Tag Archives: Kutch

Sindhi Hindus in Gujarat

By Khaled Ahmed

Hindus were driven out of Sindh after 1947. They went to the neighbouring Indian state of Gujarat but were not accepted there by the local Hindu communities. Shockingly, these very Hindus, partly to be accepted as true Hindus, participated in the anti-Muslim violence in Godhra in Gujarat in 2002.

These facts have been revealed in the book Interpreting the Sindhi World: Essays on society and history; Edited by Michel Boivin & Matthew Cook (Oxford University Press, 2010). Like East Pakistan, nationalism in Sindh was language-based. The province was pluralist, just like East Pakistan. Hindus and Muslims lived in peace. Richard Burton wrote: “Hindu religion is not to be found in a state of purity in Sindh. Hinduism here is mixed up with the heterogeneous elements of Islam, and the faith of Nanak Shah. A Hindu will often become the murid (follower) of a Mussulman, and in some cases the contrary takes place… all great Pirs revered by the Moslems have classical Hindu names” (p.17).

The Supreme Court of India, in 2004, fined a litigant for asking to delete Sindh from the Indian national anthem, thus challenging any organic relationship between territory and nationalism (p.31).

The modern state of Gujarat consists of a strip of ‘mainland’ Gujarat, the peninsula of Saurashtra, and the western arm of Kutch (p.33). Later, Junagadh was also added. The Hindus of Sindh mostly moved to this state after Partition. They left en masse in 1948, after the immigrating populations touched off riots in Karachi.

Rita Kothari records the Hindu migration into Gujarat. Ships from Karachi arrived at the ports of Porbander, Veraval, and Okha on Gujarat’s coast. Movement towards Gujarat also happened indirectly, especially via Rajasthan, when Sindhis arrived from Mirpurkhas (p.58). These Sindhis looked ‘Muslim-like’ to the locals: “The Hindus of Sindh were not quite the most suitable examples of orthodox Hindus, as they were a meat-eating community in a largely vegetarian region” (p.59).

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/128170/sindhi-hindus-in-gujarat/

History of Sindh

In 1947 Sindh’s total population was more than 5.5 million out of which around 1.5 million were Hindus. Karachi’s population was around 525,000 in 1947 out of which more than 260,000 were Hindus. While Hyderabad had a population of over 170,000 out of which 90,000 were Hindus. Hindus made up more than 25% of Sindh while in the Urban areas they made up around 60% of the total population.
More than 750,000 Hindus left Sindh during the partition and now they number over 3 million in India. Karachi had more than 260,000 Hindus out of which almost all of them left for India.
Sindh was one of the most peaceful areas during the partition time, no riots or mass killings took place. Sindhi Muslims were also sad seeing their Sindhi brothers and sisters leaving Sindh forever.
There are still more than 4 million Hindus living in Sindh while 350,000 in Karachi.
Wish if these Hindus had not left for India, Karachi and Hyderabad would have been way ahead of Bombay, Dehli or Lahore.
When it comes to Demographics there are around 5 million Sindhis in India, out of which 1.5 to 2 million Sindhis are local Indian ones who have been living in Kutch and Bikaner since centuries. While in Pakistan there are around 33-35 million Sindhis.
There are also more than 2 million Sindhis living in Diapora, 60% Indian and 40% Pakistani. The growth rate of Pakistani Sindhis in the Diapora is very high.
*The figures given here are not 100% official but can have a fluctuation of 5-10%*
Written by Bilal Akber Mangi.

Courtesy: via Social media/Facebook (This piece of history is taken from Social media.)

Key member of community demands separate state for Sindhis

MUMBAI: Ram Buxani, Dubai-based non-resident Indian and a prominent member of Sindhi community has demanded a separate Sindhi linguistic state for Sindhis who he said had became landless after partition in 1947.

Such demand comes in the wake of fears expressed by the community brethren that in the absence of a separate state, the Sindhis have no identity of their own, said Buxani.

The social thinker appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider creating a separate linguistic state for Sindhis so that the community can boast proudly that they have a land of their own in India.

Sindhis are inheritors of the 7000-year-old civilisation of Mohen-jo-daro and are on the verge of facing extinction as they do not have a state and a separate identity, Buxani, who was on a visit to the city recently, said.

Justifying the need for a separate linguistic state, he said “there are areas in Rajasthan and Kutch (Gujarat) in India where even today people speak in Sindhi language and thrive in the same culture which prevailed in Sindh before partition.”

He further said, “While a portion of Punjab and Bengal was included in Independent India during the partition of undivided India, the entire Sindh was merged with Pakistan. As a result, Sindhi Hindus were driven away from their homes and came to India as refugees where they began their livelihood afresh.”

Buxani migrated to Dubai 50 years ago and rose to become the Chairman of ITL Cosmos Group, a 60-year-old conglomerate.

“Sindhis also migrated to various countries. Today, there are more than 14 million Sindhis scattered across the globe. Although they have earned enough money with a dint of hard work and sharp business acumen, they do not have a land of their own,” he said.

Buxani said the Sindh linguistic territory within the existing boundaries of India consist of princely state of Kutch, Jaiselmer, Barmer, Jalore and other towns bordering Tharparkar and Kutch.

‘Kutchchi’ which is spoken in Kutch and nearby towns is a dialect of Sindhi language. In the princely state of Jaiselmer in Rajasthan, ‘Dhakti’ is spoken which is also a Sindhi dialect. Similarly, in Barmer, Jalore and other towns close to Tharparkar and Kutch, ‘Thali’ and ‘Thareli’ is spoken which too is a dialect of Sindhi language, he said.

News courtesy: The Economic Times
See more » http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/key-member-of-community-demands-separate-state-for-sindhis/articleshow/46896332.cms?intenttarget=no

Sindhis to get a shrine they can call their own in Kutch

By ,TNN

Once, the Sindhu (Indus) river ended here. On the banks of Kori Creek in Kutch’s Lakhpat district in Gujarat and close to Sindh’s capital Karachi, it had the Arabian Sea in the backdrop. From the sea, riding a fish, the deity of Sindhis, Lord Jhulelal, is believed to have emerged to rescue the community from a tyrant king. The place seems a perfect site for Jhulelal Tirathdham, a future nerve centre for the global Sindhi community.

Work on the Tirathdham complex which includes a massive Jhulelal temple, a museum, amphitheatre, auditorium, meditation centre, shelter for pilgrims and other amenities will start soon. As they plan a bhoomi poojan on Cheti Chand, the Sindhi New Year on March 21, the management is trying to invite PM Narendra Modi as the chief guest.

Armed with around 40 acres of land and NOCs from government departments, Shri Jhulelal Tirathdham Trust is embarking on a project never witnessed in the history of Sindhi Hindus, migrants from Sindh after Partition. “Every community has a centre they identify with. Muslims have Mecca, Sikhs the Golden Temple, Hindus have Vaishnodevi and Tirupati even as both Christians and Jews take pride in Jerusalem,” says historian and Tirathdham’s managing trustee, Subhadra Anand. “The scattered and linguistically minority community, Sindhis, have prospered materially but are uprooted culturally and spiritually. The centre will be a bonding force for Sindhis who are fast losing their language and culture.”

It was Anand who, during a lecture on threats to Sindhi identity in Gujarat in the late 1990s, first expressed the desire to build a monument to Sindhi ethos. In the audience was Madhav Joshi, a local who suggested the centre could be in Kutch which houses pilgrim sites like Narayan Sarovar (Krishna temple), Koteshwar (Shiva temple) and an ancient Gurudwara.

Next, Anand and trust chairman and diamond tycoon Dilip Lakhi met then Gujarat CM Modi. “After he heard us, Modi said ‘your dream is my dream’. His response made a difference,” says Anand.

To be created in the helically tapering form of a pyramid, the temple is to be the tallest in India. The project also includes schools, a hospital and a wedding centre. Being backed by rich and not-so-rich Sindhis alike, the trustees are approaching community members for funds. “Sindhis dream big and have built big educational institutions, hospitals and homes. Now building the Tirathdham is the community’s collective dream,” hopes trustee and realty czar Niranjan Hiranandani.

News courtesy: The Times of India
Read more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Sindhis-to-get-a-shrine-they-can-call-their-own-in-Kutch/articleshow/46363798.cms

India – The Parso Gidwani Center for Sindhi Studies.

By Gul Agha

Saaiin Parso Gidwani had a bhuungo constructed in a small village Kutch and stayed there. His love of Sindh was legendary. I went to visit Saaiin Parso Gidwani in 2000 in Kutch but he had gone for treatment to Mumbai they said. Some time after I returned to the US, he wrote to me and very kindly sent a copy of his book on the Sindhi language. “The Parso Gidwani Centre of Sindhi Studies was created in 2011 in memory of the Ethnolinguist Parso J. Gidwani (1937-2004) who was a pioneer in the field of ethnology and linguistics related to the Sindhi world. The PGCSS results from a cooperation between Dr Michel Boivin, Centre for South Asian Studies, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France) and Dr Charu Gidwani, R. K. Talreja College (Ulhasnagar, India). The Centre is a first step towards realizing Parso Gidwani’s wish for an Institute for Sindhi Studies. Its policy is framed by an Advisory Board whose members are scholars of international fame. The PGCSS is an integrated approach to Sindhi Studies with perspectives on Sindhi History, Culture, Literature and Language.”

Via » above article adopted from Gul Agha’s facebook page.

Sindhis meet in Ahmedabad to instil culture among youths

Jhulelal

By DNA Correspondent

Gujarat chief minister inaugurated the three-day International Sindhi Sammelan that began on Friday at Karnavati Club.

Sindhi personalities from the field of politics, industry, banking, arts, and education were present on the occasion. They included Sindhis from USA, Europe, Middle East and other countries. Sindh (in Pakistan) and Gujarat have been neighbours that share a 5000-year-old heritage of the Harappan Civilisation that began in the Indus Valley of Sindh and spread to sites in Gujarat like Dholavira in Kutch and Lothal in Ahmedabad. ….

Read more » DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS (DNA)

Sindhis can Prevent Deletion of Sindh

– Sindhis can Prevent Deletion of Sindh From Jana Gana Mana

by Ashok T. Jaisinghani

Some persons are again trying to get “Sindh” deleted from Jana Gana Mana, the National Anthem of India written by the great poet Rabindranath Tagore. The Sindhi leaders can easily prevent the deletion of “Sindh” from Jana Gana Mana if they take one step, which I have explained below.

The main objection to the mention of Sindh in the National Anthem is the fact that Sindh is a part of Pakistan. At present, no part of Sindh is in India, though there are millions of Sindhis living in India.

This objection can be removed if all the Sindhi leaders, living in India and other countries, jointly petition the Government of Gujarat to create a small district with the name of Sindh from the District of Kutch. I am sure that the large-hearted Kutchis will accept this proposal, just as they had welcomed the Sindhi refugees from Pakistan to settle in Kutch after the Partition of India in 1947. [After partition in 1947, Kutchis are cut-off from their fellow Sindhis in Sindh but they are trying to hang on to their dialect of Sindhi, culture and traditions. Watch this  that how Kuchi language and dialect is a part of mainland Sindh.]

Should the Sindhi leaders not send a petition to the Government of Gujarat requesting it to make the region of Adipur-Gandhidham in Kutch into a separate District of Sindh? The Sindhi leaders from all over the world must send such a petition as soon as possible. The majority of the people in the Adipur-Gandhidham region of Kutch are Sindhis, whose parents and grandparents had migrated to India from Sindh after the Partition of the country.

Once we are able to get a very small District of Sindh anywhere in India, there will be no need for the Government of India to delete the name of Sindh from Jana Gana Mana. Even if it is very small, the new District of Sindh will be known as a part of India. Jana Gana Mana will then require no correction, as far as the mention of Sindh in the National Anthem is concerned.

Courtesy: Desi e-lists/ e-groups, 5 October, 2011

Sindhis of Katchh, India

Having lost its independence, amalgamated into Gujarat, like mainland Sindh, Kutchis are also facing a demographic and linguistic challenge. After partition in 1947, Kutchis are cut-off from their fellow Sindhis in Sindh but they are trying to hang on to their dialect of Sindhi, culture and traditions.

Delhi – Shabnam Virmani

Shabnam Virmani is a filmmaker and artist in residence at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India. 7 years ago she started travelling with folk singers in Malwa, Rajasthan and Pakistan in a quest for the spiritual and socio-political resonances of the 15th century mystic poet Kabir in our contemporary worlds. Among the tangible outcomes of these journeys were a series of 4 musical documentary films, several music CDs and books of the poetry in translation (www.kabirproject.org). Inspired by the inclusive spirit of folk music, she has begun to play the tambura and sing folk songs of Kabir herself. Currently she is working on co-creating a web-museum of Kabir poetry & music with folk singer communities in India and developing ideas for taking mystic poetry and folk music to school classrooms. She continues to journey to new areas such as Kutch, Gujarat and draw inspiration not only from Kabir, but also other mystic poets of the sub-continent [such as Shah Abdul Latif] and the oral folk traditions that carry them to us. Her earlier work consisted of several video and radio programs created in close partnership with grassroots women’s groups in India.

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India plans Asian tidal power first

By Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News

The Indian state of Gujurat is planning to host Asia’s first commercial-scale tidal power station.

The company Atlantis Resources is to install a 50MW tidal farm in the Gulf of Kutch on India’s west coast, with construction starting early in 2012.

The facility could be expanded to deliver more than 200MW.

The biggest operating tidal station in the world, La Rance in France, generates 240MW, while South Korea is planning several large facilities.

To claim the title of “Asia’s first”, the Indian project will have to outrun developments at Sihwa Lake, a South Korean tidal barrage under construction on the country’s west coast.

Atlantis’s recent feasibility study in Gujurat concluded that the state had good potential for tidal exploitation. …

Read more : BBC