Historic Indus valley Land : Sindh
Before I start here, I feel this is my most obligatory duty to pay homage to ever inspiring memories of my parents Dadanbai & Dr. Premchand Manghirmalani, as whatever you are going to read are the memories of both of them, which I am trying to present with addition of some of recent facts.
Geography and Climate
This was the Indus River commonly known as the river Sindhu [in the Sanskrit language Sindhu Means Ocean] which works for the fertility of this land and well being of native on its banks. In fact the this land derives name Sindh from the river Sindhu, the name mentioned in world’s oldest knowledge books Vedas, more times even the holly river Ganga. Area wise Sindh is larger than England in the lower Indus basin with Arabian sea Indian ocean in south, Plains of Punjab in north, desert extended to merge with Thar desert of Rajasthan in east and Khirtar mountain range in the west. The human population was in the proximity of 5 millions [at present about 50 millions].
The river Sindhu covers a length of almost 3000 kilometers and all most one third of it is in the Sindh.
This was common saying that this land is Gift of river Sindhu to human beings another such gift of nature is the Egypt of river Nile. Less rains and hot climatic conditions, average temperature above 30 degree Celsius with world’s hottest city Jacobabad being part of Sindh, river Sindhu was working as the life line for the citizen. Among the major famous cities Dadu, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkana, Nawabshah, Tando Adam, shikarpur etc. of the sindh, Hyderabad was the city with a some what pleasant climate and cool breezes while the Jacobabad and Sevahan were the among the hottest places of the region. [According to records of meteorological reports in the year 1919 mercury went to touch 52 degree Celsius at Jacobabad].
Economy of Sindh
Sindh was an agro based economy. The main crops were the Rice, wheat, cotton and sugar cane but rice was cultivated in abundance and Larkana was famous for its very fine quality rice crops though Dadu and Thata were not legging for behind in the cultivation of rice crops. Cotton was the main crop of Hyderabad and Nawabshah, and production of cotton has included sindh on the world map of textile industry. Sugar can was cultivated in the southern parts. Sindh was also producing good quality fruits like the Mango and Banana. Rice Mill was the main industry in the Larkana and Dadu districts.
Beside the agricultural and textile people of Sindh were also earning very handsomely from their skills of pottery, leather work and art of weaving of carpets. Specific and very unique way of polishing the ornaments and embroidery on cloths also brought considerable praise for the natives of Sindh besides adding to their physical wealth. Mahoan-jo-daro have very distinctive illustration that native of Sindh were well versed with these artistic works since the ancient times at least in the pottery.
Sindh: Historic rulers & Political Status
On the political fronts life of land of Sindh was started with the Vedic life style. Brahmanism and Buddhism also found this land for flourishing. Raja Dahar was the last Hindu King of Sindh. This land in the Indus valley also witness ruling by the Somara Dynasty, almost for 200 years, Samma rulers for almost 100 years. Though Humayun visited Sindh during the reign of Samma rulers but Mugul rule started only with the Emperor Akbar and lasted till the time of Nadir shah and before the British rule Sindh was under the governing of Talpur Mirs. After the Independence in 1947 Sindh become part of newly formed country Pakistan and presently is the second largest provision with Karachi being the capital city. It is a historic fact that Islam was propagated on the land of Sindh under the influence of powers of sword [for details visit “Sindhi Deity Jhulelal” in the World of Sindhyat section of www.thesindhuworld.com ] and Hindus were saved by Lord Jhulelal. If we go back to Vedic era, the north region of India, Pakistan and east Afghanistan were referred as the Sapta Sindhu in the Rig-Veda. For the travelers from Arab and Persia this sub continent was composed of two countries Hind [entire ancient India] and Sindh [part of present Pakistan] in fact the names Hind and Hindu have origin with Sindh and Sindhu.
Till the time of King Jayadarth [Mahabharat era] inhabiting population of Sind being called as Sindhi, was mainly of the follower of Vedic [Hindu] religious life style. As the land went under rule of various dynasties with different religious faiths hence the indigenous population was affected from the disciples of that religious faith. There was an infiltration of migrated population of Rajputs [Yadav & Parwar], Jatts, Baluchi, Arabs, Persians, Turk & Mugals and most of them got accustomed with social life of Sindhi, this might be the reason for the recognition of Shah Abdul Latif as one of greatest sindhi poet. It was time of rule by Mohamad Bin Qasim and period after that Islam also become a dominating factor in the religious world of Sind and as a fact in the present times in the Pakistan there is higher population of Sindhi Muslims over the Sindhi Hindus, where as in rest of entire world most of the Sindhi population is of Sindhi Hindus.
During the times of Sikh Guru, Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev sahib Sindhis were highly influenced with the religious thinking and ideology of Guru Sahib, might the resemblance with Hindu life style was the reason for that because it is a historic fact that in those times Islam was under propagation in Sind under the shadows of sword. The natural result is that though present Sindhi are looking at Lal Sain Uderolal [Jhulelal] as their deity but still recitation of Gurbani is the part of daily life for many Sindhi families and Guru Nanak Jayanti is among the most celebrated religious Sindhi festivals.
After the partition in the year 1947 Sindhis along with Punjabis have been forced to migrate to India as situations at that time were not suggesting for being favorable for a future religious freedom in that part globe, though a considerable population of Sindhis was forced to stay there only due to the fact that historically sindhi cultural have roots with the river Sindhu. Barring a selective chunk who is still Hindu, majority of this Sindhi population has adopted Islam. Migrated Sindhi, settled in India and other parts of the globe some Hindu based religious panths like Prem Prakash Mandal, Sant Mirankari Mission, Radhaswami started to be religious faith for considerable Sindhi population [For details visit Religious faiths]
Sindhi language is one among the Indo-European language which has a close resemblance with Arabic in script of writing [with 52 alphabets, written from right to left] and Sanskrit, Urdu and Hindi in spoken styles. After the independence from the British rule, especially in India there is a dispute over the script of Sindhi language as the interim at present for Sindhi language Arabic and Devnagiri scripts are used. Sindhi speaking population can be observed through out the world though the majority of population is with Sind [Pakistan], Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the Union Territory of Delhi [India], Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, the Gulf countries [Asia region] beside that various cities in America, Australia, UK and South Africa also have considerable population of Sindhi speakers.
Common spoken Sindhi is “Vicholi” dialect; other five dominating dialects of spoken Sindhi language are Siraiki, Lari, Lasi, Thari or Thareli and Kachhi.
Leave apart the religious faith but this is fact that including the Sindhi Muslims almost 80% of population is Sind is of Sindhi speakers and this is an interesting fact that after independence till 1972 official language of Sind was not the Sindhi but Urdu which was spoken by population less than 10% of total population.
Sindhis of Sind Pakistan, who at the time of independence opted to stay on the land of Pakistan, are feeling cheated and most worried by the dominating status and preference given to immigrant Urdu speaking Muslims being called as Muhajir and probably these are reasons for the movements like “Jiye Sind”.
According to reports of World Sindhi Congress, Sindhi students are finding hard to get admission in Karachi University, which was among the major Sindhi educational institutions in the pre independence era.