approximately 50 klometers from modern Karachi. This was the sea-borne silk-route link. Suez Canal did not exist then.

Ships sailed from Barbarikon via the coast of modern Oman and Arabia, entered Red Sea, from where they used the delta canals of River Niles to enter Mediterranean, hence traveled to Greece and Rome. There were two routes to sail. One for winter and the other for summer. I have cited this sea-borne Silk-route in my chapter on Pakistan in SF Starr (ed.) New Silk Roads:…, (Washington, DC: Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Johns Hopkins University, 2007). Earliest records of ancient Silk-routes are available in the travel accounts of Sindhbad, an inhabitant of Sindh (modern Pakistan) under the title of “Sindhbad’s travels”, also spelled as “Sindbad”. Although somewhat fictionalized, this book is the most earliest treatise available on ancient Silk Roads. This book was translated from ancient Sindhi to Persian in medieval times and has been further translated into several modern languages including the English language…

Source – http://www.silkroadstudies.org/new/inside/staff/staff_ web/aftab_kazi.htm

http://www.aftabkazi.com

Sindhi language has ancient links with Sub-continent

Sindhi is an ancient language; over seventy percent of Sindhi words are Sanskrit. The fact that Sindhi is mostly written in the Arabic script, gives some people the impression that it is a Persio-Arabic tongue..

DR ANNEMARIE Schimmel, Harvard professor of Islamics, and versatile linguist writes: “Since every word in Sindhi ends in a vowel, the sound is very musical.” The treasures of the ancient Sindhi literature, of the immortal Sufi poet-saints, Shah, Sachal, Sami or the saints of Modern India: Sadhu TLVaswani, sung in sweet, melodious, rhythmic Sindhi tunes, fills the hearts and souls of the listeners with sheer rapture, joy and ecstasy. The Sindhis of India don’t have a land, nation or state to call their own. They are a scattered community, spread all over India, and in most countries of the world. If there is one thing that will help them retain their identity, it is the language. Unfortunately Sindhis have neglected their mother tongue, and if we don’t use the language, we will lose it. Language is the root of our community. Language is the soul of our community. If the soul is lost, how long can the community last?

Diwan Thakudas Pribhdas, advocate of Hyderabad said: “The language is probably, so far as its grammatical construction is concerned, the purest daughter of Sanskrit. It has a sprinkling of Dravidian words, and has in later times received large accessions to its vocabulary from Arabic and Persian.”

Sindhi language has evolved over a period of two millennia; with waves of invasions by Greeks, Arabs, Arghuns, Tarkhans, Scythians, Turks, Mughals and so on. Sindh, on the north west of undivided India, had always been the first to bear the onslaught of the never-ending invaders, and as such absorbed Hindi, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, English and even Portuguese words. The language of the people of Sindh has a solid base of Prakrit and Sanskrit, showing great susceptibility towards borrowings from Arabic, Persian, and Dravidian (such as Brahui in Baluchistan) . Sindh was the seat of the ancient Indus valley civilization during the third millennium BC as discovered from the Mohen-jo-Daro excavation. The pictographic seals and clay tablets obtained from these excavations still await proper deciphering by epigraphists

Sindhis in India have made their mark. Eminent Sindhis include Jairamdas Doulatram, LK Advani, Parso T Malani, Nari Hiranandani, Ashok Advani, Hindujas, Rahejas. Sindhi’s have 17 colleges and 19 hospitals and many others institutions.

Dr Lila Harchandani of Hyderabad, Sind, in her book ‘The Scattered Treasure’ has an interesting logic to back her theory. According to her some scholars confused the words Prakrita (meaning=natural) with the word Purakrita (meaning-formed first), which misled them. In the same way, she says, due to affinity towards Hinduism, litterateurs like Kishinchand Jetley translated a couplet from Sindhi poet, Shah Abdul Latif’s poetry into Sanskrit and concluded that the similarity shows the derivation of Sindhi from Sanskrit. She rightly argues that it could be the other way round too and cites two authorities to elucidate this point. One is Siraj-ul-Haq of Pakistan who states:

“The history of Sindhi is older than that of Sanskrit and its related civilization or culture are derived from the civilization or culture of Sindh and from Sindhi language…Sanskrit is born of Sindhi – if not directly, at least indirectly.”

Sindh is where Persian and Indian cultures blended, for the area was introduced to Islam in 712 AD. Thus, very little of Sindhi literature of the earlier period has survived. The Summara and Summa periods are virtually blank except for the few poems of Hamad, Raju and Isack. The heroic ballads of this period set to music by Shah Abdul Karim (1538-1625) are the earliest records of the Sindhi language.

Real flourish of Sindhi poetic talent came during the last stages of the 18th century. Although the time was not appropriate for cultural developments as invaders repeatedly plundered the country during this period. Several works like Shah Abdul Latif’s ‘Shah-Jo-Rasalo’ , the magnum opus of Sindhi literature, were produced.

It describes the life of a common man, the sorrows and sufferings of the ill-starred heroes of ancient folklore. Sachal, another eminent poet closely followed Shah Abdul Karim. He was a Sufi rebel poet who did not adhere to any religion and denounced religious radicals. The poet, Saami, was a complete contrast to Kari, more pious than poetical, yet possessing a charm of his own. There was an excess of songsters in Sindhi who recited similar ideas and themes in varied tones. The notable among them are Bedil, his son Bekas, and Dalpat. Gul Mohamad introduced Persian forms of poetry replacing the native baits and kafees. Mirza Kaleech

Other Articles by Ramesh Manghirmalani

Beg who composed on the same lines contributed a lot to Sindhi literature.

Dayaram Gidumal and Mirza Kaleech were two of the early prose writers. The former was a great scholar and he was famous mainly for his metaphysical writings. The noted lexicographer and essayist, Parmanand Mewaram, wrote essays that educated and instructed both young and the old. This peer group also comprised of Bherumal Meherchand, Lalchand Amardinomal and Jethmal Parsram and Acharya Gidwani, NR Malkani and Dr HM Gurbuxani.Tikamdas Wadumal Mansukhani, Bar-at-law from Qeens College, become first Mayor of Karachi, ZA Bhutto and Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada were legal associates in Karachi.

Courtesy: http://www.merinews.com/catFull. jsp?articleID= 137849