The New Sindhis
By: Shefalee Vasudev, New Delhi
What mental cues do most people associate with Sindhis? It’s either a comical sidekick in a film, a smarmy merchant type or girls in mini skirts and designer bags whose filthy rich fathers run business empires in “Bambai” and Dubai. If the Sindhi stereotypes still prevail or if Sindhi curry and papad is all there is to know about the community’s cuisine, there’s good reason. Being rendered stateless after Partition also led to Indian Sindhis becoming somewhat rootless. But the younger generation wants to change that, without wearing lament on their lapel. Meet the new Sindhis.
Hanee Tindwani, 31, gave up her job as a radio jockey to become a teacher at the Vision Sindhu Children Academy in Ahmedabad, where Sindhi culture is being resurrected. Or take celebrated folk singer Dushyant Ahuja. He consciously steers clear of mass entertainment and sings Sindhi ghazals and folk songs for select audiences in India and abroad to draw attention to the poetic heritage of his community. Writer Vimmi Sadarangani, a Jaipur Literature Festival regular and historian Nandita Bhavnani, who does research on the Sindhi cultural connection between Pakistan and India, are both prominent names among the new Sindhis.