Monthly Archives: July 2012

10th August Sindhudesh flag day.

“For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.”  Frantz Fanon

Sindhi nation will mark 10th August as Sindhudesh flag day, Sindh is a country since thousands of years and which is always being attacked by the occupiers, tyrants, colonizers and imperialists for their interests. Since 65  years Sindhi nation is in bondage and occupied. Sindh is confronting worst form of colonialism of Pakistan. Sindhi nation want liberty from rogue state Pakistan nothing else. On 10th August students, workers, freedom fighters all will hoist the flag of Independent Sindhudesh and will tell the world that Sindhi are a nation and we are being occupied by world’s terrorist country Pakistan.

I am the flag of the Sindh
I fly on the Moen-jo-Daro
I fly on the houses of freedom fighters
I fly on the oppressed nation houses
Look up and see me.
 
I stand for freedom, resistance, peace
I am confident.
I am proud.
Look up and see me
 
I am proud martyrs are covered with me,
Martyrs rest by covering me.
Because of martyrs I also become immortal.
 
 
 

 

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Bengali women in 1971- Bangladesh war of Independence

Gen A.A Khan Niazi did not deny rapes were being carried out and opined, in a Freudian tone, “You cannot expect a man to live, fight, and die in East Pakistan and go to Jhelum for sex, would you?”

Atrocities against Bengali women:

As was also the case in Armenia and Nanjing, Bengali women were targeted for gender-selective atrocities and abuses, notably gang sexual assault and rape/murder, from the earliest days of the Pakistani genocide. Indeed, despite (and in part because of) the overwhelming targeting of males for mass murder, it is for the systematic brutalization of women that the “Rape of Bangladesh” is best known to western observers.

In her ground-breaking book, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, Susan Brownmiller likened the 1971 events in Bangladesh to the Japanese rapes in Nanjing and German rapes in Russia during World War II. “… 200,000, 300,000 or possibly 400,000 women (three sets of statistics have been variously quoted) were raped. Eighty percent of the raped women were Moslems, reflecting the population of Bangladesh, but Hindu and Christian women were not exempt. … Hit-and-run rape of large numbers of Bengali women was brutally simple in terms of logistics as the Pakistani regulars swept through and occupied the tiny, populous land …” (p. 81).

rape1.jpg

Typical was the description offered by reporter Aubrey Menen of one such assault, which targeted a recently-married woman:

Two [Pakistani soldiers] went into the room that had been built for the bridal couple. The others stayed behind with the family, one of them covering them with his gun. They heard a barked order, and the bridegroom’s voice protesting. Then there was silence until the bride screamed. Then there was silence again, except for some muffled cries that soon subsided. In a few minutes one of the soldiers came out, his uniform in disarray. He grinned to his companions. Another soldier took his place in the extra room. And so on, until all the six had raped the belle of the village. Then all six left, hurriedly. The father found his daughter lying on the string cot unconscious and bleeding. Her husband was crouched on the floor, kneeling over his vomit. (Quoted in Brownmiller, Against Our Will, p. 82.)

“Rape in Bangladesh had hardly been restricted to beauty,” Brownmiller writes. “Girls of eight and grandmothers of seventy-five had been sexually assaulted … Pakistani soldiers had not only violated Bengali women on the spot; they abducted tens of hundreds and held them by force in their military barracks for nightly use.” Some women may have been raped as many as eighty times in a night (Brownmiller, p. 83). How many died from this atrocious treatment, and how many more women were murdered as part of the generalized campaign of destruction and slaughter, can only be guessed at.

Despite government efforts at amelioration, the torment and persecution of the survivors continued long after Bangladesh had won its independence:

Rape, abduction and forcible prostitution during the nine-month war proved to be only the first round of humiliation for the Bengali women. Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman’s declaration that victims of rape were national heroines was the opening shot of an ill-starred campaign to reintegrate them into society — by smoothing the way for a return to their husbands or by finding bridegrooms for the unmarried [or widowed] ones from among his Mukti Bahini freedom fighters. Imaginative in concept for a country in which female chastity and purdah isolation are cardinal principles, the “marry them off” campaign never got off the ground. Few prospective bridegrooms stepped forward, and those who did made it plain that they expected the government, as father figure, to present them with handsome dowries. (Brownmiller, Against Our Will, p. 84.)

Source: Gendercide Watch

Books:

* Genocide in Bangladesh (1972) by Kalayan Chaudhury, Orient Longman, pp 157-158

Rape of Dhaka University students in 1971

“ …..Some army officer raided the Rokeya Hall, the girls’ hostel of Dacca University, on October 7, 1971. Accompanied by five soldiers, Major Aslam had first visited the hostel on October 3, and asked the lady superintendent to supply some girls who could sing and dance at a function to be held in Tejgaon Cantonment. The superintendent told him that most of the girls had left the hostel after the disturbances and only 40 students were residing but as a superintendent of a girls’ hostel she should not allow them to go to the cantonment for this purpose. Dissatisfied, Major Aslam went away. Soon after the superintendent informed a higher army officer in the cantonment, over the telephone, of the Major’ s mission.

However, on October 7, at about 8 p.m. Major Aslam and his men raided the hostel. The soldiers broke open the doors, dragged the girls out and stripped them before raping and torturing them in front of the helpless superintendent. The entire thing was done so, openly, without any provocation, that even the Karachi-based newspaper, Dawn, had to publish the story, violating censorship by the military authorities. In seven days after liberation about 300 girls were recovered from different places around Dacca where they had been taken away and kept confined by the Pakistani army men. On December 26, altogether 55 emaciated and half-dead girls on the verge of mental derangement were recovered by the Red Cross with the help of the Mukti Bahini and the allied forces from various hideouts of the Pakistani army in Narayanganj, Dacca Cantonment and other small towns on the periphery of Dacca city.

women-fighters.jpg

“Although thousands of young Hindu women were killed, the most attractive among them were captured to become sex slaves in the military cantonments. When the girls tried to hang themselves with their clothing, their garments were taken away from them. Then, when they tried to strangle themselves with their long black hair, they were shaved bald. When they became five or six months pregnant, they were released with the taunt: ‘When my son is born, you must bring him back to me’.” (Daktar: Diplomat in Bangladesh by Dr. Viggo Olsen).

Articles:

Abortion team to travel to Bangladesh -The Bryan Times, February 10, 1972

The Rape of 71: The Dark Phase of History -Dr. M A Hassan

…..We have collected numerous evidences on the rape, molestation and torture of Bangalee women by the Pakistani army. Rauful Hossain Suja, the son of martyr Akbar Hossain of Pahartali, Chittagong, went to the FOY’S LAKE KILLING ZONE to look for his father’s dead body. They found dead bodies of approximately 10,000 Bangalees, most of them were brutally slaughtered. In their desperate search for their father’s dead boy, they found dead bodies of 84 pregnant women whose abdomens were slashed open. This type of brutality took place almost every where in Bangladesh. Raped women were also locked up naked in various military camps so as to deny them termination of their anguish through suicide.

As per our statistics on the abortion centers and hospitals around the country, less than 10% of the total raped women visited those centers. In most cases the abortions were done locally and efforts were taken to keep those incidents secret due to social situation. The doctors and specialists, like Dr Anwarul Azim, involved in the hospitals and abortion centers agreed to this statistical information. In reality the raped women who became pregnant after September and less than three months pregnant in early 1972, they did not go the abortion centers and hospitals at all. In our account, the number of women of this category was at least 88,200. Moreover, in those three months, raped 162,000 women and 131,000 Hindu refugee women simply disappeared, assimilated into the vast population, without any report at all.

The Beswas Village – By Afsan Chowdhury:

“I came out and saw the army. They wanted to go inside. I put my hands up like this and said there was no one inside. They flung me away into the yard and dragged my husband and son outside. They shot them both right there, there.

They killed every male in the village, every male. When the army was gone, there was not a single man left to bury the dead. We had to drag the bodies ourselves and bury them.”

Against Our Will : Men, Women and Rape – By: Susan Brownmiller

A stream of victims and eyewitnesses tell how truckloads of Pakistani soldiers and their hireling razakars swooped down on villages in the night, rounding up women by force. Some were raped on the spot. Others were carried off to military compounds. Some women were still their when Indian troops battled their way into Pakistani strongholds. Weeping survivors of villages razed because they were suspected of siding with the Mukti Bahini freedom fighters told how wives were raped before their eyes of their bound husbands, who were then put to death. Just how much of it was the work of Pakistani “regulars” is not clear. Pakistani officers maintain that their men were too disciplined “for that sort of thing”.

* – John Hastings, A Methodist missionary worked in Bangladesh for 20 years:

“I am certain that troops have raped girls repeatedly, then killed them by pushing their bayonets up between their legs.”

– (from Newsweek)

* War babies: The question of national honor – By Bina D’ Costa

* Ethical Issues Concerning Representation of Narratives of Sexual Violence of 1971 – By Nayanika Mookherjee

War of Symbols: How today’s generation remembers 1971 – By: Dr. Meghna Guhathakurta

The Lessons We Never Learn – By: Hameeda Hossain

“It has now become a ritual, come December and March, to bemoan why no justice was exacted from the Pakistan military and its collaborators, for the crimes of genocide and mass rape, committed in 1971. This is not for lack of evidence.”

Distances by Rahnuma Ahmed -on a picture of an women recovered from an Army camp in 12th december 1971 taken by Naibuddin Ahmed:

Girls had been discovered in the bunkers, which were next to the university guesthouse. He went on, I went and found her, she was lying like that. People were milling around her, they were in front of her, they were behind her. I asked them to move, I made some space, and then I took photographs. Girls had been discovered in the bunkers, which were next to the university guesthouse. He went on, I went and found her, she was lying like that. People were milling around her, they were in front of her, they were behind her. I asked them to move, I made some space, and then I took photographs.

War rape intimidates the enemy, says Sally J Scholz. It demoralises the enemy. It makes women pregnant, and thereby furthers the cause of genocide. It tampers with the identity of the next generation. It breaks up families. It disperses entire populations. It drives a wedge between family members. It extends the oppressor’s dominance into future generations.

One of the 400,000 birangonas (brave women), who were raped during the war
Photograph: Naib Uddin Ahmed/Autograph ABP & Guardian UK

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Exploitation of indigenous Sindhi nation

 

“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. Malcolm X

Join the rally to protest against the exploitation of Indigenous Sindhi masses by establishing mega-project like Zulifqarabad project and Coal mining projects in occupied and colonized Sindh.

Call to the international community, the environmental groups, human rights and civil society organizations around the world to save the indigenous people of Sindh from the most atrocious mega-project in the history of humankind – Zulifqarabad 

Colonialism could end but perilous settlers-colonialism rarely ends so Zulifqarabad is the new game by Pakistani-occupiers to change the demography of Sindh.

Sindhi nation already have suffered the Pakistani-occupation and colonialism by which Sindh’s resources and masses are being exploited. Land of Guddu and Sukkur Barrage in Sindh were allotted to Punjabi-Bureaucrats, Punjabi fascist army generals and Punjabi landlord’s even advertisement for sale of land was not published in Sindh, it was published in Punjab.

Pakistani establishment want settlers-colonialism in Sindh to change the demography of occupied Sindh with the help of Chinese investors, occupied and colonized nation don’t want any development by occupiers except liberty.

Pakistani establishment with Chinese assistance plans to create mega city Zulifqarabad over the vast area of Southern Sindh. Indigenous people of Sindh fear that Chinese aided project will result in the eviction of the indigenous people including ancient fishing communities from the area. Many experts have alerted Pakistani government that the proposed project is environmental disaster by removing ecological features and natural protection to the coastal areas.

Chinese companies also have authorized to commence Thar coal mining project in Sindh. Indigenous Sindhi fear that they will be displaced by this world’s 5th largest coal mining project.  Sindhi’s believe that both China led projects will displace hundreds of thousands of indigenous Sindhi’s settled for thousands of years.  The rally is organized to inform international community against this proposed economic genocide of indigenous Sindhi people and submit a letter for Chinese government not to be part in this crime against humanity.

Organizer: World Sindhi Congress

Sunday August 5th, 2012 @ 2:00-4:00pm

 

Venue:                         

66 Portland place,Opposite Chinese Embassy,

London W1B 1JL  Nearest tube station- Regent’s Park

Contact:

Rubina Greenwood  07974225219

Lakhu Luhana    07825828163

 

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Sindhi nationalists protest against Punjabi Shenzen

B.RAMAN
1. President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan was in Beijing from June 5 to 7,2012, to attend the summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) of which Pakistan, like India, Iran and Afghanistan, is an observer.
2.During Zardari’s stay in Beijing, officials of the two countries signed three  memoranda of understanding (MoUs) covering supply of water from Tarbela to Islamabad, the establishment of a Special Economic Zone in the proposed new city Zulfikarabad in Sindh and the building there of 6,000 flats   on private-public partnership basis. They also signed  an agreement for Chinese assistance in the  de-silting of canals and barrages in the Sindh province.
3. After Mr.Zardari’s return from China, it was reported that he  has directed the Sindh Government to identify amillion acres (4,000 km²) of land near the coast in Thatta district for the development of the proposed new city, in  memory of the late Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The proposed location of the city would be near Jherek in Thatta district.
4. It was also reported that Mr.Zardari sought Chinese assistance to make Zulfikarabad into a major special economic zone patterned after Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province where China’s first SEZ was set up and where the Chinese economic miracle started.
5. Reports about Mr.Zardari’s plans to create, with Chinese assistance, a Pakistani Shenzhen in the Thatta area of Sindh have caused serious concerns among sections of the Sindhi nationalists, who fear that the Chinese-aided project might result in the eviction of the Sindhi peasants from the area and the ingress of a large number of Punjabi businessmen and ex-servicemen into the area to make the city a Punjabi Shenzhen in the heart of Sindh.
6.The protesting Sindhi nationalists claim that the Chinese-aided construction of the Gwadar port in Balochistan resulted in the ingress of a large number of Punjabi businessmen and construction companies into the area, transforming Gwadar, which was essentially a Baloch fishing village, into a Punjabi colony in the heart of Balochistan.
7. Many Sindhis fear that a similar fate might befall Thatta and that the Punjabis would be the ultimate beneficiaries of the project. Mr.Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which strongly supports the project, has undertaken a campaign to educate the Sindhis that the project would benefit Sindh and the Sindhis and that the fears voiced by the Sindhi nationalists were baseless. The inauguration of the construction of the project, originally due in the last week of June, has reportedly been postponed for giving time to address the concerns of the Sindhi nationalists.
8. In their campaign to remove the fears of the Sindhi nationalists, PPP leaders have been saying that the proposed  SEZ  would have  a special regulatory regime to ensure that the  locals have the priority over jobs and other opportunities, that the inflow of people from other parts of the country is controlled by introducing  work permits and that land could only be leased with ownership  remaining  with the locals.
9.PPP leaders have also been promising that as part of the Chinese-aided project, the road, rail and port (Keti Bunder) infrastructure in the area will be upgraded and a number of technical and vocational training institutions will be started to train Sindhis to take up jobs in the SEZ and to start their own small and medium scale industries
10. Despite this, Sindhi nationalist parties such as the Jeay Sindh Qaumi  Mahaz (JSQM)   have started a protest movement against the project. On July 12,2012, the JSQM took out a protest rally against the proposed project in Karachi. JSQM leaders had planned to march to the Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi to hold a demonstration, but the police prevented them from going there.
11. The protesters then  staged a sit-in on the National Highway and destroyed over  1000 SIM cards of their Chinese mobile sets. Dr.Niaz Kalani, the acting Chairman of the JSQM, who led the protest rally, announced that more protest rallies and sit-in demonstrations against the Chinese Government would be held from July 18.An appeal was issued to the Sindhis to boycott Chinese goods and a Chinese cell phone service provider. Among other JSQM leaders who participated in the protest were Mr.Asif Baladi, Mr.Sagar Hanif Burrdi,Mr. Sarfraz Memon and Mr. Maqsood Qureshi. ( 15-7-12)
 The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: seventyone2@gmail.com . Twitter: @SORBONNE75

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History of Sind

SIND

INTRODUCTORY

As a lad, I imagined the origin of Sind, my beloved country, thus : Brahma, the great Architect of the Universe, had planned out His world, and finished the entire structure of the frame from the limited portion of the Primal Dust assigned to Him for His creation. The plan being completed, He found to His discomfiture a little of the Dust still remaining. He knew not how to dispose of it. For be it known, even the Great Architect has to do His work according to a preconceived model, which philosophers name the archetypal. The types in the plan having been exhausted, the little bit remained. The Maker simply knew not what to do, and so, I suppose in utter frenzy, He threw it away, and the poor thing was attached to the tail-end of the Punjab. Thus it was that Sind came to be; and therefore is it that it has come to be called the Desert Valley. It is built on no model, hence it is supposed to be a barren country. Not many people undertake with pleasure the journey to Sind through the burning sands of the desert. The J. B. Railway carries passengers through the desert at night, otherwise it would be hardly possible to think of such a journey. Even then it is very trying, as through the gates of the body – mouth, ears and nose – the sand makes inroads. I was familiar from childhood with the hills of Sind, called Ganja Hills. “Ganja” means “bald” and these hills are utterly bald, hardly anything green can be found on them, only rarely on some thing thus brought into existence. Discarded by Brahma, it prayed to Shiva, and Shiva came to its help. He is Lord of the barren grounds and butning-places, so this barren thing sent its supplication to Him from the crown of whose head flow the eternal holy waters that nourish Hindustan. Shiva heard the prayer of my country, and behold ! His mercy changed the original plan inasmuch as He extended the course of the “river of the five waters,” so that it flowed into this desert as the river Sindhu. So it is we have the distinction of being called Sindhis.

The queen of rivers made Sind its last abode, and turned the desert into a valley green and fruitful. On both sides of the eternal river grow fields of waving corn, and the soil has become rich. The desert was driven down, and now begins only where Sind ends, at Chor its last town. If only the Britisher had maintained the river routes, the journey to Sind from the Punjab would have been the most enjoyable of trips -the broad breast of the Sindhu, with its ever green banks, grassy lands and noble trees instead of the desert railway. The river also saves us from the scorching winds of the desert, and in some places turns them into sweet refreshing breezes. Shiva said to Sind, His humble devotee, “The first shall be the last and the last shall be the first”. Hence it is a part of my theory that Sind is not destined to be always the last.

Sir Charles Napier, the English General who conquered Sind, prophesied : “Karachi will be the Queen of the East”. Karachi, the capital of Sind, is the port which the Greeks called “Alexander’s Heaven”. It did not prove lucky for Alexander; but it is bound to fulfil its destiny in the near future. Since the War it has already become the connecting link between Iraq and India and , geographically, it is the first and the nearest port in India to Europe. Bombay has long usurped the status of karachi but Karachi is bidding fair to come into its own; and we Sindhis, without wishing other countries to be the last, hope that our land will yet raise her head among the Sister Provinces, fair daughters of India our Mother, and bring credit and glory to Beloved Hindustan. Sind, miscalled the desert valley, has within it a garden of mysticism : it is the land of Sufis and of Saints. It bears a holy flower within its breast : the great mystics of Sind placed this treasure there : it will give its fragrance freely to all who seek. My endeavour in this little volume, written for the Asian Library, will be to narrate something of Sind and its Sufis.

THE PAST

ARYAN, GREEK AND SCYTHIAN

The first mention of Sind is to be found in the Mahabharata, where Jayadratha the Aryan king of Sind fought against Krishna – on the side of the Kauravas against the Pandavas. At first jayadratha was on the side of the Pandavas; but afterwards he turned against them and joined the Kauravas, and even attempted to take away Draupadi by force. In this, however, he failed, and was driven out by the Pandavas. This is what is told about Sind in the Mahabharata, surely not much to the credit of poor Sind ! Mention is also made in the Upanishads about Sind being famous for horses ! It is not known how long the Aryan kings ruled in the land, but Sind is next mentioned in History about five centuries before Christ, when Darius, the King of Iran (Persia), attacked India, captured the Punjab and then sailed from Peshawar in boats down the river Indus, and conquered it.

No details are to be found about the condition of Sind at this time beyond the statement that Punjab and Sind were both very rich countries paying a million sterling in gold dust as taxes to Darius. How much of Iranian culture and civilisation found its way into Sind by this invasion cannot be ascertained; but it is necessary to notice it, as Sind is the portion of India that has, perhaps, come into contact with more civilisations than any other. For two centuries again the curtain falls, and nothing more is known. The velil is lifted in 326 B.C., when Alexander the Great conquered the Punjab and explored the Indus with a fleet of about two thousand ships. He travelled down the river Jhelum, and pounced on the territory of King Mousikanos, one of the rulers of Sind in that part of the country now called Sukkur. Alexander surprised the King by his onslaught; and the poor man submitted, being so advised by his Brahmana councillors, but soon repented, and rebelled against the conqueror. Alexander seems to have been wildly enraged at this, and in his fury pursued the poor King, captured and executed him. Not satisfied even with this, he went to the lenght of killing the Brahmanas wholesale. This seems to have had a terrifying effect on the rest of the Province, and Sambos the ruler of Shiva-asthan (the modern Sehwan) also surrendered, while Moeris, the ruler of Patalene (Lower Sind) fled from his territory.

The capital of Lower Sind in Alexander’s day seems to have been Patala or what is now known as Tatta. This is not certain; but mention is made of the delta where Alexander built his dockyard. The river Sindhu flowed by Tatta, and it was down this arm of the river that Alexander sailed back towards the Indian Ocean. Tatta, now chiefly in ruins – even in the latter days of Hindu, and afterwards of Muslim rule-was one of the best known centres of commerce and manufactures in india. It is said that the city population numbered many lacs. Muslim histories mention Tatta as one of the most important centres of their civilisation, and as having great institutions of learning, both Persian and Arabian. This same Patala was in the days of Pliny, four centuries later, known to the Romans as one of the most flourishing centres of trade. Alexander fortified Patala and made it the chief base of his further campaigns into unconquered territories; he himself led a long march into Makran and Persia, leaving his fleet under Commander nearchoes, who passed through Kakrala (now known as Shahbunder), but unfortunately suffered obstruction and damage in a place which they called “Alexander’s Haven,” but which was most probably the port of Karachi.

So then the original Aryan civilisation in Sind had been by this time influenced by the Iranian contact and further by the pressure of the virile Greeks. India was passing through a great upheaval; the religious wave of Buddhism had made inroads into the cherished preserves of the Brahmanas; Gautama’s influence had stirred the whole of India; and though Buddhism made its home later on in the Far East, still its influence was indelible and undeniable. It had awakened the country politically, and thus the great Chandragupta was afterwards able to wield his enormous control over this vast territory, from Pataliputra, the modern Patna, his capital. Alexander had gone into the interior of Western India only; and, after the dissolution of his empire, the Greeks had to make a treaty with Chandragupta, and Sind came directly under his rule. Chandragupta’s successors, Bindusara and Ashoka, ruled over India. Ashoka being the great pillar of Buddhism, naturally Buddhism made headway during his reign, and Sind came largely under its influence. Even to-day relies are found. A few years back, ruins near Mirpurkhas were unearthed, and revealed a Buddhies Settlement with Buddhist idols, etc. The three magnanimous rulers of the Mauryan dynasty united India into something like a Nortion; and their achievement draws from us admiration and wonder when we think of those times when there were neither trains nor steamers, nor telegraphs, nor aeroplanes.

Things changed again after Ashoka, and Sind, the frontier country, suffered much from the inroads of foreigners-this time the terrible, ravaging tribes of the Scythians. Before the Scythians engulfed the land with their hordes, the Greek kings of Bactria had once again begun to claim control over Sind; but in this new onrush of the Scythians the kingdom of Bactria gave way, and the savage hordes attacked India, chiefly through Sind. Hordes and hordes of Scythians entered the fertile fields of Sind. They had more an insatiable greed for possessing the riches of the country, and less an unholy Just of conquest; their savage ruthlessness, well nigh denuded the land of its inhabitants; but the immortal King of Ujjain, the great Vikramaditya, drove them back, and thus put an end to their murderous assaults. It was the desert between Sind and Ujjain that saved the rest of India from the savagery of the invaders who turned back and settled in Sind, which was at this time named Indoscythia. The Scythians made Sind their permanent abode and, even now, a very large number of its people are of Scythian tribes, specially the Jats and the Meds, were numerous in Sind, and to the present day they are calledjuts meaning illiterate. Even the culture of the Arabs had no influence on these people and up till now Sind is perhaps the most illiterate province in the whole of India. Out of the twenty-six lacs of Muslims in Sind, two percent are literate, and out of seven lacs of Hindus seven percent are literate. This illiteracy is the heritage probably from the Scythian. Jats who lived in huts made of reeds on the banks of the Indus, fish and waterfowl being their chief articles of diet. Even now many of the people live in the same way; they go by the name of muhanas or fishermen and some of them still call themselves Meds. Their brother Jats are engaged in agriculture, simple otherwise in their lives, but primeval in their passions.

RAJPUT RULE

The Scythians had no governing genius, hence they were soon over-powered by the kings of India. In those days Buddhimsm was the chief religion especially of the ruling classes and it spread most easily in Sind where there was less orthodoxy, the Greeks having killed the Brahmanas. Buddhism however did not hold sway in India for long; the Hindu religion again revived and Sind shared in this revival. It came under the rule of Hindu kings; but its population had a good mixture of Hindus and Buddhists. The great Chinese traveller, Hiuen tsang, mentions this fact in his memoirs. Later on, under the Rajput Hindu dynasty, Sind became a powerful country; its borders stretched up to Multan and even to Cashmere; and among the Rajput ocuntries, it held its head high. Rai Sihasi, the Rajput King of Sind, sent his governors to rule in the important centres of his territory, Brahmanabad (now in ruins), Shivasthan, Multan, etc. Sihasi was a relative of the king of Chitore. He had a Brahmana minister named Chach, who was as subtle as he was brave and handsome. The beauty of Chach had captured the heart of the wife of King Sihasi, after whose death the Brahmana seized his throne. He married the widow of his former master, and killed the remaining members of the royal house. He defeated the king of Lassabela who was a Buddhist.

THE COMING OF ISLAM

Chach ascended the throne of Sind in A.D. 631. The great prophet of Islam died in Arabia in the year A.D. 632. Chach ruled Sind for forty years. During these forty years the religion of Islam spread like wild fire and the star of Islam was in the ascendant. The Indian Ocean lay between Arabia and India, and the eyes of the energetic and enthusiastic Arabs were fixed on Sind. They had kept themselves fully informed of the conditions in that country. Their boats had carried merchandise on the indian seas; their men had landed on the shores of Sind and brought back full accounts of the state of disorder and disharmony prevailing there. Sind was a house divided against itself – diverse peoples, with diverse religions, an and political dissensions. The king was a Hindu, but many governors of the forts were Buddhists. Even the Hindus were divided against each other, as many resented the treachery of Chach against the House of Sihasi. The Arabs made experimental attacks on Sind by sea, but they were driven back by the help of the hardy Jats. Chach died in A.D. 671: and after this the efforts of the Arabs grew more persistent, and the dissensions among the Sindhis more and more serious, until at last the storm burst in the year A.D. 711 when Dahar, the younger son of Chach, was on the throne.

The Arabs had been watching and waiting for the opportunity which now came to them. A vessel that was carrying slaves and presents for Hajjaj, the Ruler of Iraq (Mesopotamia), was raided by some pirates off the Sind coast, near Debal; and the Arabs were either killed or imprisoned. King Dahar was threatened by a then united Arabia; Hajjaj, with the permission of the Khalif of Bagdad, sent his nephew and son-in-law, Mahomed Kassim, with a force of twelve thousand horsemen and camelmen. Kassim was a lad of twenty only ! Dahar prepared for the battle; but treachery had already ruined his prospects of victory. His son Bajhra was the ruler of Shivasthan (Sehwan); but as the people of that part of Sind were Budhists, they refused to fight, even for their king. The Arabs, after releasing the Arab prisoners on the raided vessel at Debal, marched on Sehwan and captured it Then they took Nerun (Hyderabad), and came face to face with Dahar. Dahar had twenty thousand infantry, five thousand horsemen, princes of the royal blood, and sixty elephants. It is said that King Dahar was seated on an elephant with two beautiful girls, one supplying him with arrows as fast as he could shoot, and the other handing him betel nuts ! If this is true it speaks eloquently of the utter degradation that was the cause of the ruin of Dahar’s army and the victorious rush of Mahomed Kassim. Very soon marched on to Multan.

The Arabs were relentless in their treatment of any city that did not submit; in that case they put to death every fighting man; but those that yielded and paid full tribute were not treated with rigour. Mahomed Kassim reigned victoriously for three years, and then was suddenly called away to Iraq.

KASSIM’S TRAGEDY

A strange tale has woven itself round Kassim’s tragic death. There are some who deny it; but tradition and some written accounts maintain it. When the Arabs took possession of Sind they gathered up the virgin daughtersof the land and sent them away to Arabia; it is said that many thousands of girls were despatched, among them the two beautiful daughters of King Dahar, specially meant for the harem of the Khalif of Bagdad. When the girls reached Bagdad, it is said that they took revenge on Mahomed Kassim by betraying him to the Khalif, charging Kassim of first violating their virginity and then sending them on to the Khalif. The anger of the Khalif knew no bounds, specially when he became the victim of the superb charms of the Hindu princesses. He ordered that Mahomed Kassim be relieved of his governorship in Sind, and be packed alive in a raw cowhide and despatched to Bagdad. It is also said that, after this miserable death of Kassim, the King of Bagdad became aware of the treachery of the two girls, or else their sway over him had waned considerably in the meanwhile, for the King ordered that they should be stitched up in the belly of an ass, after being dragged through the streets of Bagdad ! One cannot vouch for the truth of this tale; but one thing is certain, that Mahomed Kassim was sent for and executed at Bagdad by the order of the King. Thus ended his heroic career.

The Arabs settled in Sind permanently, but some places still remained in the hands of the Hindus. Jaisiya, son of King Dahar, rebelled and made a stand against the Arabs; he took Brahmanabad, and in order to confirm his position he became a convert to Islam, but soon picked a quarrel with the Arab governor who ruled on the other side of the river, and was killed. It appears that the rule of the Hindus continued in the region of Brahmanabad and Alore. The favourite pursuit of Arab rulers was to convert the people of Sind to Islam. Those of Scythian origin, after they had been defeated and humbled by the Arab conquerors, seem to have taken easily to islam, but the Hindus resisted. The Arabs fully utilised their methods of conversion. Their favourite and special tax,jasia, was specially levied on those unfortunates who would not give up their religion, they were decried as unbelievers and had to pay double rates in customs and other duties.

Very soon dissensions arose in Arabia itself; the bitter fight for the Khilafat relected itself in Sind in the weakening of Arab rule. About forty years after the entry of the Arabs into Sind, the Abbaside Khalifs gained supremacy over the Ummaiyides; and the Arab governors in Sind were therefore replaced by others sent by the Abbaside Khalif, who became the chief ruler of Islamic countries. The former Arab settlers were not disturbed : they were left in peace. Not much is known about the condition of Sind during the century and a half that followed; but it seems that it was divided between the Arabs, the Hindus and the unruly tribes of Scythian origin, who again took to plunder.

MUSLIM INDIAN INVASIONS

It was at this period, that the terrible series of Muslim invasions of India took place. Mahomed Ghazni thundered at its gates and found no difficulty in entering, and making himself conqueror of th eland. In A.D. 1026 he sent his Vazir, Abdur Razak, to conquer Sind. Abdur Razak drove out the Arab governors then ruling and appointed others of his own choice. Mahomed Ghazni was not a friend of the Arabs; and this onslaught of his considerably reduced the Islamie influence and religious control of the Arabs. Thus other forces made their way into the civilisation of Sind. (The culture of Persia had also been penetrating into Sind). The language of the Ghaznis and others that followed was chiefly Persian, and this language became the language of the Sind Courts and began to spread among the peoples. the culture of Persia had a liberalising effect on Islam in Sind.

Sind, during the many invasions tha t followed, was not however much desturbed. The Ghaznis went and the Ghoris came; the governors were changed, but there was little stir among the people. The Sindhis had by this time become habituated to the change of masters. Shahbuddin Ghori sent a favourite Turkish slave to rule over Sind. So one governor went and another came, who kept an army of mercenaries. After the Ghori came the Khilji dynasty; and, while Altamash, after usurping the throne of Delhi, was trying to extend his authority to other provinces, another event occurred that defeated the efforts of Delhi to control other provinces.

GHENGEZ KHAN

Ghengez Khan, the Mogul, had carried his banner far and wide. Already his name inspired terror in the countries of the East. The Moguls entered the Punjab, ravaged the land, gathered enormous booty, and passed on to Sind, killing ten thousand prisoners in cold blood. They went back laden with booty, but came once again to Sind. This time the Emperor of Delhi resisted them successfully. It was at this period that Sind separated from Multan, as the region near Multan was strongly fortified by the rulers of Delhi in order to ward off the attacks of the invaders through the Punjab. Sind remained under the rule of Delhi, but its governor was virtually independent. For a time the Governor sent by the Khilji Emperor ruled well and kept the people of Sind in hand; but, when he himself ascended the throne of Delhi after the fall of the house of Khilji, Sind was free from the control of the strong man’s arm, and again the Sindhis began to assert their independence. A tribe called the Sumras unfurled the flag of freedom and established their own Raj near Tatta, making it the capital of their kingdom. These Sumras were originally Rajputs, but during the course of time had been converted to Islam. The Sumra Rajputs and other Hindus do not seem to have gone altogether out of power during the intervening centuries, but worked under the suzerainty of the Indian rulers.

THE FALL OF BRAHAMANABAD

One of the Hindu rajas who attained to inglorious fame was Raja Dalurai; his country seems to have attained a high degree of prosperity. Tradition says that this king was powerful and brave, but was a devil incarnate of insatiable I=lust. he deflowered the virgins of the land and ordered that any virgin that was married must first contact the touch of his infamy. A girl of Brahmana family, a pious and pure virgin, found herself in danger. Her virtue and honour were more dear to her than all else. She prayed to the Champion of the pure and the chaste for relief from the power of this demoniacal Dalurai. Already evel portents in the land had not been lacking . Prophets and star-readers prognosticated a huge calamity. It is said that, on the night of the marriage of this girls, a terrific cyclone and a tremendous earthquake destroyed the country of Dalurai, and the huge city was a complete ruin.

Whether tradition is correct regarding the story of the virgin can never be ascertained, but it is a fact that the ruins of Brahmanabad and Alore can to this time be witnessed. They stretch for many miles. The sight at Brahmanabad is awe-inspiring. A solitary tower, mostly dilapidated, stands witness to the terrible catastrophe that occurred centuries back. It is possible that, if delved in, this soil may yield up many marvels of antiquity.

SUMRAS AND SAMMAS

History is not clear about the reign of the Sammas and Sumras. There are some who think that the Sumra Rajputs drove away the Arabs. Very soon after the Ummaiyide Khalifs, and after the expulsion of the Arabs in 750, Sind was chiefly ruled by Sumra Rajputs. Anyhow, one thing is clear, the power did not go out of the hands of the Hindu rajas. How and at what period the Sumra and Samma Rajputs took ot Islam cannot be determined, but it is a fact that many did. Even now the population of Sind cantains more than seven lacs of Sammas and about a lac of Sumras. The Sumras made Tatta their capital. The mad King of Delhi, Mahomed Tughlac, made an effort to oust the Sumras from their capital at Delhi. His nephew, Feroz Taghlac, was successful for a time; he raised fortifications at Lake Sagrah, appointed a Viceroy at Bukkur and then went back to Delhi. Soon after this, the Sammas, the other Rajput tribe, took the reins of governmnent into their hands and organised their forces so well that they were able to defy Delhi. Arter Tamerlane, the Moguls had well nigh destroyed the power of Delhi. These Sammas who had been converts to Islam ruled well and efficiently. The Sammma rulers took the title of fam, as did also the convert rulers of Cutch. Many are the stories given of Jams, specially those of jam Tamachi who married a fisherman’s daughter, of the handsome and pious Jam Sanjar, and of Jam Nando, founder and maker of the glory of Tatta, who ruled for fifty years. It is stated that as many as seventeen Jams succeeded each other; of whom were bad rulers, others good.

THE KAZI OF BUKKUR

A story is given about the Kazi of Bukkur who was a judge in the days of Jam Sanjar. This Kazi had a peculiar way of his own, he took bribes not from one party but from both. Jam Sanjar having received complaints sent for him personally and took him to task. The Kazi, although dishonest in his duties, was honest enough to confess. he said, “Yes, I do take bribes. If I could, I would extract money from the witnesses leave the premises before the court closes.” The pious Jam could not help laughing. The Kazi continued : “Sire, with all this sin, and with all the hard work of the day, I am not able to keep hunger out of my house, and my wife and children suffer.” The Jam took a lesson from this and raised the salaries of his servants. The present British rulers of India ought also to take a lesson from Jam Sanjar. Their lower subordinates often receive too little salary and obviously interpret this as an inducement to take to irregular means of increasing it. The Sumras and the Sammas ruled for two centuries. Their territory extended from the sea coast far into the boundaries of hte Punjab. Tatta, their capital, which was a huge city, is not now an important town in Sind, but its vast ruins stretch out for many, many miles, and its Makli Hill still presents many an object of interest and study.

History repeated itself and luxury corroded the foundations of prosperity. The immorality and laxity of the last kings weakened their strenght; and like Dahar of old, Feroz the son of the great Jam Nando, having neglected his duties for worldly pleasures, lost his kingdom and seriously disgraced himself. But so it was destined to to!

FEROZ THE COWARD

By this time Babar had invaded India and had established himself on the throne of Delhi. Babar’s power lay in Afghanistan, its neighbouring countries and India. The Ruler of Kandahar by name Shahbeg Arghun belonged to the House of Halaku, grandson of Ghengez Khan. Shahbeg began to get jealous and nervous of the growing power of Babar in India. he frlt his own position insecure and therefore wanted to establish a new kingdom for himself in India. Sind was the nearest and most handy for his purpose, so he resolved to try his luck. This was in the days of Jam Nando. Shahbeg sent an army to ivade Sind; but Darya Khan, the great General of nando, beat it back. Soon afterwards Nando died and his effeminate and foolish son, Feroz, came to the throne. He disregarded the advice and guidance of Darya Khan and began to have in his service the Mogul subjects of Shahbeg Arghun, who was surreptitiously working for access into Sind again. Feroz gave land to these Moguls for colonising; the site of the colony still exists, and goes by the name of Mogulwara. Babar had, after establishing himself in India, gone to end taken Kandahar; then Shahbeg Arghun found himself deprived of his old kingdom and his vision of a new one still unfulfilled. But his emissaries in Sind were busy creating opportunities for him, which was very easy in the days of Feroz whose folly had brought about division and disintegration. Shahbeg attacked Sind again, the brave Darya Khan was killed, and the Sammas defeated. The cowardly Feroz had remained hidden in his harem at Tatta. He now fled; and left Tatta to the tender mercies of the invaders, who continued their sack till Shahbeg, after many entreaties from the Sayeds of Sind, descendants of the Prophet and priests of Islam, stayed his hand. The despicable Jam presented himself with a sword tied to his neck in utter submission before Shahbag. This is how he made his penance before Shahbeg, who took pity on him and left him with some territory to rule over. Shahbeg then directed his attention to the extending of his territories. He conquered the Baluch tribes, destroyed about forty-two villages of the Baluchis, and then thought of invading Gujerat, so that the strong arm of Babar might not reach him easily; but death frustrated his ambitions.

After the death of Shahbeg, his son Mirza Shah Hussain came to the throne of Sind. This son had separated from his father in anger, while still in Kandahar, and had gone to Babar in Delhi. He remained in his court, and Babar treated him so well that, when he was called to reign over Sind after his father’s death, he refused to declare himself an independent Ruler, but ruled in the name of Babar, and said that as Babar was the head of the Moguls and a descendant of Tamerlane, he was satisfied to be his subordinate. Thus Sind was again linked to the throne of Delhi. Feroz, the weakling, after the death of Shahbeg bestirred himself; but he was defeated by the Mirza. Feroz fled to Cutch, received help from the Roi of Cutch, and returned with an army of 50,000 men. The unfortunate man however did not succeed. A tragic story is told, that when the army of Feroz found victory hopeless, his men took off their turbans, tied them all end to end and bound themselves together with this one long rope, desiring to die together. It is said 20,000 of them perished thus. The Mirza now began to rule in the proper sense of the word. He extended the frontiers of Sind as far as Multan, conquered that place, and gave it as a present to Babar. He also attacked Cutch, anticipating an attack from that direction on Tatta; he obtained great booty.

THE FATHER OF AKBAR

We now come to a very interesting period in the history of India as well as of Sind, when Humayun was driven out by Sher Khan. The unfortunate Humayun took shelter in Lahore with his brother who was ruling there, but not feeling himself safe he ultimately thought of Sind. Humayun wrote a letter to the Mirza of Sind, touching upon the cordial connections that had existed between his father and the Mirza. The Mirza was a diplomat. He invited Humayun to his kingdom. He knew that, if he refused, Humayun with his remaining forces would attack Sind. He sent his people to receive the King royally at Bukkur (near Rohri), with a respectful message that the mirza would be willing to help him with an army to attack Gujerat. The aim of the Mirza was to get rid of Humayun, as naturally he thought that two lions in the same forest would not do ! Poor Humayun remained at Rohri expecting the Mirza to come in person as he had so stated in his message, but the Mirza never came. He treated Humayun Shabbily. By his instructions the Governor of Bukkur had shut himself up in the

fortress and had ordered all the boats to be removed from the river Indus, on the opposite banks of which Rohri and Sukkur are situated. He also laid waste the neighbouring part of the country.

Humayun had come with two lacs of followers – countries, soldiers and retinue; and thus found himself in an absurd and awkward situation ! The Governor of Bukkur by these tactics calculated the early departure of Humayun after growing utterly weary. Humayun waited for five months, then getting impatient and angry, he attacked Sehwan, but the wily Mirza had anticipated this and Humayun found before him the fortress of Sehwan well prepared. He laid siege to it for seven months but was not successful. The miserable King, in grief and despair, contemplated going on a pilgrimage to Mecca. For a time his despair was relieved by a letter he received from Raja Maldeo of Jodhpur, inviting him to his capital with a promise to help with 20,000 soldiers. Humayun turned towards Rajputana; but while at Bikanir the unhappy Monarch learnt from reliable sources that the Raja of Jodhpur was preparing a trap for him, being in league with his enemy, Sher Khan. Humayun’s position can be better imagined than described. His followers were decreasing in numbers; his mercenaries were dropping away gradually, as lack of funds increased. Many died of thirst in the sands of Rajputana and the King on account of his poverty began to lose control over them. The few men that at last remained showed disrespect to him. Sometimes the King had no horse to ride upon, as he gave the only one he had to his wife and himself walked on foot, while his nobles remained in their saddles without any shame. Such was the plight of the parents to be of Akbar the Great.

AKBAR, THE GREATEST SINDHI

Humayun thus wandered about with his wife after his retreat from Bikanir. The Queen was an expectant mother at this time. The poor King knew not what to do; he reached Umerkot, the capital of Thar Parkar district in Sind, with seven attendants only. This place was in the hands of the Soddhas, a Rajput tribe that had not been converted to Islam. Rana Wan Sal was the Ruler of the frontier fort in Umerkot. What moved the heart of this Rajput Rana ? In spite of the enmity borne to Humayun by the Chief Ruler of Sind, this Hindu Rana gave up all selfish considerations on knowing the circumstances of the poor King and his wife. Perhaps it was the Devas who moved men’s minds- the Devas who knew that a great son of India was soon to be born. The Rana came out of his palace, welcomeed Humayun in a truly touching fashion, kissed his stirrup and gave the castle to the King for his use. On the 14th of October, 1542, Akbar was born in Umerkot. The paternal care which the Hindu Rana took of the Muslim King was itself an indication of the coming national umity in India; the sense of unity was thus ingrained in Akbar from his very birth.

THE SPIRIT OF UNION

The coming of this son gladdened the sad hearts of his father and mother. The King had no riches to distribute in honour of the birth; but he had with him a little pod of musk, which he broke and distributed among his attendants, with the prayer that the fame of this new-born babe might spread far and wide as the fragrance of the musk. And that prayer did rise to the Throne of the Almighty and draw forth a full response. In Tatta at this time lived a holy saint, Sayed Ali Shirazi. This holy man had his own vision of the coming of the great soul of the mighty Akbar. He brought gifts to Humayun welcoming him on his own behalf and on behalf of his followers. Humayun had the child’s first shirt made out of the clothes of the pious Sayed thus enwrapping him in the garments of piety. Humayun soon left Umerkot and went to live in Junpur, a place situated on the river and known for its beautiful gardens and cool streams. The town is now not in existence; perhaps it was in the Gunni Taluka, Hyderabad District, as there is still a place called Jun there, and possibly some small river like the present Phuleli (flower stream) than flowed by the side of Junpur. If it was so, then the place must have been really idyllic, as even now the scenery by the Phuleli in Gunni is really charming. Mirza Hussain, the King of Sind, did not desire that Humayun should stay in the land, and therefore friction and conflict continued; but Bairam, the loyal henchman of Babar and afterwards the regent for young Akbar, brought about peace between the two monarchs. The Mirza, whose one anxiety was to get Humayun out of Sind, agreed to give Humayun 300 horses, 300 camels and one lac of gold miskals. Humayun thus departed to Kandahar which was part of his kingdom.

MASSACRE BY THE PORTUGUESE

We now come to the time when the nations of the West were coming to India like so many wasps to suck and to sting. In the year A.D. 1555 the Portuguese were growing powerful, as division and disunion increased among the Indians. Sind was suffering intensely from this disharmony. After the death of the powerful Mirza Hussain, there was bitter conflict between the various claimants. One of these, Mirza Tarkhan, hearing of the strenght of the Portuguese, sent his ambassador to the Governor of Bassein, asking for military aid to resist what he called the rebellion of his opponent. The Governor sent one Pedro Rolim with a fleet of twenty-eight ships and 700 men. The Portuguese duly arrived at Tatta. The Mirza was absent. When he heard of the arrival of the Portuguese, he sent word that he had made peace with his opponent, and was therefore not in need of the help of the Portuguese. He is said to have also refused to defray the expenses of the Portuguese expedition. Pedro flew into a rage, sacked the city of Tatta, killed 800 people, destroyed property worth two million miskals and departed with such an amount of booty as no other looter of Asia had ever carried away with him.

A WRETCH OF A KING

Sind was at this time in the worst of conditions, especially in the days of the last of the Mirzas, Mahomed Baki, who is depicted by historians as a villain and a wretch, a heartless monster, who tortured people, cut off the breasts of women, had his victims trampled under the feet of elephants, and massacred travellers lest they should defame him in other countries. Akbar the Great was the Ruler of Delhi. This wretch, Mahomed Baki, Knew of the immense power of Akbar, and in order to gain his favour he sent his daughter to the Emperor with a valuable dowry, but Akbar returned the girl to the disgraceful father, whose black soul must have been scorched at this rebuff. He ultimately sought death by suicide and was buried on the Makli Hill at Tatta.

GREAT SINDHIS

Akbar now took possession of Sind, appointed another Mirza as Governor and things went on well. The two great lights in the Durbar of Akbar, Abu’l Fazl and Mulla Faizi, are said to have been Sindhis, residents of Sehwan, proofs of which are not lacking. The great humourist of Akbar’s court, Birbal, is said to have been a Sindhi, born near Nassarpur. Sind bore a creditable part in those days of India’s greatness; it gave not only the two geat men that were real makers of Akbar’s glory, but it also gave birth to Akbar and cradled and nursed him. After the reign of Akbar and of Jehangir dissensions broke out in the Mogul Royal House. This had its effects on Sind too, which again brcame a disorganised province. Shahjehan, the son of Jehangir, took shelter in Tatta after his quarrel with his father; and afterwards, when he became Emperor, he built a magnificent Jama Masjid in Tatta in memory of the hospitality he had received in Sind. This Masjid still exists.

THE FAQIR DYNASTY

Sind again became a battle-ground of many fights and quarrels between many rulers. It came for a time under the rule of the Kalhoras who were the descendants of a great faqir, Ahmed Shah, whose piety had gained for him a great name. The members of the Faqir Dynasty were rulers, spiritual as well as temporal. They were also called Daudpotas, that is belonging to the family of Daud, which flourished in Sind, Daud is supposed to have attained to the age of two hundred years.

THE COMING OF NADIR SHAH (1739)

Another terrible event occurred in the days of Nur Mahomed Kalhora. It was the monstrous attack of Nadir Shah who after looting Northern India marched to Sind; and one morning King Nur Mahomed found Nadir Shah at the gate of Umerkot. Be it said to his credit that the proud Kalhora fought with Nadir Shah, who was, however, too powerful for him and made him prisoner at Larkana, and after exacting from him a crore of rupees and a promise of tribute, left him to rle. The cruel Nadir took away two of the sons of Nur Mahomed as hostages, but was humane enough to compensate the aggrieved father by bestowing on him the title of Shah Kuli Khan. Nadir Shah returned from Larkana to Kandahar, as Larkana is a frontier town between Sind and the hills, on the way to Afghanistan.

After the eventual murder of Nadir Shah, Nur Mahomed tried to make himself independent of Kandahar. Ahmed Shah Abdali who succeeded Nadir Shah bestowed another title on Nur Mahomed; but Nur Mahomed took steps to free himself of his control. This enraged Ahmed Shah, who in one of his invasions of India came to Sind to chastise Nur Mahomed. Unfortunately for Nur Mahomed, and Sind the Kalhoras who were also a branch of the Daudpotas did not remain in amity with the other Daudpota branch, which ruled the north of Sind and built the famous city of Shikarpur which is also one of the frontier towns. The Afghans first attacked the north of Sind; the brave Daudpotas of Shikarpur made a splendid stand, but finding it hopeless they killed their women and threw their bodies into the wells, then fought desperately till they were well nigh annihilated. Those that remained escaped towards Multan and built another city known as Bahawalpur. The Afghans under Abdali, consequently found it easier to subdue Nur Mahomed.

DIWAN GIDUMAL (1754)

Nur Mahomed was now nervous as he had aroused the wrath of Abdali, but he had a very wise Vazir by name Diwan Gidumal. Diwan Gidumal was a Hindu of great political skill and learning . The Muslim rulers of Sind and their nobles did not take kindly to ducation, and the tradition of the old Scythian illiteracy seems to have still persisted among them. The pleasures of the hunting- ground, and the harem, were much more congenial to their nature than plodding at letters. True, there was a class of Muslims, very much cultured; but many of them were Sufis, radical and heterodox, and therefore chiefly in condlict with the orthodox priests and their heads, the Kalhora kings. I shall deal with these Sufies at full length in the second part of this book, but here it is necessary to note how Hindus became the ministers of Muslim rulers in Sind. Diwan Gidumal was a great Amil. The word Amil means an educated man as well as an official. The Amils of Sind are a class by themselves. Some of them are said to have migrated into Sind from Punjab; they made their homes first in Khudabad, and afterwards most of them came to Hyderabad, Sind, which in the days of Nur Mahomed was one of the capitals. It was known formerly as Nerun, an important place at the time of Alexander’s invasion. These Amils are at present perhaps the most cultured of Sindhis, their chief habitat being Hyderabad. Diwan Gidumal was one of thier ancestors. Nur Mahomed consulted Diwan Gidumal as to how to appease the anger of Ahmedshah Abdali, who was camping at Naushahro Feroz, a town futher north of Hyderabad. Diwan Gidumal came in person to Ahmedshah who was struck by his personality and the intellectual power of his face. The Diwan is said to have placated Abdali in this way. It is said that the Diwan had with him two bags which he had brought with other gifts for Abdali. Abdali enquired what these bags contained. “Your Majesty,” said the diplomatic Diwan, “these bags contain the most valuable of Sind’s gifts, they contain the holy dust from the tombs of numberous saints and Pirs of Sind.”

The Muslims have always had reverence for the ancient saints of Sind, as the earliest great followers of the Prophet of Islam first came to Sind. Ahmedshah was for a time pacified by Diwan Gidumal, but it seems Nur Mahomed, by the good offices of Diwan Gidumal, Abdali agreed that Murad Tarkhan, the son of Nur Mahomed, should continue as ruler. The King of Kandahar was very exacting in his demands. He soon deposed Nurad and instated Aturkhan, his brother, who had been taken to Kandahar as a hostage by Nadir Shah. Aturkhan was now sent to rule Sind, beacause the King of Kandahar expected Aturkhan to collect more and more tribute. The people grew poorer and poorer and altogether had to pass through a great amount of misery. Very soon the rule of the Kalhoras was changed to the rule of the Talpurs who were originally the ministers of the Kalhoras, but who were afterwards more or less compelled to take the reins of Government into their own hands as the last Kalhora rulers were thoroughly unfit to rule.

We now come to the last period of the history of Sind before the arrival of the English. But before taking up that story it is necessary to note that these Talpurs failed to rule properly. The Afghans had occupied the North of Sind, Shikarpur, etc., and the Talpurs had begun to attack the Hindu rulers of Sind in Thar. The Hindu Rajput rulers, of the Soddha caste, had been ruling amicably and well, and during the reign of Akbar had cultivated friendly relations with Mussalman rulers. They even inter-married with them, a custom which has been in existence to some extent up to the present time among the Soddhas. Some of the Talpur rulers were tyrannical in their treatment of the Hindus, and their relations with the Hindus grew bitter. They were more or less ignorant; and had it not been for the Amils, who helped them in their Government, their rule would have been even more stupid. It was this misrule and especially their ill-treatment of the Hindus, that lost them Sind and made it possible for the British to annex it. When the stupidity of the Talpurs coupled itself with religious bigotry, the tyranny became will nigh intolerable. So much so that old people have been heard to declare that if a man said raso,which means a rope, it would be taken for granted that he had said Rasul which means “the Prophet” and thus be said to have embraced Islam. It may be that some of these stories are exaggerations. Evidence is not lacking that they treated the Hindu Amil with some respect. That was because the Amil was indispensable to them, but other Hindus, as well as poor Muslim peasants, were their victims. Men of the present generation have heard from old Amil relatives who had seen the Talpur rule, about the terror which hung over them, especially the women, who were never considered safe outside and therefore were kept rigidly indoors; thus the social life of the Hindus of Sind received a deadly injury, as the women had to be kept in the purdah, devoid of education. One must not conclude that all the Talpurs and their chief nobles were of this kind; some of them must have been estimable person; but the general impression of the people at the present moment still remains the same.

They tyranny over the people in the villages of Sind was such that even now in the terror of the word Sirkar it is apparent. They were not only the victims of the chief rulers but also of their servants, both Hindu Amils and Muslims. This tradition of tyranny has descended to the present police and revenue servants of the British Government; but that is a tale that need not be anticipated here. There was no one ruler of Sind, but there were dozens of rulers. The Talpurs had divided Sind into three divisions, each division under a separate Talpur. But even these divisions had more than one ruler. A good instance is Hyderabad, which was under as many as four Talpur brothers who were so suspicious of each other that they slept in one room, lest any of them should conspire against the other in the night. How could a house thus divided resist an encroacher with the capacity of the Britisher?

THE STORY OF THE BRITISHER

It was in the days of Kalhora Ghulam Shah that the East India Company established itself in Tatta in the year 1758. Long before this, the Englishman had acquired power in India and was then establishing himself as the chief master of the country. Sind was one of the Company’s last conquests. It is said that Ghulam Shah, the Ruler of Sind, permitted the Company to establish itself at Tatta, which was one of the most magnificent centres of trade and prosperity in India. The English Lieutenant, later known as Sir, Henry Pottinger visited Tatta in the year 1809, and he wrote after his visit, “Even so recently as the period of Nadir Shah’s visiting Tatta on his return from Delhi, it is said there were 40,000 weavers of calico and loongis in that city, and artisans of every other class and description to the number of 20,000 not inclusive of bankers, money-changers, shop-keepers and sellers of grain, who were estimated at 60,000 more, whereas the aggregate population of it, at the present moment, is overrated at 20,000 souls”.

Nadir Shah came in the year 1739. Nadir Shah did not sack Tatta, he did not even go there. After he left Sind, Tatta continued to be so prosperous that it attracted the attention of the ever-watchful East India Company which is said to have received permission to establish itself there in the year 1758. What is the population of Tatta now ? Not even 20,000, which figure Sir Henry Pottinger gaven in 1809, but only 10,000 or less. This ruin was accomplished by the misrule of the later rulers, Kalhora and Talpur, and also by the machinations of the Honourable Company, which by this time had ruined the general trade of India, more or less completely. I do not think that Ghulam Shah the Kalhora was glad to see the Company in Tatta, as seems to be made out by the official English historians. The latest chronicler of the “Sind Gazetteer” says : “It was in the time of Ghulam Shah, and perhaps on his invitation, that the East India Company established a factory in India.” The word `perhaps’ cuts both ways. It is certain that this entry of the Company into Sind was resisted and detested by the people. The Company did its nefarious work for seventeen years, but after this period the resistance became so intense that the Company’s factory at Tatta had to close down. Sarfraz, the then Kalhora, was a wise man who could see the ruin that the Company was bringing to the swadeshi industry and it was he who made the Company move out.

But soon after the Kalhoras had given place to the Talpurs and in the year 1799, that is, twenty-four years after the closure of the factory, the British Government sent a deputation under one Mr. Nathan Crow to Sind calling him their political and commercial agent. By this time the British influence was very strong, and the so-called deputation imposed itself on the Talpur Ruler; and Mr. Crow exacted from him permission to build for himself a `nest’ at Karachi. Karachi was not then an important place, though its position as a harbour and a port is now second to none in the East. Its geographical situation is such that it is now making its way and possibly will soon be the “Queen of the East”. But Karachi at the time of Mr. Crow was just in its embryonic state and the keensighted Britisher knew this, when his Government sent him as a commercial and political agent. That the permission to Mr. Crow to build his bunglow at Karachi was an unwilling exaction from the Talpurs is proved by the fact that mr. Crow had to spread his wings and fly back to Bombay within ten days. The Company began to roa and laid a claim for a lac of rupees, as the amount of the loss supposed to have been incurred in this greedy campaign called the “sending of a deputation”. The company pressed its claim for the precious lac of rupees. The Talpur Ruler, Mir Fateh Ali Khan, could not recognise the justice of paying this bill. Little did the poor Mir realise, that the sending of Mr. Crow was merely a preliminary to the despatch of more birds prey to Sind. For a while the Company became quiet and waived its claim as it had begun to feel nervous; for the rumour of Napoleon Bonaparte’s designs on India had reached them, and already the long arm of Napoleon from Europe was threatening complications for the British in Persia. But as soon as this danger was over, the company sahib, called this time the Supreme Government, began to insist upon a settlement, and sent Mr. Smith of the Bombay Civil Service to forge fetters for Sind. This time it was not called a deputation by the demand to negotiate a fresh treaty. But why in the name of honesty and common sense was Sind expected to have a treaty ? Justice echoes still `Why?’

HIS ENGLISH MAJESTY’S HORSES

Lieutenant Pottinger reached Karachi and wanted to proceed to Hyderabad in order to negotiate a treaty with the Talpurs. By the right of might, the Mirs were compelled to negotiate with the British, the conditions of the treaty being that Americans and all Europeans, except the British, should be excluded from Sind; that the British and the Talpur Governments should appoint Vakils who would be links between these Governments; and that the subjects of both Governments should live in each other’s territory. The sole purpose of the British Government was to pave the way for its entry into Sind. Another opportunity soon occurred. His Majesty the King of England sent a gift of five horses to Ranjitsing, the lion of Punjab, whose favour the English were seeking at this time. His Majesty’s horses duly arrived at Bombay. The Bombay Government thought it absolutely necessary to send these horses to Ranjitsing at Lahore, via Sind and by the river route. Lieutenant Burns (afterwards Sir Alexander Burns) took his boats up the river Indus. The Mirs indirectly tried to obstruct him, but the irresistible Britisher had his way. The Mirs knew that any open defiance would mean providing the Bombay Government with an excuse to annex Sind; therefore, when Lieutenant Burns reached Hyderabad, the capital of Sind, the Mirs had to eat humble pie and provide facilities for the Lieutenant to sail up the river. The nobles standing by the side of the Mirs looked on this unjustifiable encroachment upon their rights with the greatest bitterness, for they knew that the pretext of sending His Majesty’s horses was only meant as an excus for the English to explore the river Indus, and study it for future use. One Sayed, who was at the Court when this permission was granted to Lieutenant Burns, sadly said : “Woe be to us, Sind is now lost.” And so it was to be.

A SANCTIMONIOUS TREATY

After a short time the Mirs were compelled to participate in another ceremony of negotiating a treaty. The chief clauses in the pious document were to this effect: The first and foremost laid down for either Government the holy restriction of not conveting the possessions of the other, this restriction to bind all the succeeding generations. The third and perhaps the only mundane item of the sacred treaty was that the river Indus was to be opened for trade to all the merchants of Hindustan (of course including the English merchant but no other European merchant). The treaty also made it clear that no military stores should pass up and down the river, nor armed vessels be allowed to enter the Indus. Let us now see how devoutly this holy treaty was adhered to by the Englishman. Sind had been for a time legally and morally independent of the control of both Delhi and Kandahar. The King of Kandahar, Shah Shuja, had made a solemn treaty with the Talpurs, writing the conditions of the treaty on the Holy Koran, by which he relinquished all claims on Sind. The Russian bogey was raising its head, and the British were nervous. Lord Auckland, the Governor-General of India, soon carried his wars into Afghanistan. Sind stood in the way. The British armies had to march to Kabul through Sind. But the ghost of their own treaty now haunted the British Government, as the Indus was not to be used for any military purposes. But this scrap of paper was unceremoniously torn into pieces, and Lord Auckland made Sind the basis of his war on Afghanistan. This was the last straw that broke the Sind camel’s back; and the angry Mirs found no way but to oppose. But what was this opposition to the all-powerful English ! The fight that the Talpurs showed makes a sad as well as an interesting story. They were both unfortunate and foolish; their house was already a divided one; they had split Sind into many parts; they had not kept their Hindu subject happy. All these cercumstances made it easy for them to disappear as rulers. Some of them were sent as prisoners to Poona, others to Bombay and the rest to Calcutta. To-day, about eighty years after, many of the Talpurs roam in rags. Thus ends the sordid story of the conquest of Sind. Sir Charles Napier who conquered it himself saw the immorality of the deed and is said to have wired La Peka ” I have `sinned'”; by this he meant to say that he had taken Sind as well as had “sinned”. He further wrote to say “we have no right to seine Sind, yet we shall do so, and a very advantageous, humane, and useful piece of rascality it will be”. When the story of this ruthless and immoral campaign reached England, many fair-minded Englishmen cried out in horror; but then it was too late. Gladstone is said to have considered returning Sind, but it was not to be. Perhaps all is for the best ! The English in Sind seem to have kept many of the features of the Talpur rule intact. The people are still mostly illiterate. After more than three quarters of a century of British rule only two per cent among the Muslims know how to read and write; and something over seven per cent of seven lacs of Hindus know the use of the alphabet. The condition of the poor peasant is deplorable. More so because the Sind zemindar is generally a tyrant living up to the traditions of the Talpurs with the added vigour and rigour he derives from the British code. Of course there has been compensation in other matters. The city roads are some what better than they used to be in the past, but the country roads are the remnants of roads as they were a century ago. In the cities education has spread, especially among the Hindus. Karachi has grown to be the chief centre of commerce but little of industry is anywhere visible, though the docks are busy sending things out. Tatta is only a memory. Halla, once renowned for pottery and weaving, is just a shadow of the past. The Police force of Sind has immortalised itself in the twentieth century, having perhaps no prototype in India, or in the world. But these are details into which it is not desirable to enter; so with the prayer that the coming longed-for dawn in India will again soon illuminate the gloom that has hung over our beloved Sind, let us pass to the happier portion of this book dealing with the Light, that makes life possible even in th e gloom, of the Holy Fire by which all disharmonies are destroyed and all racial and national bitterness banished.

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Armed Struggle For Sindhudesh and Balochistan

The principle of armed struggle for the seizure of power is a universal principle of revolutionary way. This principle was concrete analysis on the relationship between people and state. The military arm of the state is against the people when the state is in the hands of oppressors who want to suck the blood of Sindhi and Baloch nations. The armed wing of the Punjabi colonial forces has repeatedly attacked the people of Sindh and Balochistan, arguing against any protest against any expression of popular will of the Sindhi and Baloch nations for freedom. The electoral path, indicated by the reformists, not only hides the fact that the majority people can not express its will in a unitary form of indirect election and abstract, but also hides the fact that any election result is very appropriate to the regime annulled by the pressure violent armed wing of the state. The armed struggle of the masses is made necessary by the Punjabi colonial force itself, which is opposite the popular struggle against the reaction with the strengthening of the military wing and the financing of teams armed military-fascist. Every slightest desire of the people will finally be satisfied only by breaking the armed resistance of the Punjabi colonial force with the armed force of the people of Sindh and Balochistan. It is about giving life to the armed struggle when it corresponds to the conscience of the majority of the toiling masses. This means that the armed struggle differing forms depending on the reports that there are between people of Sindh and Balochistan and the Punjabi colonial state. In a country of developed capitalism, until the crisis of revolutionary general, mediation policy prevails over the armed repression, and then the people will see the need for armed struggle only when the revolutionary crisis. That the armed struggle in these countries is in the process culminating in the revolutionary struggle, taking the form of popular uprising. So in Sindh and Balochistan, the armed struggle becomes possible and necessary in the decisive battle in which the mass struggles have turned into power struggles and facing the Sindhi and Baloch nations with armed aggression by Punjabi colonial forces.

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Sindhduesh

Sindhudesh was born with the birth of Mother Earth. Our attachment with it, too, is as old and ancient as that. As the days pass into nights and the seasons change, man, observes his regime of wakefulness and sleep and register the effect of the change. Like individuals, the peoples also have their cycles of hibernation and soulfulness of life and activity. At certain times of their history, they rise and took some giant steps on the road to civilization heights, and putting a mile stone or two on the path, they slow down and then step aside to catch breath some times even slide down dangerously and wait quietly for the chance to rise and get the way again.

Sindhu Desh is the land of the people, noted for their ancient civilization and culture. They have had a remarkably magnificent past. For some period in their recent history, they hose to forget their status as a people and fell into a regret able bout of slumber, and permitted themselves to be overrun and ruled by alien peoples.

We, the present generation of the people of Sindhu Desh are the product of that hapless period of our history.

After separation of Sindhu from Bombay Presidency in India in 1936 when we found our political freedom, economic prosperity and cultural growth check mated at home, we over reacted, and largely misconceiving the situation, held the Hindu vested interests, to be responsible for it. Consequently, we chose to see the solution of the situation in the establishment of Pakistan the land of the holy (Muslim) people.

It is said, “the path to bell is paved with good intentions”. We too strove to gain Pakistan, with a view to attaining the following objectives:

  1. Establishment of separate states of the local Muslim peoples in the Muslim majority areas in the Indian sub continent, in order to provide them with full opportunities for progress and development, in accordance with the ways and traditions of their life.
  2. Promotion and establishment of mutual co operation among such separate Muslim states in order to ensure their political freedom, economic prosperity, and cultural growth. We have now expended full twenty-seven years on this experiment. We should now be in a position to appraise the performance and measure the fulfillment.

ESTABLISHMENT OF SEPARATE MUSLIM STATESMuslim rulers held their sovereignty over a large part of the Indian sub continent, for a great number of years although; almost entirely this rule was personal and tribal.

Under these ruler ships, certain classes and coteries of Muslims, almost exclusively belonging to the non Indian descent who arrived in India with or in the wake of the invading armies, established their vested interests as land owning gentry or officials in government establishments. The Maulvi, the Pir, the feudalist and the mandarins, constituting themselves as serving Muslim aristocracy and who benefited the most under these personal tribal seats of power, found their privileged position better ensured and protected in calling these establishments the Muslim States or better still, the Islamic States.

The Muslim aristocracy, thus entrenched, adopted two positions, choosing one or the other as it suited their purpose, for safe guarding their social, economic and political hegemony in India.

First, as later in the period of Mughal Imperial Rule, they would exert to preserve the vested interests by basing the State Power on semi settler foundations seeking help and support both of the Muslim and the Hindu powerful tribes. This approach, speaking in broad terms, worked, to an extent to the benefit of both the Hindu and the Muslim communities and easily won a considerable measure of popular acceptance in the sub continent. In course of time, however, this approach proved a failure. Solely because of the element of mistake, inherent in its basic formulation viz., joining religion with politics, under a patronizing show of impartiality, for purposes of States administration.

Second, on failure of the semi secular approach, the Muslim Aristocracy sought to protect and enlarge their vested interest by building exclusive Muslim domination in the affairs of State, basing all State Power on theocracy, throwing out secular politics completely out of the field. This could evidently lead to disaster, as it actually did, under the realities and in the steady awakening of political atmosphere and social and economic life in the sub continent.

The British power, armed with superiority’s gained from Industrial Revolution back at home, soon walked in, and established its thorough imperialist domination in the subcontinent. The Muslim aristocracy, left high and dry, found it self divided into two camps. One consisted of those who sought to dislodge the British and restore the Mughal rule with the support of the outside friendly Muslim powers and the local Hindu Chieftains. That move, however, failed on the fields of the war of liberation of 1857, and its leading members had to suffer terribly in the cause. The other group sought to save and maintain their privileged positions and vested interests secured by them during the Mughal days, by collaborating fully and unconditionally with the alien imperialist British Raj.

Some time later, when the British imperialists, under pressure of the rising public opinion in India and the world opinion generated under the two world wars conditions started offering political reforms to the people of India on democratic basis. This last group of the upper class Muslim Collaborators fearing injury to their class interests under democracy, first strove to protect the same by consolidating and further expanding areas of their collaboration with the British. However, on seeing the freedom movement gathering momentum and advancing irresistibly, they revised their policy, and with the help and support of their British masters, started movement for establishing sovereign independent states in the Muslim majority provinces, in an arrangement superlatively called Pakistan.

The Muslim upper classes of the Muslim majority Provinces did not apprehend any challenge to their vested interests in conditions of democratic political freedom. These and the common Muslims in those Provinces were, however incited to join the movement for Pakistan by holding out to them temporizing prospects of :

  1. Establishment of independent sovereign Muslim states in their Provinces.
  2. Introduction of a way of life in those states in full accord with the injunctions of Islam and holy traditions of the Prophet.
  3. Freedom of the Muslims of these Provinces from the real or imaginary economic domination of the non Muslims, i.e., the Hindus; and
  4. Establishment of Unity of all the Muslim Countries, with Pakistan as the hub center of the chosen brotherhood.

For the attainment of these tantalizing objectives, the Muslim vested interests in the Muslim minority Provinces invented the theory of separate nationhood of Muslims. This theory of the nation had its basis solely on considerations of religion. And although, none of the people in any Muslim Country of the world believed in any such theory, the Muslim masses of Sindh, Baluchistan, Pakhtoonistan, and Bengal were soon taken in under the lavish use of Islam’s name as an adulatory brief for it. They could not foresee the price they were to pay for the dubious privilege of being termed a nation on basis of religion. They could not realize in time the utter barrenness of the theory both in terms of any national gain or even as a leverage for attaining Islam’s power and glory in the world. They were swept completely off their feet in the exuberance of religious favor, remaining utterly oblivious of their fate as victims of the cruel hoax.

Some of us who all the time remained conscious of the national distinctness of the People of Sindh and of their significant past history, participated in the movement for Pakistan solely for the purpose of ensuring thereby political independence, economic prosperity and cultural advancement of Sindh. We remained convinced throughout of the validity of the teaching of our great political thinkers like Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi, Allama I. I. Kazi and others who considered the Sindhi people a separate nation. In spite of these convictions, if we joined hands with advocates of the religious nationality theory, who in fact clandestinely strove only to establish the Muhajir Punjabi exploitative hegemony over the Muslim majority provinces. Our sole reason for such a participation was the most unambiguously declared objective of the Pakistan movement, as defined in the 1940 Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League, to found “Independent and Sovereign States” in the Muslim majority Provinces in the sub continent. Mr. Jinnah, when questioned, soon after at his press conference in Madras as to the meaning and effect of the above words in the Pakistan Resolution, most unequivocally declared that “Punjab, for example, will be an independent and Sovereign State”

It was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his group of workers only, in the Muslim majority areas, whose even in those days, could see through the game and did not get into the trap of the “Two Nation Theory”, which the dying Muslim privilege in India was trumpeting about for salvaging its sinking fortunes in Indian life.

At the start, we here in Sindh, participated in the Pakistan movement, under the leadership of Shaikh Abdul Majid Sindhi, on the basis of the theory of separate Muslim nationhood, but soon after we ourselves could see through the class intentions of the Muslim Vested interests of the Muslim minority Provinces and those of our own exploitative Muslim elements who joined with them for the fool hardy and shortsighted purpose of gaining sole positions of power and privilege locally at the cost of their Hindu rivals. Realizing the above, we parted company and came out of the Muslim league.

Pakistan came into existence on August 14, 1947. At the inaugural session of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founder and its first Governor General, made a declaration. That was timely, appropriate and the most devastating in importance in the context of the two nation theory on the basis of which the Muslim League, under his own Presidentship, fought for the partitioning of the Indian sub continent and establishment of Pakistan. This declaration of Quaid-e-Azam stands as a complete and most decisive rebuttal of the theory of nation on basis of religion, over which Pakistan was founded. Following is the ad verbatim report of the speech as officially published.

“Now if we want to make this Great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well being of the people and specially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that every one of you no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his color, cast or creed, is first, second and last, a citizen of this State, with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.”

“I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims, you have Pathan, Punjabis, Shiyas, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, and also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on will vanish. Indeed, if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance, and but for this, we should have been free peoples long ago. No power on earth can hold another nation and specially a nation 400 million souls in subjection nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time but for this (Applause) Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques, or to any other place of worship in the State of Pakistan, for you may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State (Hear, hear). As you know, the history shows that in England conditions some times ago were much worse than those prevailing in India today were. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination between one caste or creed or another. We are starting with this, fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of One State (Loud applause). The people of England in course of time had to face the realities of the situation, had to discharge the responsibilities and burdens placed upon them by Government of their country, and they went through that fire step by step. Today you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen of Great Britain, and they are all members of the nation.”

” Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal matter of individual citizen, but in the political sense and as citizens of the State.”

The same Mr. Jinnah, on the 23rd of March 1940, at the Lahore session of All India Muslim League, said the following:

      “There is no doubt that Musalmans are to elect their representatives on the constituent Assembly through separate electorate. That is a good thing but decisions on Constitution are nevertheless to be taken by majority. Should there be difference on any issue between the minority and the majority, who will decide the point?”

“All the talk today takes place on the assumption that Musalmans are a minority. We have got so used to this that we are not able to think any other way. We have totally forgotten the fact that Musalmans are not a minority but, in every sense and from all view points they are a separate nation.”

The political argument developed, by Mr. Jinnah in his speech quoted in these extracts can exactly apply mutandis to the claim of Sindhi people to be treated as a notion and not as a minority in Pakistan.

      “The problems then in India is not of an inter communal but manifestly of international character and it must be treated as such. So long as this basic and fundamental truth is not realized, any constitution that may be built will result in disaster as will prove destructive and harmful not only to Muslims but to the British and Hindus also.”

“There is no reason why these States should be antagonistic to each other. On the other hand the rivalry and the natural desire and efforts on the part of one to dominate the social order and establish political Supremacy over the other in the government of the country will disappear. It will lead more towards natural goodwill by international pacts between them, and they can live in complete harmony. This will lead further to a friendly settlement all the more easily with regard to minorities by reciprocal arrangements and adjustments between Muslim India and Hindu India, which will far more adequately and effectively safeguard the rights and interests of Muslims and various minorities.”

“It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real natures of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, quite different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality.”

“This misconception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits and is the cause of most of our troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religion philosophies, social customs, and literature. They neither inter marry nor inter dine and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations, which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their outlooks on and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics and episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other, and likewise. Their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single State, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a State.”

Before commenting on the contradiction involved in the two positions as revealed in Mr. Jinnah’s two speeches quoted above, it would be better to quote him from another speech of his, which he made on the 28th of September, 1939, at the Osmania University, Hyderabad Deccan. Addressing the Old Boys of the University at their annual “get together”, he said:

    “In matters of life, I am basically a realist, and have always followed pragmatic approach in politics. The terms nationality and nationalism have meant different things to different people, according to practical bearings thereof upon their given interests. Strictly speaking, I am still a nationalist. I have always stood for Hindu Muslim Unity. But that unity and understanding should be honorable and just, and not that one party should grow all powerful, while the other may not exist.”

Studying the three declarations, explicit as they are, it becomes clear that Mr. Jinnah, while advocating the separate Muslim nationality theory, remained throughout a believer in Indian Nationalism, Strictly speaking”. It was because of lack of an “honorable understanding” for settlement that, Pragmatic” or practical politician as he was, he spoke of Muslim nationhood and separate Muslim State or States in the sub continent. And when Pakistan was actually established, he without losing a moment, called upon his followers and all citizens in Pakistan “to work in cooperation forgetting the past,” told them unequivocally that you may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State” that “We are all citizens and equal citizens of one State,” and that “in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal matter of individual citizen, but in the political sense and as citizens of the State.”

What was Mr. Jinnah’s actual mind in holding forth so brazenly with these contradictions? Firstly, Mr. Jinnah was never at all a principled politician. His was a pragmatic approach in affairs of life. He hesitated at least in changing his standpoints as and when it suited his purposes. Secondly, Mr. Jinnah had a very patchy and incomplete knowledge of Islam. He had no true contact with the Muslim masses either. Thirdly, he was only playing the role of an expert and efficient advocate holding and defending his brief for the waning Muslim Vested Interests of the Muslim minority, Provinces, who, while seeing their privileged position under challenge in conditions of democracy in a free India strove to provide themselves with a safe heaven in a separate country, where they would install and preserve their vested interests, and put their exploitative talents to the best and safest use.

It was for this very objective that Mr. Jinnah has changed his mind, towards nearly the fag end of his life, from being a strong Indian nationalist to a pragmatic Muslim separatist; bad worked and brought about partitioning of the sub continent; and had finally re asserted his faith on secular nationalism in place of religions nationalism as he realized that alone could ensure security, stability and well being of the new State founded by him. He thus disparaged Indian Nationalism and sponsored Muslim Nationalism only as an argument for the sake of argument, and, on gaining his point, immediately gave it up, as an argument no more needed. He was a secular nationalist to begin with and when he saw that was the only way to run a modern State, he promptly came back to it and spoke of Pakistani nationalism, he knows that no country in the world could ever accept the concept of nation on basis of religion.

Unfortunately for him, however, as he was totally wrong in his argument for his brief for Pakistan as a political concept, he was equally wrong, though in a different way, also in the argument for his brief for Pakistan as a political fact. When he addressed the inaugural session of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11th, 1947, and adumbrated Pakistani Nationalism as theory for running Pakistan in place of Muslim Nationalism which brought it about, he was turning his blind eye to the following very pertinent facts of nature and history:

  • There was no country, nor any nation, in the Indian sub continent known to history at any stage as Pakistan or Pakistani Nation.
  • Historically, the States which had been collected together and formed into a Pakistan were each a separate homeland for a separate nation.
  • Culturally, politically and economically, too, these were the countries and nations, each being not only a distinct but also even an exclusive entity existing in its own right.
  • Considerations, which could weigh with any body for denying status of one nation or one country to India, could exactly, and even in greater weight apply to Pakistan for withholding the same status from it.
  • To begin with, Pakistan was not a country nor the peoples living in it were a nation by any modern definition of the term. They could, however be welded into one nation and one country, just as Indian sub continent too could have been so welded, through “honorable and just understanding” and settlement among different national interests living in it.

In brief, Mr. Jinnah, in his secular nationalism for Pakistan was becoming guilty of the same mistaken approach as he himself had seen castigated in the stand point of the Indian National Congress vis a vis its Indian “Nationalism”. Avery prolonged and sustained effort, on the basis of mutual understanding for living together, was needed for converging individual interests of different national entities living in Pakistan, as in Indian sub continent, into one, and for forging an impregnable and lasting unity out of them to emerge into living history as a well knit and fully viable nation.

To talk about a thing or to express an opinion on it is not a matter of much difficulty. It is an entirely different thing; however, to translate into reality what one professes to stand for. To weld divergent peoples living for thousands of years under variegated geographical conditions, into one could not, by any way, be an easy proposition. The peoples, with established homelands of theirs, joined under the new state administration, had their linguistic divergences, to start with Their national temperaments, customs and traditions and political and economic interests differed visibly. Theirs were also the conflicts in history, which turned what was good for some into the bad for others. Their differences of this kind stood petrified, in certain cases in their language expressions. The Sindhi Language in this connection, had the following citations to offer: “Oh, our beloved Sindh, thou art under the menace ever from the direction of Qandhar”; “Allow one Punjabi in, the second is bound to sneak in, and when they are two together, mind your person and your home”, “Spare the snake and kill the Punjabi Muhajir”.

Mr. Jinnah, in turn, instead of blunting the edges of conflict and soothing the sore spots among such mutually dissimilar peoples, did his worst to aggregate differences and widen the schisms among them by the following thoughtless moves of his probably the result of over estimation on his part of his powers, allowing his exuberance at earlier easy political successes to get better of his discretions:

    1. The First move of his that planted a tough and growing suspicion in the mind of the original peoples who came together in Pakistan, was the move at imposition of Urdu as the national Language on them, the language of the Muslim Vested Interests of the Muslim minority Provinces of India, a large portion of whom had already migrated into Pakistan and were jockeying for the privileged position in the country similar to the one they held back at home, thereby causing the peoples, whose mother tongues were thus being ignored, apprehensions of conditions building up for Muhajir cultural domination in their homelands.
    2. The second un-statesman like move of Mr. Jinnah, which too served as a divisive move rather than a cementing one for the peoples of Pakistan, was his effort at concentrating all power at the center and making the Central Government overwhelmingly strong, ignoring completely the rights and privileges of the original Pakistan Peoples with the exception of the people of the Punjab, who by dint of absolute majority in Wes

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