Tag Archives: Script

Rewriting the Pakistani script

Ayaz AmirBy Ayaz Amir

Islamabad diary

A few words about the parade…why must the accompanying commentary be so hysterical? I put on the TV at about a few minutes to eleven but the commentary, male and female, was just too much, going on and on without a moment’s rest, much too loud and indeed deadlier than any of the weaponry marching past. If the military can’t be made to learn the uses of brevity what hope for the rest of the nation? Thanks to the commentary, two minutes of the parade was all I could stand. There was also the charismatic visage of the president. On this subject what more is there to say?
Continue reading Rewriting the Pakistani script

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

The contours of a changed, unwritten script Situationer

By: Shaheen Sehbai

ISLAMABAD: In a week of intense behind the scenes political and diplomatic activity in the federal capital, key new lines have been added to the so called ‘script’, the unofficial, unwritten roadmap drawn up and preserved in the minds of the concerned people, to get rid of the despicable grip on the country of a few powerful highly placed individuals and their friends. After my meetings with most of the main stakeholders in the present system during the last few days, including top people sitting in the Presidency, the PM House, Senate, National Assembly, Raiwind, the highly charged drawing rooms of Islamabad and the excited corridors ruled by career bureaucrats, the broad contours of the script have become identifiable. This assessment will purely be an analysis and conclusions drawn up by a journalist, but it will have many elements which have either come directly from the people I have met or from circles associated intimately with the real wielders of powers, political and non-political.

Continue reading The contours of a changed, unwritten script Situationer

Sindh’s Stolen Brides

On the other side of the Thar, Hindus, especially girls, are forced into Islam

By Mariana Baabar

Hindus In Pakistan

Hindus constitute about 2.5 per cent, or 26 lakh, of Pakistan’s population.

Though sprinkled all over Pakistan, 95 per cent of Hindus are in Sindh.

Only Tharparkar district in Sindh has Hindus in majority: 51 per cent.

Other districts with sizeable population: Mirpur Khas (41 per cent), Sanghar (35 per cent), Umerkot (43 per cent)

Nearly 82 per cent of Pakistani Hindus are lower caste, most of them farm labourers

Cities with some Hindu population: Karachi, Hyderabad, Jacobabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.

In Tharparkar, Hindus own land. Krishen Bheel, Gyan Chand and Ramesh Lal are the Hindus in the Pakistan National Assembly.

***

Let me confess at the outset: I’m travelling in rural Sindh to verify specifically the reported widespread menace of abduction of Hindu girls, their forcible conversion to Islam and betrothal to Muslim men. My first port of call is the district court of Mirpur Khas. I promptly mingle among the crowd waiting for the court’s decision on a kidnap-and-conversion case. Different voices narrate contradictory stories. I am befuddled for the moment.

Soon, a frisson of excitement sweeps through the throng, as a police van drives through the gate. Inside it is Mariam. She’s 13 years old—and married! Mariam was Mashu, and Hindu, till the night of December 22, 2005. I pick my way through the jostling crowd. Mariam is in a red burqa, her gold nose ring sparkles. She tells me, “I’m happy. I don’t want to return to my parents or brother.” What’s the fuss about, I wonder.

It’s quite another story under the pipal tree of the court compound. Huddled under it are the villagers of Jhaluree, 20 km from Mirpur Khas. Among them is Mashu’s father, Malo Sanafravo. He says that at 11 pm, December 22, four armed men barged into their room. One of them was Malo’s neighbour, Akbar. They picked up Mashu, bundled her into the waiting car. “She was taken to Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi’s village in Saamaaro tehsil.” There Mashu became Mariam and was married to Akbar.

Not true, insists husband Akbar. “Mariam has been always in my heart,” he gushes, saying, at 11 pm, December 22, it was she who had come over to his house. But it’s true that the Pir converted her and married them—it was his idea that they issue statements in the court. “Mariam was sent to Darul Aman in Hyderabad, in judicial custody,” Akbar declares.

A 13-year-old choosing to convert and marry? A 13-year-old testifying in the court, without her family by her side? Suspicious, I walk over to the SHO, caught in the middle of a heated exchange between two groups. Someone suggests he should allow the girl to meet her relatives. Before the conversion yes, not now. She has now become Muslim, says the SHO. He argues, “There’s a huge crowd here. If Mariam breaks down after seeing her father, there will be a communal riot here in the compound.”

A little later, there are celebrations as the word spreads: the court has allowed the couple to live together. Standing next to me is Kanjee Rano Bheel. He works for an NGO in the education sector; volunteers for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) as well. “In just two hours Mashu was converted and married,” Kanjee says incredulously.

Disappointment and helpless rage fleet across his face. “In Darul Aman the girls are kept away from parents and pressured into issuing statements favourable to the abductors. They tame stubborn girls through death threats.”

So, was Mashu abducted and forcibly converted?

In Mirpur Khas, truth resembles the mirage of the surrounding Thar desert, teasing and tormenting me as I drive from Karachi into interior Sindh. It tests your credulity, it challenges your journalistic skills. Wherever I go, and whoever I meet, in disconsolate voices the Hindus talk about ‘missing girls’; their stories resemble Mashu’s—the theme of abduction, conversion, often followed by marriage, is common to most narrations. The girls then appear in courts to issue statements declaring their conversion was voluntary. All links to the natal family and the community are severed; they are lost to the family forever. On January 4, 2005, Marvi, 18, and Hemi, 16, were kidnapped from Kunri village in Umerkot district; three months later, on March 3, 14-year-old Raji was abducted from Aslam Town Jhuddo, Mirpur Khas. The script in their cases was similar to Mashu’s. “Only 10 per cent of all conversions involving girls are voluntary; because of romance,” says Kanjee.

Ten per cent of what? No official figures are available. The DIG in Mirpur Khas, Saleemullah, says, “If there’s need I’ll collect these figures.

Saleemullah, perhaps, should tap the HRCP for statistics. Its director in Lahore, I.A. Rehman, is an honourable man. Rehman told Outlook that the HRCP has, between Jan 2000 to Dec 2005, documented 50 cases involving conversion of Hindu girls to Islam. Its investigations too endorse what I had found in interior Sindh. In many cases where it was claimed the girls had eloped with their Muslim partners, the HRCP found that most were, in fact, abducted, forcibly married to Muslim men or sold to them. There have been cases of Hindu girls, usually from economically better off families, eloping with their Muslim boyfriends. Rehman says in most cases such marriages didn’t last long. With links to their families cut off, the girls were subsequently forced to marry another Muslim or sucked into marriage rackets.

Nuzzhat Shirin, who works for the Lahore-based ngp Aurat Foundation, understands why the girls don’t reveal their plight at the time they are presented in court. “When a Hindu is forced to become Muslim, such a ruckus is made that if the young kidnapped girl appears in court, the fanatics yell, scream, throw rose petals in the air and follow the youth into the building so that she’s intimidated and can’t speak,” Shirin explains.

Social stigma arising from the loss of virginity, and the consequent difficulty of finding a groom, prompt these women to accept their misfortune—and hope for the best.

Fifty incidents in five years represents just a percentage of the total number of cases, says Kanjee, pointing out that a majority of such crimes go unreported. “There have been 50 such incidents last year,” insists Krishen Bheel, who is a Hindu member of the National Assembly (MNA), the Pakistani equivalent of the Lok Sabha. He begins to rattle out the cases he remembers: two months back Sapna was kidnapped and converted in upper Sindh; seven months earlier it was 17-year-old Lakshmi in Nawkot, and then…. “The trend is increasing,” he says. “If these conversions are voluntary, then how come boys rarely ever convert?”

Only once did the popular resentment against abduction spill out in the streets of Mirpur Khas. It was in the ’80s: a girl named Sita had been kidnapped. Some 70,000 Hindus turned up to protest the kidnapping. The police opened fire, killing several. “Sita was never returned,” Krishen laments. “She had even told Justice Dhorab Patel, who later joined the HRCP, that she had been forcibly converted. We have now stopped agitating.”

Instead, the Hindus take the support of civil rights groups and the media to publicise abduction cases, hoping public scrutiny would goad the state into action.

On Dec 30, the day after the Mariam case was disposed, the Supreme Court took cognisance of the complaint Qosheela’s parents from Ghotki, Sindh, had filed. They claimed their 13-year-old girl had been kidnapped, converted, given the name of Hajra and married to a Muslim man. The girl, as in most other cases, had said she had converted of her own free will. A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ordered the medical examination of the girl to determine whether she had attained puberty (Islam permits marriage at that age). Should it be proved otherwise, the husband could be tried for rape.

Even cities are not immune to the menace. Last year, Sammo Amra and Champa in Karachi received a letter from their three missing daughters—Reena (21), Reema (17) and Usha (19)—informing that they had converted to Islam and were ordained under the dictates of their new religion not to live with infidels, including their Hindu parents. The letter bore the address of Madrassa Taleemul Islam, Karachi. It prompted Supreme Court Bar Association president Malik Mohammad Qayyum to petition the Supreme Court in the first week of December. He accused the religious seminary’s administrator of using coercive methods to convert the three girls. On December 16, the court ordered the police to shift the girls to the Edhi Welfare Centre and provide protection to them until the time it was ascertained they had been indeed compelled to convert to Islam.

Sensitive Muslim citizens feel the way to counter the menace is to reinterpret and widen the scope of law.

Major (retd) Kamran Shafi, an absentee landlord from Sindh, cites the case of 17-year-old Kochlia, who was kidnapped and gangraped in Jacobabad, Sindh, in Sept 2005. Four men were arrested for the crime. They were subsequently released because Kochlia stated in the court she had converted and was married to one of them. Shafi asks, “Isn’t something very, very wrong here? Suppose the poor girl was forced into changing her religion and marrying one of the assailants so that they get off the hook? Can’t the state prosecute the four on its own, for their original crime of rape?”

The three Hindu MNAs—Krishen Bheel, Gyan Chand and Ramesh Lal—raised the Kochlia case in the National Assembly. They claimed Kochlia’s statement was not tenable as under the local Hindu custom and law a girl can’t marry of her own will until the age of 20. Since Kochlia is a minor, her abductors should be tried for rape. Such an interpretation of existing laws could provide ample relief to Hindus.

Till then, though, the fear of kidnap stalks the Hindus of Pakistan. Krishen Bheel says Hindu girls are scared to go out; he has enrolled his own children into a Christian school. He points to Mirpur Khas’ strange predicament: there’s freedom to worship, there are 10 temples which bustle through the day with devotees; and yet Hindu girls here are kidnapped and converted—and the community humiliated.

Perhaps these abductions are part of the general scenario of crime against women in rural Pakistan (see box). Perhaps they are converted and married to criminals to enable the latter to escape the dragnet of the law. Yet, such arguments don’t comfort the Hindus. Sat Ram, of Shadi Bali village near Mirpur Khas, says Hindu girls are deprived of education because their parents are apprehensive of sending them to schools located at a distance. “They receive education only till the primary level. It isn’t safe to send them to school after that.”

But the plight of Hindu women can’t be seen just through the prism of gender discrimination rampant in rural Sindh. Reena Gul, of Sattar Nagar village, Mirpur Khas, says the boys too are converted but their numbers are very few. The community here feels it is the Islamist’s agenda to drive out non-Muslims from Pakistan. In fact, Krishen told the National Assembly that even Hindu businessmen are being kidnapped in Sindh for ransom. He said on the floor of the House, “Several religious parties are reportedly behind the move to convince the people that it is their responsibility to get rid of infidels from Pakistan, (that) taking ransom from non-Muslims is not a sin.”

I now set out to meet Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi, whose name surfaces repeatedly in conversion stories. The drive from Mirpur Khas to Sarhandi village, Somarho tehsil, is through a picturesque landscape. Peacocks dance in the field and gypsies pitch their tents for the night. Even the Pir appears tranquil, his white flowing beard and winsome disposition camouflaging his mission.

Yet, when he begins to talk, he conceals nothing. Yes, the Pir declares, he has been converting the Hindus for the last 30 years. Perhaps his claims of converting a 1,000 families a year is a boast. “There’s a surah in the Quran which speaks specifically about conversion, especially about conversion of women,” he says to justify his mission. “Recently, three Hindu girls were brought to me. I named them Benazir, Sanam and Nusrat,” he reveals, with the righteous air of someone who had bestowed a favour. “These Hindu women are mistreated by their husbands who do nothing but watch TV.”

The Pir rubbishes the allegation that he converts abducted Hindu girls. The unwilling are sent back. Yet, he adds in the same breath, “In many cases Hindu girls are kidnapped and kept as keeps. But these keeps are not converted. But believe me, they are very happy.”

I express the desire to meet the women whom he had converted and found sanctuary with him. The Pir agrees, even allows us to photograph them, contrary to the local tradition. Into the room, the women walk. Rehana, 50, was earlier Nabee; she converted three years ago, after the death of her husband. “I had no one to turn to. If we do not convert we would not be helped by this family.” It was the same reason for 35-year-old Mariam, who came here seven years back. “Under the Pir’s protection, I earn at least Rs 200 a month.” Ruksana was earlier Chotee, and hails from Umerkot. Extreme poverty and a drug-addict husband persuaded her to take the extreme step. “I brought my four kids as well,” she declares.

As I talk to these women, I realise most of them are widows or wallowing in poverty. I mention this to the Pir. He says, “The government is responsible for all Hindus and non-Hindus. When the government doesn’t help them, they come to us.”

Forced or economically enticed, the Hindu converts do not symbolise Islam’s appeal. Rather they represent the state’s failure to provide succour to the poor and protect their religious rights. Perhaps it’s also symptomatic of the sickness afflicting the Pakistani state. As they say, the condition of the minorities is an indicator of a nation’s health.

Courtesy: OutLook

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?229886#.T3IYtTDwlfl.twitter

Via – Twitter

Sindhi Resource Grammar Released – funded by the European Union

We are happy to release the Sindhi Resource Grammar. It is 5th Indo-Iranian language added in the GF resource grammar library (Others are Urdu, Punjabi, Persian, and Nepali). The development took almost 6 months, and was developed as a Master thesis project. Sindhi belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian family. It is widely spoken in Pakistan and India. In Pakistan it is the official language of Sindh (province of Pakistan), and in India it one of the scheduled languages officially recognized by federal government of India. There are more than 22 million native Sindhi speakers. In Pakistan Sindhi is written in Perso-Arabic script from right-to-left, while in India it is written in Devanagari script from left-to-right. Rich morphology, verb-compounding, relatively free word-order are the major characteristics of Sindhi.

Courtesy: http://www.molto-project.eu/story/sindhi-resource-grammar-released

Must read article – Imran Khan Jalsa in Karachi

The rise and rise of Imran Khan.

By Omar Ali

A few quick thoughts:

1. The campaign is well thought out and professional. It would be interesting to find out who all wrote the script.

2. People are indeed waking up, and PTI is indeed giving hope, but every time the people wake up it doesnt lead to where they think they are going (think about the millenarian excitement at the time of partition). The problem in any case is not the people or IK’s plan. Both are essential steps (if only partially understood) in a modern third world capitalist framework, and eventually the people/nation will indeed get there (they may think they are going elsewhere, but so did the people of China and see where they are today) but GHQ will have to be defanged along the way and taught new tricks. And one cannot underestimate GHQ and their genuinely problematic attachments to ideas incompatible with the needs of capitalist Pakistan … not so much from malign intent as from genuine lack of understanding (pak studies level BS is not just BS to them). Khan sahib is sincere, his followers are more than sincere, but the framework right now is only haflway there. Dangerous aspects of nazria e pakistan will have to be removed (quietly and surreptitiously, not the way I am saying it, I know), various groups will have to be accommodated or ruthlessly crushed (think Balochis, MQM, FATA, Jihadis) … all of which is doable, but not in this cycle by THIS tsunami. .. and all of which will include steps that may horrify some members of the excited middle class… Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen will not bring home the bacon.

3. There is indeed a new class of rich people in Pakistan and they need a more efficient capitalist country. They want to get together with PTI and GHQ and they think they will make Pakistan a stable capitalist country where property rights are secure (now that THEY own the property, thank you Hindus and Sikhs, and thank you current round of looting of public property, among other things). Its a necessary next step, but one has to be careful..who is writing the script? Many people are, but whose script has the deepest level of planning and muscle? GHQ.  They may still want to have their jihadi-nazria-e-Pakistan-irrational-anti-Indian cake and eat capitalism too….its tough to do that. They will have to kill some jihadis along the way and it wont be pleasant work. They will need much more Chinese money and that wont come without security for Chinese capitalists. Many eggs will have to be broken to make this omelette. And “resilient awam” will have to give some more “qurbani” (sacrifice) for the future greatness of Pakistani capitalists. Its true that our people are resilient, but not endlessly resilient.

4. I am NOT saying nothing good will come of this. People will get organized and get active. Many will get disappointed, but others will go on to new levels of effort and organization and understanding. How else do we learn? Just saying “this is not that dawn”…For various historical reasons, Chinese capitalism will be a bit more welcome than the Western brand, but its still capitalism and it has its own associated sacrifices…and the cultural and ethnic contradictions that have to be resolved will be resolved with very unpleasant tactics.

5. If you want a prediction, i think there is at least a 50% chance of IK being PM next year. And a 37% chance he could be assassinated some day to make way for Shah Mehmood Qureshi … in the best interests of the nation, mere aziz humwatno (my dear countrymen … standard refrain of martial law speeches in Pakistan).. and if PMLN and PPP are halfway capable, the job may turn out to be harder than today’s excitement makes it seem.

Courtesy » Brown Pundits

Af-Pak: a peace to end all peace —Dr Mohammad Taqi

Excerpt:

The continued aggressive posturing by the Pakistani establishment, albeit this time with a full civilian façade and on the pretext of seeking peace in Afghanistan, indicates that the already dysfunctional relationship between the US and Pakistan is literally on the rocks

“After the ‘war to end war’, they seem to have been pretty successful in Paris at making a ‘peace to end peace’” –Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell.

Lord Wavell, a commander of the British forces in the Middle East and later a Viceroy of India, had been commenting on the treaties bringing World War I to an end and the future shape of the post-Ottoman Middle East, but the mad dash towards ‘peace and reconciliation’ in the Pak-Afghan region over the last two weeks suggests that after a decade-long war, we too may be in for more turbulence, not tranquillity.

The very connotations of the terms truth, peace and reconciliation make it nearly impossible to say anything critical of — let alone contradicting — the process. But when the inimitable host of VOA’s Pashto service, Rahman Bunairee asked me last week to comment on President Asif Ali Zardari’s remarks in Turkey about opening up of a Taliban diplomatic office there, I found it difficult not to be cynical about the whole drama. “Since when does the president have such clout to determine Pakistan’s foreign policy, especially vis-à-vis Afghanistan,” I responded. Thinking of Wavell’s words, I added that what appears now to be a solution to a problem will likely be the mother of many larger problems to follow. President Zardari was speaking for the Pakistan Army and the so-called peace proposal — the diplomatic street address for the Taliban included — had been drafted in Rawalpindi. The civilians may have been acting it out, but the script is unmistakably Khaki. ….

…. In the Afghan memory, Pakistan, for three decades, has been part of the problem, not the solution. Each time that Pakistan has ‘sponsored peace’ there, rockets have rained on Kabul. Pakistan has miscalculated the Afghan and the US readiness to accept it as a partner in peace and the Gilani-Kayani-Pasha delegation to Kabul is being seen as a too-clever-by-half move to shoulder out the legitimate stakeholders. Unless Pakistan comes clean on the jihadist terrorists it harbours, any peace it sponsors will mean an end of all peace.

To read full article : Daily Times

Were we really tolerant before the jihadis? – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Whether led by mature middle-class people or otherwise, the extremist religious movements draw most of their following from the new urbanite classes. In most cases, they have become the source of religious violence

Pakistanis must ask a central question: were we really tolerant people before Zia’s Islamisation or we were only naively indolent, prone to be violent at any moment? It is a common belief in Pakistan that when Zia, alongside the US, created violent jihadi organisations, they created hysteria in the public with narrow-mindedness ruling and people killing for frivolous reasons. Two questions come to mind about this explanation. One, were we really consciously ever a tolerant society for the jihadis to destroy? And two, how can we use this explanation to explain the parallel rise of extremist political Hinduism in India?

While talking about the killing fields that jihadis have created, we forget that the carnage of 1947 in Punjab cost more lives than the total number of people killed by jihadi violence in the last 20 years in Pakistan. Everyone blames the people of ‘other religions’ for the 1947 tragedy but, wherever Muslims were in overwhelming majority, they killed Sikhs and Hindus. Conversely, they faced the same treatment in areas where they were a minority. Amrita Pritam rightly said, “Aaj sabhay Kaidoo hu gaiy, husan ishaq de chor” (Today, everyone has turned into a villain, enemy of love). What happened in 1947 is closely linked to what is happening now and what occurred in east Punjab’s Khalistan Movement, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Most of the 1947 killings were concentrated in the rural areas; there were some in urban centres but they were limited. Most of the stories I have heard from Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs migrating from Pakistan indicate that the urban non-Muslims did not lose their family members while the stories from the rural areas are horror tales. One of my maternal uncles was killed in a village in Gurdaspur but at the same time none of the two neighbouring village’s Sikhs were spared — entire villages were murdered. How can so-called innocent rural people become murderous?

It can be argued that from the second to third centuries, the way the Gupta dynasty established self-sufficient but desolate and isolated village communities contributed to the religious violence of 1947, and even presently. When the Maurya Dynasty’s state ownership of entire land and manufacturing became unsustainable, it was replaced by self-sufficient village communities. Every community was required by the king’s law to have all kinds of artisans who were given a little land, residential and agricultural, and fixed shares of peasant produce. Consequently, the village communities had no need or desire to interact with other communities or reach beyond their own. Only a few traders and vendors were the link between the village and the rest of the world. The vendor, or vanjara in Punjabi, became a hero in folk songs because he was the only link with the outside world.

Due to the total absence of interaction and exchange of thought with the rest of the world, the village communities became lonesome entities. Mental horizons shrank and one generation of people was replaced with an identical next one. The village was considered a homeland or country whose honour was to be protected. This is why, during inter-village festivals, people would carry weapons as the possibility of war between the people of different villages was very real.

In eastern Punjab, some village communities were comprised of people of all religions but, when the British colonised western Punjab through an irrigation system, the village communities were established exclusively on religious basis. Therefore, another layer of separation was put in place where people of one religion became aliens for the other. The British education system did not mitigate such a separation because of the imposition of Urdu and denial of Punjabi identity. As a result, Sikhs limited themselves to the Gurmukhi script and Muslims to the Persian script. This was another fundamental divide created by the British. In Sindh, where Sindhi was made the official language and everyone used the same script, inter-religious hostility was a little less and did not lead to carnage in 1947. In the urban centres of Punjab where, despite furious religious political divides, the interaction between people was much better and the level of violence was also lower in 1947. ….

Read more : Wichaar

The “real” reason behind India’s victory : Model Poonam Panday had promised that “she bare-all if India wins”

Model Poonam Pandey to bare all if India wins WC

After Paraguay model Larissa Riquelme, who promised to run naked through the streets if Paraguay won the football World Cup, an Indian model plans to do something alike if India beats Pakistan and goes on to win cricket’s showpiece event.

Cricket-crazy model Poonam Pandey says she will bare-all if the Indian team wins Wednesday’s semi-final against the neighbours at Mohali.

According to reports, the city-based model, has decided to go nude in front of the entire stadium if India ends up winning the World Cup.

Claiming she is just trying to motivate the Men in Blue, Pandey said she even won’t mind giving the team a private show in the dressing room if they win. …

Read more : Rediff.com

India vs Pakistan :  Cricket semi final 2011 – Motivational speech for both teams!

Here’s the thing that makes life so interesting. The theory of evolution claims that “only the strong shall survive”. Maybe so, maybe so. But the theory of competition says, “just because they’re the strong doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked”. That’s right. See, what every long shot, come from behind, underdog will tell ya is this: the other guy may in fact be the favorite, the odds may be stacked against you. Fair enough. But what the odds don’t know is, this isn’t a math test. This is a completely different kind of test. One where passion, has a funny way of trumping logic. So before you step up to the starting line, before the whistle blows, and the clocks start ticking just remember: out here the results don’t always add up. No matter what the stats may say and the experts may think and the commentators may have predicted, when the race is on, all bets are off.

Don’t be surprised be if someone decides to flip the script and take a pass on yelling “Uncle”. And then suddenly as the old saying goes, “WE’VE GOT OURSELVES A GAME”.

via Siasat.pkYou Tube

MOEN JO DARO – SINDH

by Chandiramani

Ruins of Moen jo daro : 25 kms. Away from Larkana city in Sindh .. It was inhabited in 2000 B.C , abandoned in 1700 B.C and rediscovered in 1920 ‘ Around 5OOOO people stayed there at one time. Maybe more.

It was probably abandoned due to the floods as river Indus (Sindhu) changes its course very often Declared as Unesco world heritage site, Unesco 1n 1997 gave U.S $1O million for restoration and strengthening the base of the city .

5 artistic seals prove the extent of progress achieved in 2OOO B.C itself . The dancing girl denotes self confidence.

Wayang Kulit of Indonesia bears a lot of similarity to it. Scholars must do research on this similarity .

The priest or the king shows power and dignity and quite a few statues of goddesses were also found at the site.

Shiva was worshipped in this area is proved by phallus shaped stone objects in Moen jo Daro.

Moen jo daro had an excellent drainage system, planned wide roads, two storied houses – made of baked mud. There were also huge granaries for storage.

A great public bath has also been found at Moen Jo Daro with steps going down to a pond. Elliptical disc was found recently which may have been used fork eeping holy water . Pieces of charcoal were found at Moen jo Daro. This will help us to pin point the age of the site. According to latest reports on google all the ancient sites are eroding due to goverment neglect and public aphathy.

It is very heartening to know that Tata’s Fundemental Institute of Research which is highly respected all over the world, is undertaking a research on Moen jo Daro to find out if the city was laid as per astronomical placements of stars at that time like is the case with Borobudut, the largest Budhhist Complex in the world ( In Indonesia ). and Angkor Vat in Cambodia. Moen Jo Daro is a few hours drive from Karachi – Sindh.

According to Makarand Khatavkar who also conducted a lot of research on Moen Jo daro, the layout of the ancient Moen Jo Daro is astonishing and so are the seals.

Some streets in Moen Jo Daro were 33 feel broad, and had markets on both sides. At Moen jo Daro , there is a 5OOO year old well and the workers were drinking water from it.

Another very striking point was that no weapons of war were found at Moen Jo Daro.

Now about the script;: The Indus script has been known for the last century but until today it has not been deciphered.

However the studies by TIFR scientists and other world institutes suggest that Indus people wrote in a literary style and the script may have been written close to spoken languages like Tamil and Sanskrit .. The linguistic structure of the Indus (Sindhu) script suggests this .. Now the efforts are on to understand the grammatical structure of the script.

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

Nostagia at its zenith: A Trip to Sindh – A Journey to My Roots. Desh pehenjo visaaran dukhyo aa!

Courtesy: Following article has appeared in the ‘Femina’, ‘Bharat Ratna’, ‘Amil Samchar’ and in the Hindvasi (Translated into Sindhi)

A TRIP TO SINDH-A JOURNEY TO MY ROOTS

By Shakun Narain Kimatrai

Mid– 1986 – The Kimatrai Building still majestically stands in Hyderabad Sindh

We finally made it! To Hyderabad Sindh that is! My husband Narain and myself finally left on a trip that would make us set foot on the very soil that we had left 39 years ago.

When I told my Sindhi friends in Bombay that I was leaving for Pakistan, they showed a lot of interest-in fact more interest than had I told them that I was going to London, New York or to Timbuktu for that matter. But why was I surprised at their reaction? After all I was going back to the land of our birth, to the land and houses which we had left reluctantly with tears in our eyes and to which we had been denied access for so many seasons.

Those friends to whom I told about my trip to Pakistan, not only showed interest but a variety of emotions.

I sensed in them envy, apprehension and fear for my safety—as a matter of fact a friend of mine asked: “Going to Hyderabad Sindh, Shakun, are you sure you will be back?

Though I was a little apprehensive myself I was not really afraid. After all of whatever kind may have been the frenzy during partition-I had the confidence on the fact that we Sindhis having drank from the same Indus Sindhu water for centuries prior to the sad separating event, they would welcome us with the age-old ‘Sikka’ (affection) of the Sindhis.

From Bombay, we first landed at Lahore where the hotels are comparable to any other good 5-star hotel elsewhere in the world.

Whenever one goes out of India, one is midst strangers from a different land, so to speak-one looks different and talks a different tongue. While in Lahore, what struck me was that no-one could tell that I was a foreigner there-we looked alike and spoke the same language. Then why? Why did one have to go through customs and immigration at the airport like an outsider? I felt sad.

Amongst the elite, the ladies do not practice purdah as a rule. They wear salwar kameezes made in the latest style. The people of Pakistan enjoy good food, though alcoholic beverages are at least visibly absent.

My charming Pakistani hostess took me around sight-seeing and shopping and she proudly presented me everywhere around as her Indian friend from Bombay. Her friends and the sales people generally welcomed me warmly and even courteously gave me discounts on their goods.

Amongst the common citizens of Pakistan whom I met, I felt that there was competition with India as far as Economical progress or a game of cricket was concerned-which according to me is healthy and natural of any set of neighbors.

At a couple of parties that I attended and where my host learned that I enjoyed singing, they requested me, not to sing a ghazal or a film song, but a ‘Bhajan’! Is it possible that they subconsciously miss the Hindus and their culture in their midst?

I myself having lived in Bombay in cosmopolitan surroundings almost all my life, did feel rather restricted being surrounded by only Muslims in their country.

From Lahore we flew to Karachi from where it was a mere 2 hours drive to my birth-place Hyderabad in Sindh.

It was unfamiliar seeing the Arabic Sindhi script strewn all over on hoardings and advertisements and the milestones on the road ; though odd, the feeling was pleasant.

Once we approached Hyderabad I found my husband’s voice getting more emotional. He remembered the roads, as he was 9 years old when he had to leave his home-town. He instructed our friend who was driving to take us to a certain spot, to stop; after which he wanted to find the way up to his old house himself.

Continue reading Nostagia at its zenith: A Trip to Sindh – A Journey to My Roots. Desh pehenjo visaaran dukhyo aa!

Noted Sindhi humor writer, & a pioneer of Roman-Sindhi script Haleem Brohi passes away

“A giant” of Sindhi language well-known writer and thinker Haleem Brohi has passed away on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 @ 4 pm in Hyderabad, Sindh. Haleem Brohi has great contribution in Sindhi humor, Sindhi novel and in a way journalist, a real columnist of Sindhi and English language. He was a pioneer of Roman-Sindhi Script named “Haleem Brohi Jee Roman Sindhee.”