Remembering Sindh

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Remembering Sindh

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:22 pm

Sindh’s partition history is different from the well-recorded, violence-ridden Punjab and Bengal stories because while those states were physically divided, Sindh went entirely to Pakistan. “Rivers of blood didn’t flow in Sindh but the people’s migration stories tell of the drastic cultural change they underwent,” says Saaz...

The book opens with Situ talking of a Sindh where children flew kites all year round because it never rained. The first time she saw an umbrella was in the Bombay monsoons. “Her story made me realise just how much of a new world ‘India’ was to my mother. At Partition, they told her ‘We’re going to India’ but for her, Sindh was already ‘India’,” says Saaz.

Despite the sea-change, few Sindhis spoke of their past culture, few young Sindhis know their mother tongue today, and by and large, the community is shrouded in the Bollywood stereotype of loud, money-minded businessmen. “Tracing their history, however, shows that once in India, they focused on making a living for themselves. The richer Sindhis helped the poorer ones settle. It was a community that looked forward, but in the process lost their past,” says Saaz.

Saaz’s research also paints a forgotten Sindh where secularism was upheld and spirituality mattered more than religion. Burial sites of religious leaders were places of strength and were sacred for all regardless of individual belief. “The generation that migrated to India, however, lost this secularism because Partition polarised the Hindus and Muslims into ‘us’ and ‘them’. My mother too believed this way,” she Saaz.

The book, however, revisits an article published by Situ which writes of how visiting Muslim neighbourhoods after the Bombay riots changed her views: “I looked into their eyes and I saw a familiar expression. It was the same fear that my parents had during Partition, not knowing what their future was going to be.”

The publication of Sindh took Saaz to the Karachi Literature festival where Oxford University Press launched her book. She also visited the land of her ancestors with her mother. “There I met a socially conscious young generation who knew their cultural history; Sindhi Muslims who still remembered and missed the Sindhi Hindus who migrated,” she says.

Moreover, she visited a village with over 4,000 Hindus where the elders said they never left during Partition because their tribal chieftain promised them safety and fulfilled it too.

She concludes, “It proved to me that all you need for peace between two communities is good governance.”

http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/remembering-sindh/article4508687.ece

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Re: Remembering Sindh

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:46 pm

I had two sindhis in my class in high school. Both came from business families. One was from an upper middle class family and the other from a relatively affluent family. The scion of the affluent family told me that when his family came to India from Pakistan, they had nothing. They owned land and property in Pakistan and were wealthy, but during partition they lost everything and had to migrate to India leaving behind all their possessions and properties.

But even though everything had been taken away from them during partition, my friend told me that there was one thing that could not be taken away from them. And that was the knowledge of how to make money. The business skills. And so, after coming to India, they again became wealthy and prosperous even though when they had come they were not any wealthier than beggars.

My sindhi friends were BJP supporters. Besides the obvious reason, this may also have something to do with the fact that LK Advani, who was the most powerful person in the BJP at the time, is a Sindhi.


Last edited by Rashmun on Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:28 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Remembering Sindh

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:40 pm

i once met a sindhi girl in bangalore. her father was a doctor. i believe it was her grandfather who had come to India after the 1947 partition. Peculiarly enough, he had come straight from Pak to Tamil Nadu. The reason for this was that her family knew some people living in TN. I recall thinking what an unusual transition this must have been for her family.

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Re: Remembering Sindh

Post  QB on Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:42 am

my grandparents brought my father when he was 4 yrs old. my grand parents ( my grandfather and my maternal grandfather were educated) my grandmothers were so so..but very strong. they believed in education..and trained my father to study. they lost everything in pakistan..my grand mother brought with herself ( with 5 days of journey thru ship) only few brass vessels and 5 rupees..they were put up in some camp in ulhasnagar and my grandfather applied for a job, got it and shifted his family to baroda..where we were given one room ..it got extended into a bunglow later on. my father used to study under street light and was the only electrical engineer in teh community. they built their future with absolutely no loan..just hard work and honesty. my father became general manager in a government organisation ..used to live life of luxury...but not even once took bribe from anyone. i m proud of my past.

my nani says that her father got lost in pakistan..they came thru train..and he was found sitting on a railway platform in indore by a relative..it was reunion of sorts u witness in movies..the next day the train that arrived from pakistan was full of bodies that were slain. he was just a day earlier..
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Re: Remembering Sindh

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:57 am

QB wrote:my grandparents brought my father when he was 4 yrs old. my grand parents ( my grandfather and my maternal grandfather were educated) my grandmothers were so so..but very strong. they believed in education..and trained my father to study. they lost everything in pakistan..my grand mother brought with herself ( with 5 days of journey thru ship) only few brass vessels and 5 rupees..they were put up in some camp in ulhasnagar and my grandfather applied for a job, got it and shifted his family to baroda..where we were given one room ..it got extended into a bunglow later on. my father used to study under street light and was the only electrical engineer in teh community. they built their future with absolutely no loan..just hard work and honesty. my father became general manager in a government organisation ..used to live life of luxury...but not even once took bribe from anyone. i m proud of my past.

my nani says that her father got lost in pakistan..they came thru train..and he was found sitting on a railway platform in indore by a relative..it was reunion of sorts u witness in movies..the next day the train that arrived from pakistan was full of bodies that were slain. he was just a day earlier..
Great to read this. Thanks for sharing.

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