Saturday, July 19, 2014

Demand for Sindhi Linguistic State


Sindhi speaking people of India, migrated from the Sindh province of undivided India, after the partition on 14th August 1947.

The Sindh, gave the name Hind to the Nation. The archeological excavation of Mohan-Jo-Daro in Sindh, proved that Indus valley civilization was the oldest civilization of more than seven thousand years old, making India feel proud, among the community of World civilizations. But merely 67 years after partition, the same Sindh province has been forgotten completely. Most of the present Politicians and Administrators in Central government & the governments in provinces in the age group of 40-60 years, hear the word ‘SINDH’, only when the National Anthem is played on ceremonial occasions. They are therefore not aware of the betrayals, discriminations and injustices faced by Sindh and its people.

To put the issue of Sindhi Linguistic state in proper perspective, following historical facts are being introduced:-

1)    After resisting the “Two Nation Theory” for ten years from 1937 to 1947, the National Leadership represented by Indian National Congress, agreed to the division of India, on the basis of the “Two Nation Theory” propounded by All India Muslim League. Under this theory, all the “Muslim majority provinces” of British India, Punjab, Bengal, Sindh and N.W.F.P. were to join Pakistan and all non-Muslim majority provinces were to remain with residual India.

2)    Contrary to this theory, exceptions were made only in case of Punjab and Bengal, but not in case of Sindh. The Eastern one third portion of the Punjab and Western one third portion of Bengal having majority of non-Muslims, were retained in India, but the eastern one third portion of Sindh with Hindu majority, consisting of largest district of Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas etc. were not retained in India. This is clearly betrayal/discrimination with Sindh and her people.

3)    In violation of the “Two Nation Theory”, even single Muslim majority district of SYLHET in predominant Hindu majority province of Assam, was given the facility of referendum, enabling its merger with East Pakistan, but the same facility of referendum was denied to the Hindu majority district of Tharparkar, enabling its merger with India. Otherwise, Tharparkar, along with princely states of Jaisalmer, Kutch and border cities of Barmer, Jalore etc. of the princely state of Jodhpur, having similar language & culture could have formed province of East Sindh, like East Punjab & West Bengal. Obviously this was gross discrimination with the Sindhi people.

4)    Merger of entire Sindh with theocratic state of Pakistan without ascertaining the wishes of Sindhi People by referendum, resulted into complete ENSLAVEMENT of entire Sindh and exodus of Sindhi Hindus, to save their religion.

5)    Punjabi migrants from West Punjab and N.W.F.P. were settled in planned manner in East Punjab, in princely states of Punjab, Haryana & Himachal Pradesh and in adjoining non-Punjabi territories. Similarly Bengali migrants from East Bengal & Assam settled in planned manner in West Bengal, adjoining Princely states and in other adjoining non-Bengali territories. Thus Punjabi & Bengali migrants got a compact territory having majority of Punjabi and Bengali speaking people respectively, safeguarding their language & culture.

This pattern of compact settlement should have been applied in case of Hindu migrants from Sindh also. They should have been settled in the compact territory bordering Sindh and princely states of Jaisalmer, Kutch and border towns of Barmer, Jalore etc. of the princely state of Jodhpur for the sake of preserving their language, culture and distinct identity.

          The authorities ignored even the advice of the then Relief & Rehabilitation Minister of Central Government Shri K.C. Neogy. Even the views of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi was violated, as described below:-

The written advice of Shri Neogy reads as follows:-

“An important point to remember is that Sindhis are threatened with extinction as separate people with their own peculiar & distinctive customs and qualities. Thinly spread all over India with no place to call their own. They cannot hope to retain their culture and language”

          It is relevant to mention that even a tiny place of Ulhasnagar, having almost 100% of Sindhis, is not named SINDHUNAGAR officially, inspite of vigorous demand of the citizens for the last 67 years in true spirit of the Central Minister’s observations quoted above.

Views of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi

When Bhai Pratap, A Sindhi leader approached Gandhiji for guidance, The father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi told him to plan a secure but natural alternative for Sindhi Hindu community at a place where their identity would remain intact and he suggested Kutch as a natural choice from historical, cultural and linguistic point of view, where there would be no threat to their natural way of life.

As a followup, the Maharao of Kutch on advice of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel gave 15000 acres of land as grant on 29th January 1948, to Sindh Resettlement Corporation with Acharya Kriplani as Chairman and Bhai Pratap as Managing Director. But after the death of Gandhiji on 30th January 1948 and the merger of princely state of Kutch with India on 4th May 1948, Kutch was declared as independent commissionery under direct control of the Central Government with the appointment of first Chief Commissioner of Kutch on 1st June 1948.

The bureaucracy of Central Government didn’t honour the solemn commitment of the Maharao of Kutch and instead of 15000 acres of freehold land, meagre 2600 acres of land was given to Sindh Resettlement Corporation not as a freehold grant but on lease for 99 years with so many conditions including prior permission from Kandla Port Trust Authorities. Because of these changes the resettlement plan finally took shape after approval in 1952, when most of the Sindhi migrants were already settled elsewhere.

The large scale migration from Sindh started after the Hindu massacre of 6th January 1948 in Karachi and the martyrdom of the Father of Nation on 30th January 1948 and was almost complete by 30th June 1948. The plan of the father of Nation to resettle Sindhis in Kutch and provide them Kandla Port in lieu of Karachi Port, stood scuttled by the bureaucracy of Central Government, as illustrated above.

The discrimination in case of resettlement of Sindhi migrants as compared to resettlement of Punjabis & Bengalis in compact areas is obvious. The Sindhi migrants were temporarily given shelter in makeshift arrangement of refugee camps, from where they should have been shifted in a planned manner following the same pattern, but Sindhis of these camps were given free railway passes to find & search suitable places themselves in entire India. This proves that the authorities wanted scattered settlement of Sindhis, ignoring the sane advice of the Father of Nation and other impartial personalities.

Above is the brief summary of betrayal, discrimination and injustices with Sindh and her people during last 67 years, resulting in complete slavery of Sindh and near extinction of roughly one crore uprooted Sindhis, scattered in more than 3000 towns in 2.85 lakh sq. km area of India, where North is separated from South by 3214 km & West from East by 2933 km. Due to adverse impact of local cultures, they are loosing their Mother tongue, culture and the very identity. They are virtual second class citizens devoid of Political rights and social status not at par with 14 other major linguistic communities of Punjabis, Bengalis, Gujratis, Marathas, Tamils, Telegus etc.

By the dint of their hard work, business acumen and devotion to one Point Program of earning money, they have by their outward show off, created a HYPE around them that they all are billionaires. But in reality, the Indian Sindhis (excluding NRI’s) can be categorized wealth wise as follows:-

5% in the category of Rich
 
30% in the category of upper middles class having big shops & higher salaries of people in jobs
35% in the category of lower middle class having small shops & lower salaries of people in jobs
 
30% are below Poverty line
 

 

Although Sindhi Language is recognized & placed in the VIIIth schedule of the Indian Constitution, at par with other 14 major Indian languages. But creation of the linguistic states for the people of only 14 languages, put Sindhi speaking people to great disadvantage. All others have government patronage while Sindhis have to depend on themselves only. Apathy in all the fields and adverse effect of other cultures everywhere, is resulting into virtual annihilation. This is clear from census figures on Population. The population of other 14 major linguistic communities having their own states are increasing in each census, while population of Sindhis is declining in every census.

When Nation is concerned about the decline of population of GIR LIONS and some other species of animals & birds, the Nation should be concerned with the extinction of entire 7000 years old Sindhi civilization. The only way is to compensate for the 67 years of betrayal, discrimination, injustices and virtual social boycott of Sindhi community as a whole. The only compensation, we want is to accord Political status to entire Sindhi Linguistic Territory (S.L.T.), still in existence in India after the merger of mainland Sindh in Pakistan.

This Sindhi Linguistic Territory (S.L.T.) within present Political boundaries of India consists of:-

a)    Princely state of Kutch, as per Linguistic Survey of India by Sir George Greirson and other Linguistic wizards - Kuchchhi is dialect of Sindhi language.

b)    Princely State of Jaiselmer, as Dhatki spoken in this state is dialect of Sindhi language

c)    Barmer, Jalore and other towns bordering Tharparkar and Kutch have Thali, Thareli spoken here, are dialects of Sindhi language.

Following are other historical facts:-

1.    Maharao of Kutch signed the instrument of accession on 4th June 1948 and his state was made independent commissionerate, administered by the Chief Commissioner appointed by Central Government – Status equivalent to present Union Territory.

It was wrongly merged with Bombay presidency on 1st November 1956 ignoring the protests by native people. Even Sindh was separated from Bombay Presidency in 1936, along with Orissa from Calcutta presidency.

2.    Similarly, Sindhi Linguistic Territories of Princely State of Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore etc of Jodhpur Princely State were merged with Hindi speaking East Rajasthan ignoring the protests of native people, who wanted the status of Union territory in the absence of mainland Sindh in India.

3.    The Princely States speaking the Sindhi dialects were merged in the neighboring British Provinces because both Sindh & Multan, speaking various Sindhi dialects had become part of Pakistan. This was out of compulsion of prevailing situation at that time.

Although these Sindhi linguistic Territories were merged in Gujarat & Rajasthan in 1960 i.e. 54 years ago, affecting their original culture adversely, but bonds of Common Deity, Common folk tales & folk songs cannot separate the natives from Sindhis.

The creation of Linguistic States

On 15th August’1947, there was no linguistic province, because the British Government had divided entire British territory in India, only on the basis of administrative convenience. There were three Presidencies, at Calcutta, Bombay & Madras and one Viceroy in the National Capital at New Delhi. Entire Eastern Sector was governed by the Presidency at Calcutta, Western Sector by Bombay Presidency and the Southern sector by Madras Presidency. Besides, there were the territories over which the crown had suzeranity, but which were under the control of hereditary rulers. These Princely States were given the option of joining either INDIA or PAKISTAN.

Like British Government, the successor Congress Government at New Delhi, especially Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar LaL Nehru was dead against the creation of Linguistic States. But Telegu speaking people of British Indian Territory of Andhra State, which was part of Madras Presidency started agitation for separation from Madras Presidency. Their Leader Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu started fast on 19th October 1952, demanding statehood for Telegu speaking areas of Coastal Andhra & Rayalseema and separation from Madras Presidency. There was widespread agitation in support of his demand but Pandit Nehru and RajGopalchari, the Chief Minister of Madras resisted. On 16th December 1952 with the death of Shri P. Sriramulu during fast, the peaceful agitation turned violent. The popular agitation disrupted normal life in Madras and entire Andhra region of British India, forcing Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru to announce on 19th December 1952 the formation of First Linguistic State in free India of Andhra State for the telegu speaking people of Madras Presidency, with KURNOOL as the capital.

With the creation of the first linguistic state, the demand for other linguistic states increased and Pandit Nehru and Central Government was forced to appoint States Reorganisation Commission (S.R.C.) in December 1953 to recommend the creation of States on linguistic lines. On the basis of its report and The States Reorganisation Act of 1956, new states by & large were based on ethnicity and language. But due to violent agitation and imperialistic tendencies of Powerful Political leaders, the aspirations of certain territories were ignored, inspite of positive recommendations of Reorganisation Commission of 1953.

Some of these territories are:-

1)    Telangana region of Nizam Hyderabad Princely State, was unwillingly merged in Vishal Andhra Pradesh

2)    Vidharbha consisting of Nagpur & Amravati Divisions were merged in Marathi speaking state to make Maharashtra, ignoring recommendations of S.R.C.

3)    Kutch was a separate part C state till 1956. But was merged in Bombay Presidency against the wishes of local people and was subsequently merged in Gujrat province in 1960, due to agitation of MahaGujrat Parishad.

4)    Saurashtra was a separate state till 1956. It was first brought in to Bombay Presidency against the wishes of local people and subsequently merged in Gujrat Province in 1960, due to agitation of MahaGujrat Parishad.

5)    Sandy areas of Princely state of Jaisalmer & Jodhpur, bordering Sindh & Kutch were unwilling to merge in Hindi speaking areas of Rajasthan. They wished to have Union Territory Status for this area which they call Maru Pradesh, the Pradesh of Sand.

6)    People of Dargeeling hills & Dooars in West Bengal are Nepali speaking Gorkhas, but was not separated from Bengali speaking Province, appears to be anomalous.

With the creation of Telangana as 29th State, other demands enumerated above would get momentum and there is probability of the declaration of Second State Reorganisation Commission.

The justification of Sindhi linguistic state has been given on Page 3 to 4.

The territory of proposed Sindhi Pradesh has been summarized in the following table.

Code
District
Headquarters
Population(2011)
Area(Sq Km)
Density(/Sq Km)
JS
Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer
672,008
38,401
17
JL
Jalore
Jalore
1,830,151
10,640
172
BM
Barmer
Barmer
2,604,453
28,387
92
KA
Kutch
Bhuj
2,090,313
45,652
46

 

GYAN HEMNANI

General Secretary

United Sindhi Forum

A map of Sindhi Linguistic Territory (S.L.T.) is enclosed herewith.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 comments:

  1. Well with telangana formed, the voice for new states would not be muzzled for long. I see a formation of Maru Pradesh and Kutch + Saurashtra soon. And within 20 yrs I see Pak breaking up and the poor sind region of Pak joining India. These statements may seem far stretched but time will prove them right.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well with telangana formed, the voice for new states would not be muzzled for long. I see a formation of Maru Pradesh and Kutch + Saurashtra soon. And within 20 yrs I see Pak breaking up and the poor sind region of Pak joining India. These statements may seem far stretched but time will prove them right.

    ReplyDelete
  3. we need to spread the word among sindhi society and make this a reality. how do we do this?

    ReplyDelete