Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sindhi Rano performed by Rajasthani Folk Artists.

The singer above has sung Rano just like Late. Fauir Abdul Ghafoor, that audio was on esnips but no more. Nobody has sung like Faquir Abdul Ghafoor. There was a hint of "PEREN PAWANDI SA CHAWANDI SA RAHI" in between the Kalam. It is a Folk Dance of Rajhastan, India. The singers are "Manganhar of Rajasthan" and singing in Kutchi dialect of Sindhi. Sindhi Folk Dance is quite different.

'Sindhi folktales of Thar', a book written by Dr Kishni Phulwani of Rajasthan, India, and translated from Hindi to Sindhi by Noor Ahmed Jinjhi, is a combination of the colours of the Thar desert, which stretches across the border in both, Pakistan and India. The book has been published by Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP), a non-governmental organisation working for the wellbeing of the desert community, and promoting and preserving the old culture of the politically-neglected region. The book revolves around Manganhars -- the real folktale narrators of the region. The theme was chosen by the author for her PhD from Jodhpur University, India. The Manganhars are common to Sindh and Indian Rajasthan. They narrate folktales to the tune of traditional drums and attract wideaudiences. Dr Phulwani has also touched upon history, geography, languages being spoken in the region, culture, socio-economical conditions and the role of artisan communities. Portraying the scenario, the author almost quoted poetic folktales of several Sindhi poets, especially Sur Marvi by Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.

Marvi, a symbol of the traditions of the region, was kidnapped by King Omar when she had gone to a well to fetch water. She was brought to a palace, and offered every luxury possible to make her agree to stay there. Marvi, however, spurned all offers by the king and demanded that she be allowed to go back to her parents' makeshift homes. Dr Phulwani recalls the memorable days of her childhood, when her family migrated to India in 1966 from Sindh. Being closely attached with Sufism, her father used to listen to Sufi songs and Bhujans (Hindu religious songs) till late in the night, and would tell stories to his children before sleeping under the starry skies -- on the rooftop of their house. Dr Phulwani obtained her PhD in Sindhi Classical Literature and was very inspired by folk stories. She discusses the similarities among them in her book. Komal Kothari, who has done a lot of work studying the role of the Manganhar community in preserving folktales, has written foreword of the book.

Even after migration to India, Sindhi Hindus continue to organise annual Melas of Sufi saints, whose shrines originally exist in Sindh, Dr Phulwani sayd. She visits these Melas regularly to pay homage to the shrines and to Sufi thought, which inspired her to write her valuable book. The author obtained her Masters degree from Jodhpur University, India, and chose folklore literature as a minor subject. During her study, she went through the contemporary literature of the world. When she showed her desire to continue to work on Rajasthani literature in India and Pakistan, she was advised to meet Komal Kothari, who has done a lot of work to promote Rajasthani music, art and folklore literature and frequently visits both sides (India and Pakistan) to collect information. The author focused on the Dhat region and reviewed literature produced in Dhatki, Marwari, Gujrati, Sindhi and Rajasthani languages. According to her, the area now in India was part of Sindh before the Partition of the subcontinent on August 14, 1947, and the people of these areas from both sides of the border have a very close relationship. The author has raised a question for future researchers regarding the originality of indigenous Sindhi folktales. For instance, the stories of Umar-Marvi, Moomal-Ranoo, Noori-Jam Tamachi, Sassui-Punhoon, Laila-Majnoo, Leela-Chanesar, Sorath-Rai Khanghar, Heer-Ranjho, Sohni-Mehar and Jisman-Oden were sung by poets of the past in similar tones. This question raised by the author may inspire other researchers to clarify the originality of these folktales for future generations. REFERENCE: Music in the dunes of Thar By Jan Khaskheli

سُر مومل راڻو

داستان پهريون

ڪالَھه گَڏِيوسُون ڪاپَڙي، بابُو بيکاري؛
سامِئَ سيلو سِرَ تي، مالا موچارِي؛
ڏيئِي ڏيکارِي، ڦَٽي دِلِ فَقِيرُ وِيو.
ڪالَھه گَڏِيوسُون ڪاپَڙِي، جَهِڙو ماهُ مُنِيرُ؛
فَيضُ، فِراقُ فَقِيرُ، جوڳِي جاڳائي وِيو.

ڪالَھه گَڏِيوسُون ڪاپَڙِي، پَهَرَ سِجَ کان پوءِ؛
پَسو سُونهَن ساميءَ جي، رَتَ وَرنو روءِ؛
جو مُنهِن مُومَلَ جي پوءِ، موٽَڻُ تَنهِن مَسَ ٿِئي.

ڪالَھه گَڏِيوسُون ڪاپَڙِي، بابُو بانَ بَرِي؛
سائِي سالَ ڪُلَهنِ ۾، سامِي سونَ سَرِي؛
خَبَرَ ڏي کرِي، ڪا مُومَلَ جي مَجازَ جي.

بيکارِيءَ کي بَرَ ۾، وِيو ڪَيفُ چَڙهِي؛
ڳالِهيُون ڪَندي ڪاڪِ جُون، ڳوڙها پِيَسِ ڳَڙِي؛
ڪا جا اَنگُ اَڙِي، جِئَن ڇُٽا ڦَٽَ ڇُڙِي پِيا.

سِجُّ سُڀاڻي جا ڪَري، سامِيءَ سائِي رُوءِ؛
اَچي ٿِي عَطُرَ جي، مَنجھان مُگَٽ‎َ بُوءِ؛
سا ڏيکارِيَهُون جُوءِ، جِئان لاهُوتِي لَعلُ ٿيو.

جوڳِيءَ تي جَڙاءُ، نِسوروئِي نِينهَن جو؛
پَتَنگَ جِئَن پيدا ٿِيو، سامِي سِجَّ وَڙاءُ؛
آيو ڪاڪِ تَڙاءُ، ڪُنوارِنِ ڪَڪورِيو.

داستان ٻيو

آءُ لانگوٽِيا لالَ! ڪَنهِن پَرِ ڏِٺِيُءِ گُجَرِيُون؛
آبُ اَرتو اکِيين، لُڙڪَ وَهائِيين لال؛
ڏِٺَءِ جي جَمالَ، سامِي! ڪُہُ نه سَلائِيين؟
گُجَرِ کي گَجميلَ جُون، تارَنِ ۾ تَبَرُون؛
هڻي حاڪِمِيَنِ کي، زورَ ڀَريُون زَبَرُون؛
ڪاڪِ ڪَنڌِيءَ قَبَرُون، پسو پَرَڏيهِيُنِ جُون.

گُجَرِ گاروڙِيُنِ، اَچيو اَڏِي اُڀِيي؛
مَٿان پيئِي تِنِ، ٻَڌا ٻاڻَ هَڻَنِ جي.

مُومَلَ ماري مِيرَ، آهيڙِيُنِ کي آڪَري؛
سوڍِيءَ گھڻا سَڪائِيا، پَڙهِيا پَڻِتَ پِيرَ؛
هَڻي تِنِ کي تِيرَ، مَڻِيو جن مَٿَنِ ۾.

جوڳِيءَ جاڳائي، ماري وِڌو مامِري؛
لَنؤ لُڊُوڻي ڪَنڌِيـين، اَمَيو آهي؛
وَڃو جي ڪاهي، ته نِڪُون پَسو نِينهَن جُون.

هَلو، هَلو! ڪاڪِ تَڙين، جتي نِينهَن اُڇَلَ؛
نه ڪا جَھلَ نه پَلَ، سَڀُڪو پَسي پِرِينءَ کي.

هَلو، هَلو! ڪاڪِ تَڙين، جتي گَھڙِجي نِينهُن؛
نه ڪا راتِ نه ڏِينهُن، سڀڪو پَسي پِرِينءَ کي.

هَلو، هَلو! ڪاڪِ تَڙين، چَرُو جِتِ چَڙَهنِ؛
ڪوڙين رَنگَ رَچَنِ، پانوڙِيءَ پِڪَ سين.

آکُون، ڊاکُون، سِرَکَنڊَ شاخُون، جِتِ چَوکا چَندَنَ ڪَؤنرَ؛
مَيي سيئِي ماڻِيا، جِتِ نه ڀِرَنِ ڀَؤنرَ؛
ڪُنوارِيُون ۽ ڪَؤنرَ، ڪاهِ ته پَسُون ڪاڪِ جا.

چَڙهِيا چارَئِي يارَ، سُوڌا شِڪارِي؛
فِڪِرَ ساڻُ ڦِٽِي ڪِي، سوڍي سوپارِي؛
وِيا ڪاهِيندا ڪاڪِ ڏي، جِتِ مُومَلِ موچارِي؛
موٽِيا نه مارِي، ڪَؤنرَ لَتاڙي ڪاڪِ جا.

داستان ٽيون

جَهِڙا گُلَ گُلابَ جا، تَهِڙا مَٿِنِ ويسَ؛
چوٽا تيلَ چَنبيلِيا، هاها! هُو! هَميشَ؛
پَسيو سُونهَن سَيَّدُ چئي، نِينهَن اچَنِ نيشَ؛
لالَنَ جي لِبيسَ، آتَڻِ اَکَرُ نه اُڄَهي.

جَهِڙا پانَنِ پَنَّ، تَهِڙِيون سالُون مَٿِنِ سائِيون؛
عَطُرَ ۽ عَبِيرَ سين، تازا ڪَيائُون تَنَّ؛
مَڙهيا گَھڻو مُشڪَ سين، چوٽا ساڻُ چَندَنَّ؛
سُنهَنِ رُپي سونَ سين، سَندا ڪامَڻِ ڪَنَّ؛
ڪَيائِين لال لَطِيفُ چئي، وڏا ويسَ وَرَنَّ؛
مَنجِھ مَرڪِيَسِ مَنَّ: ”سوڍي سين سَڱُ ٿِيو.“

سونَ وَرنِيُون سوڍِيُون، رُپي رانديُون ڪَنِّ؛
اَگَـرَ اوطاقُنِ ۾، کَٿُوريون کَٽُنِّ؛
اوتِيائُون عَبِيرَ جا، مٿي طاقَ تَڙَنِّ؛
ٻاٽَنِ ٻيلون ٻَڌِيون، پَسِيو سُونهَن سَڙَنِّ؛
ٿِيا لاهُوتي لَطِيفُ چئي، پَسَڻَ لَءِ پِريَنِّ؛
اِجهي ٿا اچَنِّ، ڪاڪِ ڪَڪوريِا ڪاپَڙِي.

گُجَرِ گَھڻا گھائِيا، پاڻا لَڳُسِ گھاءُ؛
مينڌَري مُلاءُ، لڳَسِ ڪانُ ڪَپارَ ۾.

رُوءِ راڻي جي ناهِ ڪو، سوڍو سَڀِنِ سُونهَن؛
لاٿَائِين لَطِيفُ چئي، مٿان دِلِيُنِ دُونهَن؛
ڪانهي ٻِي وِرُونهَن، ٿِيو مِڙوئِي مينڌِرو.

ڪاڪِ نه جَهـلِيا ڪاپَڙِي، موهِيا نه مَحلَنِّ؛
ٻايُنِ ۽ ٻانِهِيُنِ جي، ٻَنڌَڻِ ڪِينَ ٻَجَھنِّ؛
لکين لاهُوتِينِ، اَهِڙِيُون اورِيان ڇَڏِيُون.

ڪاڪِ نه جَھـلِيا ڪاپَڙِي، موهِيا ڪَنهِن نه مالَ؛
سوڍِيُون سِجھائي وِيا، هَهِڙا جَنِين حالَ؛
جي ڇورِيُنِ ڏِنا ڇالَ، تَپِ لاهُوتِي لَنگھي وِيا.

داستان چوٿون

شَمَعَ ٻاريندي شَبَّ، پِرِهَ باکُون ڪَڍِيُون؛
موٽُ، مَران ٿِي مينڌِرا! راڻا! ڪارڻِ رَبَّ؛
تُنهِنجِيءَ تاتِ طَلَبَّ، ڪانگَ اُڏايَمِ ڪاڪِ جا.

اُڀي اُڀارِيامِ، نَکَٽَ سَڀِ نَـئِي وِيا؛
هِڪُ مَيو، ٻِيو مينڌِرو، سَڄِي راتِ سارِيامِ؛
ڳوڙها ڳَلِ ڳاڙِيامِ، سُورَجَ شاخُون ڪَڍِيُون.

ڪَتنِ ڪَرَ موڙِيا، ٽيڙُو اُڀا ٽيئِي؛
راڻو راتِ نه آئِيو، ويلَ ٽَري ويئِي؛
کوءِ سا کاڻِي راتِڙِي! پِريُن ري پيئِي؛
مُون کي ڏَنءُ ڏيئِي، وڃِي ڍولو ڍَٽِ قَرارِيو.

راڻو ڪا راتِ ويو، ڳُجِھي ڳالھه ڪَري؛
سوڍي رِءَ، سَرتيُون! هَڏ نه ساهَ سَري؛
وَڃِي، مانَ وَري! آسائِتِي آهِيان.

سوڍي سُتي لوءِ، ڪا جا مون سين ڳالھ ڪَئِي؛
سا جي پَڌَرِ پوءِ، ته سَرتِيوُن ڪانه سُمِهي.

راڻا! تُنهِنجي راهَ تي، ڏيهاڻِي ڏيکان؛
راڻي جِيءَ رِهاڻِ جُون، رُوحَ اندَرِ ريکان؛
مُحَبَتَ جُون ميکان، تو سين، لالَ! لَپيٽِـيُون.

آءُ، راڻا راحَتَ! ڌاڃَ ڌَرتِيءَ جا ڌَڻِي!
سِڪَنِ ٿِيُون سُهاڳِڻـيُون، سوڍا تُنهِنجي سَٿَ؛
مون تان لاهِ مَ هَٿَ، ڪامِلَ ڌڻِي ڪاڪِ جا!

داستان پنجون

سَڱُ ڪري سين سِينهَنِ، ڪَنڌُ مَ ڦيرِجِ ڪيڏَهِين؛
رَمِج راڻي پُٺِ ۾، نِرتُون مَنجھان نِينهَن؛
اِنءَ مَ وَسجِ عامَ تي، جِئَن مُومَلَ! وَسَنِ مِينهَن؛
سندي حَشَرَ ڏينهَن، سوڍو سارِيندِينءَ گَھڻو.

جا ڀُون پـيرين مُون، سا ڀُون مٿي سَڄڻين؛
ڌِڱَ لَٽِبا ڌُوڙِ ۾، اُڀي ڏِٺا سُون؛
ڏِينهَن مَڙيئِي ڏُون، اُٿي لوچِ لَطِيفُ چئي.

راڻو ڀانيو راندِ، ڪِئَن وِڙُ رائِيـين؟
وَرُ وِڏُوڻو اِيَهِين، جِئَن پَرُ پُڄِتوءِ پاندِ؛
هَيءِ! ڀَڳِيَءِ هيڪاندِ، سوڍو سارِيندِينءَ گَھڻو.

ڪاڪِ ڪَڙهِي وَڻَ وِيا، جلِي مُنهِنجِي جانِ؛
رَکِي ڪامَ ڪِڻِڪِيو، مارِيَس تَنهِن گُمانَ؛
هَڏِ نه جِيان هاڻ! سِگھو موٽِجِ سُپِرِين!

ڪاڪِ ڪَڙِهي وَڻَ وِيا، ٻَرِيا رَنگَ رَتولَ؛
تو پُڄاڻا سُپِرِين! هِنئَڙي اَچَنِ هولَ؛
جي مون سين ڪَيَءِ قولَ، سي سِگھا پارِجِ، سُپِرِين!

حال قُربانُ، مالُ قُربانُ، گھورِيان لُڊاڻو؛
فِدا ٿِئَ فَقيرِ جو، شَلَ رُسي مَ راڻو!
مُيَنِ سين ماڻُو، مُناسِبُ نه، مينڌِرا!

داستان ڇهون

نه وارِثُ نه وَلَھو، نه سَڱُ، نه سِياڪو؛
تو پُڄاڻا، سُپِرِين! آيُمِ اولاڪو؛
پانڌِيا! پاراپو، ڏِجانءِ ڍاٽِيءَ ڍولَ کي.

ڪَرَهو ڪَمِيڻيءَ تي، سوڍا! وارِ، سُڄاڻَ!
ڪُہُ ڪَرِيان ڪاڪِ کي؟ تَنَ توهِين ڏي تاڻَ؛
لاهي غيرَ گُماڻَ، اَڱَڻِ آءُ اُڪَنڍِيـين.

اَڱَڻِ آءُ اُڪَنڍِيـين، پرچِي پِيارا!
پَلَڪَ پَراهُون نه سَهَنءِ، جِيءَ جا جِيارا!
نِينهان نيزارا، سَڃِ، ته مانَ سُورُ لَهي.

پَسُ توشَڪُون، تَڪِيا، سيئِي وِهاڻا؛
پَسِيو هَنڌَ، پَچي هِنئون، جي حَبِيبَنِ هاڻا؛
هِڪُ ڏُنگا ڏاڏاڻا، ٻِيو موٽِيو تان نه مينڌِرو.

سوڍا! سُورَ سُڪائِـيُون، اَکِـيُون آبُ نه ڪَنِّ؛
راڻي جِيءَ رِهاڻِ کي، وِرُوڻِـيُون وَڃَنِّ؛
سي ڪِئَن، مينڌِرا! مَچَنِّ؟ جي تو سُورِيءَ چاڙِهيُون.

مُون گَھرِ اچِي جي ٿِئي، مينڌِرو مِهماڻُ؛
آڻي جھوڪِيان آڳِ ۾، ڄيري وِجھان ڄاڻُ؛
تاڻي تَـنُورَنِ ۾، ڀيري هَڻان ڀاڻُ؛
پيڪَنِ سُوڌو پاڻُ، گَھرُ تَڙُ گھورِيان پِرَ تان.

کوڙَ قناتوُن ڪاڪِ ۾، راڻا ويہُ رَهِي؛
ماڙهُو جي مَحلاتِ جا، سوڍا ڪَجِ سَهِي؛
وِيندِيَءِ ڳالِھ وَهِي، وِڪَرِ پَوَندين وَلھا.

داستان ستون

ڍَٽِ مَ وَڃِجِ ڍولَ! ڪاڻِياري ڪاڪِ ڪَري؛
آءٌ اَڳَهين آهيان، ٻَڌِي تُنهِنجي ٻولَ؛
توکي ساري، سُپِرِين! رُنُمِ مَنجِھ رَتولَ؛
ٽِڪاڻا ۽ ٽولَ، وِسَہُ مُون وِهُ ٿِيا.

سوڍي سِرُ نِيو، هِتِ ڪَرَنگَھرُ سَکڻو؛
راڻي جي رِهاڻِ کي، سِڪي ساهُ پِيو؛
پَسان ڪِينَ ٻِيو، تو رِءِ اَکَڙِيُنِ سين.

راڻي رِڻُ ڪَيو، جيڏِيُون! مُنهِجي جِيءَ سين؛
مَنُ مينڌِري وَڍِيو، ڌُٻِي ڌَڙُ پِيو؛
ٻُجھان، ٻَهَرِ وِيو، هِنئون هَنڌِ نه هيڪِڙي.

رُئان ٿي، راڻا! هَنڌَ نِهاريو حُجِرا؛
پيئِي کِہَ کَٽُنِ تي، ٿِيا پَلَنگَ پُراڻا؛
ڌَرِيائِي ڌُوڙا ٿِيا، وَرَ رِءَ وِهاڻا؛
جايُون، گُلَ، جَباتَ، وَڻَ، تو رِءَ ڪُوماڻا؛
مينڌِرا! ماڻا، تو رِءَ ڪَندِيَسِ ڪِنِ سين.

جِئَن ايندي ئِي موٽِئين، مينڌِرا! وَڏِي جاڙَ ڪِياءِ؛
وَرُ نه هُئين؟ وَلَھا! هُوندَ جٽِي مون جاڳاءِ؛
ته سُتي جي ساڃاءِ، سوڍا! سِگِھيائي ٿِيَءِ.
جڳ جِئَن تِي چوءِ، سوڍو تِئَن نه سِکِيو؛
راڻو تِئَن نه رُوءِ، ڳوڙهو جِئَن ڳَلِ ڳَڙي.

تِنِ باغَنِئُون بَسِّ، جي ڪَنڌِيءَ ڪاڪِ ڪَڪورِيا؛
سوڍي رِءَ سَرِتيُون! ڪاڪِ نه اچي ڪَسِّ؛
راڻي پائي رَسِّ، تَنُ ٻيڙِيءَ جِئَن تاڻِيو.

داستان اٺون

ڪِينَ ساڱاهِيُمِ، سُپِرِين! جاڙُون ڪَيُمِ جالَ؛
سوڍا! مون کي ڪالَ، موٽِي مُنهَن ۾ آئِيُون.
خاموشِي خَبَرَ جِي، مُومَلِ ٿِي مَتِّ؛
صَبرُ ٿِيو سُپَتِّ، مُنهِنجي حَقِّ، مينڌِرا!

ڍولي ڍَڪِي آهِيان، هُيَسِ اُگھاڙِي؛
ڏيئِي لِکَ لاڙِي، ڪَڪَرُ ڪَيائِينمِ ڪاڪِ جو.

سوڍا! صَبرُ تُنهنجو، مَرَڪُ لَڄايُنِّ؛
چُپ سين جي چَوَنِّ، اَدَبُ ڪجي اُنِ جو.

سوڍا! صَبرُ تُنهنجو، سيکاري سَهَسَ؛
پُڄِي تِئان پَهَسَ، مون کي نَصِيبَ نيئِي جَھليو.

سوڍا! صَبرُ تُنهنجو، بي عَقُلَ آڻي بازِ؛
سندي صَبُرَ سازِ، توبَہَ ڪارِيَمِ تَڪڙِي.

جنين سندي مُنهَن ۾، نِهائِيُون نَڪَنِّ؛
تِئان وَڍِيو هيڪِڙو، ته ڪَهڙو ٿورو تَنِّ؟
سي مَرُ سُڃا ئِي سُونهَنِّ، جن ڀـلِي ڀِينگَ ڀَرَمَ جِي.

داستان نائون

راڻي جي رِهاڻِ مان، ڪو آديسِي آيو؛
چوڏِهِينءَ ماهَ چَنڊَ جِئَن، ڪَيو سامِيءَ سَهائو؛
لَٿو اُونداهو، جوڳِيءَ سَندِيءَ جوتِ سان.

راڻي جي رِهاڻِ مان، ڪو آيو آديسِي؛
کَٿُورِيءَ خوشِبُوءِ سين، وِلاتَ سَڀِ واسي؛
سُوڌو سَناسِي، اُتانهِين ٿي آيو.

نَئون نِياپو آيو، راڻي مُلان راتِ؛
لَڌِيسُون لَطِيفُ چئي، ڪَنان ڏاتَرَ ڏاتِ؛
ڪَهڙِي پُڇين ذاتِ؟ جي آيا، سي اَگِھيا.

ڪيڏانهُن ڪاهِيان ڪَرَهو؟ چَؤڏِسِ چِٽاڻو؛
مَنجِھين ڪاڪِ ڪَڪورِي، مَنجِھين لُڊاڻو؛
راڻو ۽ راڻو، رِءَ راڻي ٻيو ناهِ ڪو.


ڪيڏانهن ڪاهِيان ڪَرَهو؟ چِٽاڻو چؤڌارَ؛
مَنجِھين ڪاڪِ ڪڪوري، مَنجِھين باغَ بَهارَ؛
ڪانهي ٻي تَنوارَ، ٿِيو مِڙوئي مينڌِرو.

Courtesy: عبدالماجد ڀرڳڙي [Mr. Abdul Majid Bhurguri] شاه سائين جو رسالو
ڪلياڻ آڏواڻي جي مرتب ڪيل رسالي ۾ بيتن تي شامل پهرين اليڪٽرانڪ انٽرنيٽ ايڊيشن

Mumal and Rano-XXI



With love, all unalloyed, is dight
Yogi entirely-
Like image at rising sun
he flutters, he Kak, where with delight
virgins enlivened him.


The yogi looks like sun so fair,
when scaling morning-skies
Such sweet entrancing fragrance pours
from out his silken hair;
Show us the land, where fragrance rare
O yogi you obtained!


O loin-clothed, one, let us know,
the way you virgins met
Why from your eyes continuously
the tears of blood do flow?
O Sami! on us light bestow
of beauty that you found!


"Go, go, to waters of Kak go
where love is made, they say;
Where there is neither night nor day
all shall Beloved see!


Resplendent diamondss gleam within
Magnetic Mumal's eyes...
Common or uncommon, who tries
to see these eyes, is slain.


O camel, for such enterprise
master bred you with care;
With vigilance cross over now
to where Ludhana lies;
Mumal we have to face this eve,
or when the sun doth rise;
With her consent on Kak's supplies
of blossoms you may browse.-


Beautiful like the roses sweet
are robes of damsels fair...
In Jasmin-fragrant coiffuers they
have piled their long, fine hair.
From Beauty so entrancing, love
is kindled everywhere;
Wondrous show, damsels spinning there
on-lookers dumb-struck gaze.


Like fresh pan-leaves are shawls they wear
of shimmering emerald silk-
Their bodies all refreshed with atter
and ambergris rare;
From fullsome platis sandle and musk
perfume all round the air;
And delicate ears, dainty ware
of glistening gold do hold-
Today Mumal's in glorious from
rejoicing, free from care;
Because Rano without compare,
her fiansee hath become!...


Mumal had wounded many, lo
she's wounded now instead-
A pointed arrow struck her head
from knightly Rano's bow.-



Although Rano not destined is
Mumal to be with thee-
This will be clear from Rano's love...
still not resentful be,
Weep not, but bear it patiently,
Be true to kinship new.


Kak could not hold those wanderers
Castles not tempt their mind...
No maid or mistresses their hearts
with magic strings could bind
For e'er Lahutis left behind
myraids of maids as these.-


Kak could not hold those wanderers
for wealth they did not care,-
It was by men of such a mould
royal virgins wounded were-
Lahutis they could not ensnare
with all their coquetry.


They passed Kak at the corner, long
that corner turned have they...
To those who are now far away
what shall some 'Natir' do?



Ludhana is a hell mere
without Beloved mine;
Friends, Rano took offence last night
and left me torture here...
And Kak to me is poison sheer
the moment he is gone.


O Rano, hardly had you come,
you turned and went away
But were you not my spouse? why not
to wake me did you stay?
Then soon you would have known who lay
beside me on the bed.


Whole night my lamp did burn, but see
the dawn is breaking now;
Rano without thee I shall die-
In God's name come to me
Oh-all the crows of Kak to thee
as messenger I sent.-


I trimmed the wick, again, again,
oil is consumed at last
Stranger-beloved, do return
riding a camel fast;
Weeping for Rano, night is past,
the whole of night I wept.


Orion stands above my head;
pleiades have declined...
The time is past...he did not come
Rano, for whom I pined-
Fie on cursed night, without my love
it passed, and left me woe-confined-
To give me hell, he did not mind
now rests he in his dhat.-


Rano, I weep when I behold
the empty places here
Dust settled on beds and divans
so drab looks all and cold;
Unused by master pillows lie,
and nought but dust they hold-
Without you, trees and flowers fade
and never more unfold...
Who would bear my freaks mainfold
but my Mendharo dear?


Continuously I watch your way,
mine eyes are at the door-
May you come back to me Rano,
I heaven do implore;
You hold my life, else many more
of Rano's world contains.


I did not realize my sweet,
the faults I did commit;
They now recoil on me, and hit
me justly in the face.


't was by your patience, I became
a human being dear-
't was through a whim of mine, my name,
myself, you came to know.


If Mendharo to my own house
would come as guest, to stay with me-
To flames I'd give self-consciousness
my knowledge and my ancestry;
Pride egoism I would throw
Into the stove, most certainly
My sacrifice for loved-one be
the home, parents, myself.


Who with a lion doth ally
herself, must steady be-
Affectionate and vigilant
In Rano's wake do lie-
O Mumal, not like rain do pour
On all that you come by...
When resurrection day is nigh
you will of Rano think.


Go straight ahead, and look not back
nor turn this side or that,
Or else, a temple-turning smack
unwar'ly you receive.



A messenger! in haste he is
By he is sent;
With promise: "one you love will reach
Ludhana for your bliss;
The speedy camel will not miss
to enter Kak at Dawn."


A message great and new arrived
from Mendharo last night;
We have received a gift divine,
from Giver of all light-
"Ask not for caste-all we invite
all are accepted here."


Where need I drive the camel? when
Glory all round is beaming?
Kak in my being doth radiate,
In me's Ludhano gleaming;
Of Rano sweet my soul is dreaming
there is none else but 'He'.-


Where need one drive the camel? when
great radiance reigns all round?
In my being is me
gardens and springs abound;
There is no other voice or sound
But all is 'Mendharo'.

REFERENCES: Mumal and Rano-XXI by Late. Elsa Qazi Mumal and Rano-XXI Chapter-I [Shah Jo Risalo by Late. Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Translated by Late. Elsa Kazi

I am extremely thankful to Mr Xafar Sindhi who helped me in this post.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The myth of history By Prof Shahida Kazi.

Before you read Prof. Shahida Kazi's excellent reasearch [translation in Urdu is in the end courtesy Mr. Awais Masood] I would like to add the following:

Pakistani recruiters claimed difficulty in securing volunteers in East Pakistan. West Pakistanis held that Bengalis were not "martially inclined"--especially in comparison with Punjabis and Pathans, :REF Library of Congress Country Studies :@field(DOCID+bd0139) - NOW READ: Pakistani author Hasan-Askari Rizvi notes that the limited recruitment of Bengali personnel in the Pakistan Army was because, the West Pakistanis, "could not overcome the hangover of the martial race theory". Ref: Military, State and Society in Pakistan by Hasan-Askari Rizvi. Late. K K Aziz in his magnum opus "Murder of History " had opined that every Reforme Movement or Resistance Movement against Imperialism, and against Feudal Lords were started in Bengal. [Do watch the Conversation with IDRC President David M. Malone, historian Romila Thapar, widely recognized as India's foremost historian challenged the colonial interpretations of India's past, which have created an oversimplified history that has reinforced divisions of race, religion, and caste. Courtesy: IDRCCRDI

The myth of history By Prof Shahida Kazi

History is a discipline that has never been taken seriously by anyone in Pakistan. As a result, the subject has been distorted in such a way that many a fabricated tale has become part of our collective consciousness. Does mythology have anything to do with history? Is mythology synonymous with history? Or is history mythology?

Admittedly, the line between the two is a very fine one. From time immemorial, man has always been in search of his roots. He has also been trying to find a real and tangible basis for the legends of ancient days - legends that have become a part of our collective consciousness. As a result, we witness the quest for proving the existence of King Arthur, the search for whereabouts of the city of Troy, and many expeditions organized to locate the exact site of the landing of Noah’s Ark.

During the ’60s and the ’70s, there was a worldwide movement to prove that the ’gods’ of ancient mythologies did actually exist; they came from distant galaxies; and that mankind owed all its progress to such alien superheroes. Several books were written on the subject.

We, in Pakistan, are a breed apart. Lacking a proper mythology like most other races, we have created our own, populated by a whole pantheon of superheroes who have a wide range of heroic exploits to their credit.

But the difference is that these superheroes, instead of being a part of a remote and prehistoric period, belong very much to our own times. A seemingly veritable mythology has been created around these heroes, their persona and their achievements, which is drummed into the heads of our children from the time they start going to school. So deep is this indoctrination that any attempt to uncover the facts or reveal the truth is considered nothing less than blasphemous.

Here are some of the most common myths:

Myth 1

Our history begins from 712AD, when Mohammad bin Qasim arrived in the subcontinent and conquered the port of Debal.

Take any social studies or Pakistan studies book, it starts with Mohammad bin Qasim. What was there before his arrival? Yes, cruel and despotic Hindu kings like Raja Dahir and the oppressed and uncivilized populace anxiously waiting for a ’liberator’ to free them from the clutches of such cruel kings. And when the liberator came, he was welcomed with open arms and the grateful people converted to Islam en mass.

Did it really happen? This version of our history conveniently forgets that the area where our country is situated has had a long and glorious history of 6,000 years. Forget Moenjo Daro. We do not know enough about it. But recorded history tells us that before Mohammad Bin Qasim, this area, roughly encompassing Sindh, Punjab and some parts of the NWFP, was ruled by no less than 12 different dynasties from different parts of the world, including the Persians (during the Achamaenian period), the Greeks comprising the Bactrians, Scthians and Parthians, the Kushanas from China, and the Huns (of Attila fame) who also came from China, besides a number of Hindu dynasties including great rulers like Chandragupta Maurya and Asoka.

During the Gandhara period, this region had the distinction of being home to one of the biggest and most important universities of the world at our very own Taxila. We used to be highly civilized, well-educated, prosperous, creative and economically productive people, and many countries benefited a lot from us, intellectually as well as economically. This is something we better not forget. But do we tell this to our children? No. And so the myth continues from generation to generation.

Myth 2

Mohammad Bin Qasim came to India to help oppressed widows and orphan girls.

Because of our blissful ignorance of history, we don’t know, or don’t bother to know, that this period was the age of expansion of the Islamic empire. The Arabs had conquered a large portion of the world, comprising the entire Middle East, Persia, North Africa and Spain. Therefore, it defies logic that they would not seek to conquer India, the land of legendary treasures.

In fact, the Arabs had sent their first expedition to India during Hazrat Umar Farooq’s tenure. A subsequent expedition had come to Makran during Hazrat Usman’s rule. But they had been unsuccessful in making any in-roads into the region. Later on, following the refusal of the king to give compensation for the ships captured by pirates (which incidentally included eight ships full of treasures from Sri Lanka, and not just women and girls), two expeditions had already been sent to India, but they proved unsuccessful. It was the third expedition brought by Mohammad Bin Qasim which succeeded in capturing Sindh, from Mansura to Multan. However, because of the Arabs’ internal dissension and political infighting, Sindh remained a neglected outpost of the Arab empire, and soon reverted to local kings.

Myth 3

The myth of the idol-breaker.

Mahmood Ghaznavi, the great son of Islam and idol-breaker par excellence, took upon himself to destroy idols all over India and spread Islam in the subcontinent.

Mahmud, who came from neighbouring Ghazni, Central Asia, invaded India no less than 17 times. But except Punjab, he made no attempt to conquer any other part of the country or to try and consolidate his rule over the rest of India. In fact, the only thing that attracted him was the treasures of India, gold and precious stones, of which he took care and carried back home a considerable amount every time he raided the country. Temples in India were a repository of large amounts of treasure at the time, as were the churches in Europe, hence his special interest in temples and idols.

Contrary to popular belief, it was not the kings, the Central Asian sultans who ruled for over 300 years and the Mughals who ruled for another 300 years, who brought Islam to the subcontinent. That work was accomplished by the Sufi Sheikhs who came to India mainly to escape persecution from the fundamentalists back home, and who, through their high-mindedness, love for humanity, compassion, tolerance and simple living won the hearts of the people of all religions.

Myth 4

The myth of the cap-stitcher.

Of all the kings who have ruled the subcontinent, the one singled out for greatest praise in our text books is Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughals. Baber built the empire; Humayun lost it and got it back; Akbar expanded and consolidated it; Jahangir was known for his sense of justice; Shahjehan for his magnificent buildings. But it is Aurangzeb, known as a pious man, who grabs the most attention. The prevalent myth is that he did not spend money from the treasury for his personal needs, but fulfilled them by stitching caps and copying out the Holy Quran. Is there any real need for discussing this assertion? Anyone who’s least bit familiar with the Mughal lifestyle would know how expensive it was to maintain their dozens of palaces. The Mughals used to have many wives, children, courtiers, concubines and slaves who would be present in each palace, whose needs had to be met. Could such expenses be met by stitching caps? And even if the king was stitching caps, would people buy them and use them as ordinary caps? Would they not pay exorbitant prices for them and keep them as heirlooms? Would a king, whose focus had to be on military threats surrounding him from all sides and on the need to save and consolidate a huge empire, have the time and leisure to sit and stitch caps? Let’s not forget that the person we are referring to as a pious Muslim was the same who became king after he imprisoned his won father in a cell in his palace and killed all his brothers to prevent them from taking over the throne.

Myth 5

It was the Muslims who were responsible for the war of 1857; and it was the Muslims who bore the brunt of persecution in the aftermath of the war, while the Hindus were natural collaborators of the British.

It is true that more Muslim regiments than Hindu rose up against the British in 1857. But the Hindus also played a major role in the battle (the courageous Rani of Jhansi is a prime example); and if Muslim soldiers were inflamed by the rumour that the cartridges were laced with pig fat, in the case of Hindus, the rumour was that it was cow fat. And a large number of Muslims remained loyal to the British to the very end. (The most illustrious of them being Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.)

Furthermore, the Muslims did not lose their empire after 1857. The British had already become masters of most of India before that time, having grasped vast territories from both Hindu and Muslim rulers through guile and subterfuge.

The Mughal emperor at the time was a ruler in name only; his jurisdiction did not extend beyond Delhi. After 1857, the Hindus prospered, because they were clever enough to acquire modern education, learn the English language, and take to trade and commerce. The Muslims were only land owners, wedded to the dreams of the past pomp and glory, and when their lands were taken away, they were left with nothing; their madressah education and proficiency in Persian proved to be of no help. As a matter of fact, it was a hindrance in such changing times.

Myth 6

The Muslims were in the forefront of the struggle against the British and were singled out for unfair treatment by the latter.

Not at all. In fact, the first ’gift’ given to the Muslims by the British was in 1905 in the form of partition of Bengal (later revoked in 1911). The Shimla delegation of 1906 has rightly been called a ’command performance’; the Muslims were assured by the viceroy of separate electorates and weightage as soon as their leaders asked for them. After that, he Muslim League came into being, established by pro-British stalwarts like the Aga Khan, Justice Amir Ali, some other nawabs and feudal lords. And the first objective of the Muslim League manifesto read: "To promote feelings of loyalty to the British government."

The Muslim League never carried out any agitation against the British. The only time the Muslims agitated was during the Khilafat Movement in the early ’20s, led by the Ali brothers and other radical leaders. Not a single Muslim League leader, including the Quaid-i-Azam, ever went to jail. It was the Congress which continued the anti-British non-violent and non-cooperation movement in the ’30s and ’40s, including the famous ’Quit India’ movement, while Muslim League leaders continued to denounce such movements and exhorted their followers not to take part in them.

Myth 7

The Muslim League was the only representative body of the Muslims.

It is an incontrovertible fact that it was only after 1940 that the Muslim League established itself as a popular party among the Muslims. Prior to that, as evident in the 1937 elections, the Muslim League did not succeed in forming the government in any of the Muslim majority provinces. In those elections, out of the total of 482 Muslim seats, the Muslim League won only 103 (less than one-fourth of the total). Other seats went either to Congress Muslims or to nationalist parties such as the Punjab Unionist Party, the Sind Unionist Party and the Krishak Proja Party of Bengal.

Myth 8

Allama Iqbal was the first person to come up with the idea of a separate Muslim state.

This is one of the most deeply embedded myths in our country and the one which has been propagated by all governments. In fact, the idea that Muslim majority provinces of the north-west formed a natural group and should be considered a single bloc had been mooted by the British as far back as 1858 and freely discussed in various newspaper articles and on political platforms. Several variations of the idea had come from important public personalities, including British, Muslims and some Hindus. By the time Allama Iqbal gave his famous speech in 1930, the idea had been put forward at least 64 times. So, Iqbal voiced something which was already there, and was not an original ’dream’. After his speech at Allahbad was reported, Allama Iqbal published a ’retraction’ in a British newspaper that he had not been talking of a separate Muslim sate, but only of a Muslim bloc within the Indian federation.

Myth 9

The Pakistan Resolution envisaged a single Muslim state.

The fact is that none of the proposals regarding the Muslim bloc mooted by different individuals or parties had included East Bengal in it. The emphasis had always been on north-western provinces, which shared common frontiers, while other Muslim majority states, such as Bengal and Hyderabad, were envisaged as separate blocs. So, it was in the Pakistan Resolution. The resolution reads: "The areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the north-western and eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states, in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign."

Leaving aside the poor and ambiguous drafting of the entire resolution, the part about states (in plural) is very clear. It was only in 1946, at a convention of the Muslim League legislators in Delhi, that the original resolution was amended, which was adopted at a general Muslim League session and the objective became a single state.

Myth 10

March 23, 1940 is celebrated because the Pakistan Resolution was adopted on that day.The fact of the matter is that the Pakistan Resolution was only introduced on March 23 and was finally adopted on March 24 (the second and final day of the session).

As to why we celebrate March 23 is another story altogether. The day was never celebrated before 1956. It was first celebrated that year as the Republic Day to mark the passage of the first constitution and Pakistan’s emergence as a truly independent republic. It had the same importance for us as January 26 for India. But when Gen Ayub abrogated the constitution and established martial law in 1958, he was faced with a dilemma. He could not let the country celebrate a day commemorating the constitution that he had himself torn apart, nor could he cancel the celebration altogether. A way-out was found by keeping the celebration, but giving it another name: the Pakistan Resolution Day.

Myth 11

It was Ghulam Muhammad who created imbalance of power between the prime minister and head of state, and it was he who sought to establish the supremacy of the governor-general over the prime minister and parliament.

When Pakistan came into being, the British government’s India Act of 1935 was adopted as the working constitution. And it was the Quaid-i-Azam himself who introduced certain amendments to the act to make the governor-general the supreme authority. It was under these powers that the Quaid-i-Azam dismissed the government of Dr Khan Sahib in the NWFP in August 1947 and that of Mr Ayub Khuhro in Sindh in 1948.

Besides being governor-general, the Quaid-i-Azam also continued as president of the Muslim League and president of the Constituent Assembly.

It was these same powers under which Mr Daultana’s government was dismissed in Punjab in 1949 by Khawaja Nazimuddin, who himself was dismissed as prime minister in 1953 by Ghulam Mohammad.

However, in 1954, a move was started by members of the then Constituent Assembly to table an amendment to the act, taking away excessive powers of the governor-general. It was this move which provoked the governor-general, Ghulam Mohammad, to dismiss the Constituent Assembly in 1954, and thereby change the course of Pakistan’s history.

These are some of the myths that have been drummed into our heads from childhood and have become part of our consciousness. There are scores more, pervading our everyday life. And there are many unanswered questions such as:

• What is Pakistan’s ideology and when was the term first coined? (It was never heard of before 1907.)

• Why was Gandhi murdered? (He was supposedly guarding Pakistan’s interest.)

• What is the truth about the so-called traitors, Shaikh Mujeeb, Wali Khan, and G.M. Syed?

• What caused the break-away of East Pakistan?

• Why was Bhutto put to death?

• Are all our politicians corrupt and self-serving?

• Why does our history repeat itself after every 10 years?

The answers to all these questions require a thorough study of history, not mythology. But history unfortunately is a discipline that has never been taken seriously by anyone in our country. It’s time things changed. REFERENCE: The myth of history By Prof Shahida Kazi Posted: Mar 28, 2005 Mon 01:12 am [The Article had appeared in Daily Dawn in 2005] The myth of history By Prof Shahida Kazi March 27, 2005
Romila Thapar: India's past and present — how history informs contemporary narrative


In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled “The White Man’s Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands.” In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the “burden” of empire, as had Britain and other European nations. Published in the February, 1899 issue of McClure’s Magazine,The White Man’s Burden”: Kipling’s Hymn to U.S. Imperialism

Take up the White Man’s burden—

Send forth the best ye breed—

Go send your sons to exile

To serve your captives' need

To wait in heavy harness

On fluttered folk and wild—

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half devil and half child

Take up the White Man’s burden

تاریخ کی دیو مالا ز پروفیسر شاہدہ قاضی

تاریخ ایک ایسا شعبہ تعلیم ہے جسے پاکستانیوں نے کبھی سنجیدگی سے نہیں لیا۔ نتیجہ یہ ہے کہ اس شعبے کو اس بری طرح مسخ کردیا گیا ہے کہ بہت سی گھڑی ہوئی کہانیاں ہمارے اجتماعی شعور کا حصہ بن گئی ہیں۔

کیا سچ میں دیومالا کا تاریخ سے کوئی تعلق ہے؟ کیا دیومالا اور تاریخ ایک ہی چیز کے دو نام ہیں؟ یا تاریخ ہی دیومالا ہے؟

بلاشک ان دونوں میں بہت نازک سا فرق ہے۔ زمانہ قبل از تاریخ سے ہی انسان ہمیشہ اپنی جڑوں کی تلاش میں رہا ہے۔ وہ عہد گزشتہ کے افسانوی کرداروں کے بارے میں حقیقی اور ٹھوس معلومات کی تلاش میں بھی رہا ہے، وہ کردار جو ہمارے اجتماعی شعور کا حصہ بن چکے ہیں۔ نتیجتًا ہم دیکھتے ہیں کہ کنگ آرتھر نامی کسی بادشاہ کی تاریخ میں موجودگی ثابت کرنے کی جستجو کی جاتی ہے، افسانوی شہر ٹرائے کی باقیات تلاش کی جاتی ہیں، اور نوح علیہ السلام کی کشتی کے رکنے کا مقام تلاش کرنے کے لیے کئی مہمات وضع کی جاتی ہیں۔

ساٹھ اور ستر کے عشروں میں عالمی سطح پر ایک تحریک چلائی گئی تاکہ دیومالائی داستانوں میں موجود ’خداؤں‘ کی موجودگی ثابت کی جائے؛ کہ وہ دوسری کہکشاؤں سے آئے تھے؛ اور یہ کہ انسانیت کی ساری ترقی ان اجنبی فوق البشر ہیروز کی مرہون منت ہے۔ اس موضوع پر کئی ایک کتابیں لکھی گئیں۔

ہم، یہاں پاکستان میں، الگ ہی مزاج کے حامل ہیں۔ دوسری قومیتوں کی طرح کوئی باقاعدہ دیو مالا نہیں تو کیا ہوا، ہم نے اپنی دیومالائی داستانیں بنا لیں، جن میں ایسے ایسے ہیروز کی یادیں ہیں جن کے ساتھ بے شمار کارنامے منسوب ہیں۔

لیکن فرق یہ ہے کہ ہمارے افسانوی ہیرو قبل از تاریخ اور بہت پرانے دور کے نہیں بلکہ ہمارے آج کے دور سے ہی تعلق رکھتے ہیں۔ ان ہیروز کے گرد بالکل حقیقی لگنے والی دیومالا کھڑی کی گئی ہے، ان کی شخصیت اور کارنامے، جو کہ ہمارے بچوں کے کانوں میں اس وقت سے انڈیلنا شروع کردئیے جاتے ہیں جیسے ہی وہ سکول جانے کے قابل ہوجائیں۔ یہ تلقین اتنی گہری ہوتی ہے کہ حقائق سے پردہ اٹھانے یا سچائی کا چہرہ دکھانے کی ہر کوشش کو ہرزہ سرائی سے کم پر محمول نہیں کیا جاتا۔

ذیل میں ایسی ہی کچھ بہت عام سی دیومالائیں موجود ہیں:

دیو مالا 1

ہماری تاریخ 712 عیسوی سے شروع ہوتی ہے جب محمد بن قاسم برصغیر میں آیا اور اس نے دیبل کی بندرگاہ کو فتح کیا۔

کسی بھی معاشرتی علوم یا معالعہ پاکستان کی کتاب کو اٹھا لیں،وہ محمد بن قاسم سے ہی شروع ہوتی ہے۔ اس کی آمد سے پہلے کیا تھا؟ جی ہاں، راجہ داہر جیسے ظالم و جابر ہندو حکمران اور پسی ہوئی غیر تہذیب یافتہ آبادی جو کسی ’نجات دہندہ‘ کی آمد کی شدت سے منتظر تھی تاکہ وہ انھیں ظالم حکمرانوں کے پنجوں سے نجات دلائے۔ اور جب نجات دہندہ آیا، تو اس کا کھلی باہنوں سے استقبال کیا گیا، اور شکرگزار لوگ جوق در جوق اسلام میں داخل ہوگئے۔

کیا ایسا ہی ہوا تھا؟ تاریخ کا یہ ورژن بڑی آسانی سے نظر انداز کر دیا جاتا ہے کہ وہ علاقہ جہاں ہمارا ملک واقع ہے کی بڑی شاندار 6000 سالہ تاریخ ہے۔ موہن جودڑو کو بھول جائیں۔ ہم ان کے بارے میں بہت زیادہ نہیں جانتے۔ لیکن معلومہ تاریخ ہمیں بتاتی ہے کہ محمد بن قاسم سے پہلے، اس علاقے میں، جو تقریبًا پنجاب، سندھ، سرحد پر مشتمل ہے پر کم سے کم بارہ مختلف بادشاہوں نے حکومت کی جو دینا کے مختلف حصوں سے تعلق رکھتے تھے، جیسے کہ خسرو سے داریوش تک کے ایرانی حکمران، یونانی جن میں بیکتیریائی، سچیانی، پارتھئین، چین سے کشانا، اور (اٹیلا کے خاندان سے تعلق رکھنے والے) ہُن جو چین سے ہی آئے تھے، یہ ان ہندو خاندانوں کے علاوہ تھے جن میں اشوک، چندر گپت اور موریا جیسے عظیم حکمران شامل ہیں۔

گندھارا کے دور میں اس علاقے کو دنیا کی سب سے بڑی اور اہم یونیورسٹی کا وطن ہونے کا اعزاز حاصل رہا، ہمارا شہر جسے ہم آج ٹیکسلا کہتے ہیں۔ ہم اعلٰی تہذیب یافتہ، پڑھے لکھے، آسودہ حال، تخلیقی اور معاشی طور پر زرخیز لوگ رہے ہیں، اور بہت سے ممالک نے ہم سے علمی اور معاشی دونوں طرح سے فیوض حاصل کیے۔ یہ ایسی چیز ہے جو ہمیں بھولنی نہیں چاہیے۔ لیکن کیا ہم اپنے بچوں کو یہ سب بتاتے ہیں؟ نہیں۔ چناچہ یہ دیو مالا نسل در نسل چلتی ہے۔

دیو مالا 2

محمد بن قاسم ہندوستان آیا تاکہ وہ مظلوم بیواؤں اور یتیم لڑکیوں کی مدد کرے۔

تاریخ سے ہماری خوش فہمانہ چشم پوشی کی وجہ سے ہم جانتے ہی نہیں یا جاننے کی کوشش ہی نہیں کرتے کہ وہ دور اسلامی سلطنت کو وسعت دینے کا دور تھا۔ عربوں نے دنیا کا بڑا حصہ فتح کرلیا تھا، جس میں پورا مشرق وسطی، فارس، شمالی افریقہ اور سپین شامل ہیں۔ چناچہ منطقی لحاظ سے یہ نہیں کہا جاسکتا کہ انھوں نے ہندوستان جیسے روائتی خزانوں کے ملک کو فتح کرنے کا نہ سوچا ہو۔

حقیت یہ ہے کہ عربوں نے ہندوستان کی طرف اپنی پہلی مہم حضرت عمرؓ کے دور میں بھیجی تھی۔ اسی کے تسلسل میں ایک مہم حضرت عثمانؓ کے دور میں مکران بھی آئی۔ لیکن وہ اس علاقے میں کوئی حکومت قائم کرنے میں ناکام رہے تھے۔ بعد میں راجہ کی جانب سے سمندری قذاقوں کے ہاتھوں اغوا شدہ بحری جہازوں (جو اتفاقًا عورتوں اور لڑکیوں کے ساتھ ساتھ سری لنکا کے خزانوں سے بھی بھرے ہوئے تھے) کا معاوضہ دینے سے انکار پر دو مہمات پہلے ہی ہندوستان روانہ کی جاچکی تھیں لیکن وہ بھی ناکام رہی تھیں۔ یہ تیسری مہم تھی جو محمد بن قاسم کی قیادت میں سندھ بھجی گئی اور کامیاب ہوئی جس کا مقصد منصورہ سے ملتان تک کے علاقے کو قبضے میں کرنا تھا۔ تاہم عربوں کی اندرونی رنجش اور سیاسی رسہ کشی کی وجہ سے سندھ عرب سلطنت کا نظراندازشدہ کنارہ بنا رہا، اور جلد ہی اس پر مقامی حکمران قابض ہوگئے۔

دیو مالا 3

بت شکن کی دیو مالا۔

محمود غزنوی، بیک وقت اسلام کا عظیم بیٹا اور عظیم بت شکن، نے پورے ہندوستان سے بت شکنی کا بیڑہ اٹھایا اور برصغیر میں اسلام کو پھیلا دیا۔

محمود، جو کہ قریبی ریاست غزنی وسط ایشیا سے آیا تھا، نے انڈیا پر کم از کم 17 بار حملہ کیا۔ لیکن پنجاب کے علاوہ اس نے ملک کے کسی اور حصے کو فتح کرنے یا ہندوستان کے دوسرے حصوں پر اپنا اقتدار مضبوط کرنے کی کوئی کوشش نہ کی۔ حقیقت یہ ہے کہ اسے صرف ہندوستان کے زر و جواہرات نے للچایا، سونا اور قیمتی پتھر، جن کا اس نے خیال کیا اور ہر بار اپنے حملے کے بعد ان کی اچھی خاصی مقدار اپنے ساتھ واپس لے کر گیا۔ ہندوستان کے مندر اس وقت زر و جواہر اور خزانوں کا مخزن تھے، جیسا کہ یورپ میں کلیسا کا کام تھا، چناچہ مندروں اور بتوں میں اس کی خصوصی توجہ کا مرکز یہی زر و جواہر تھے۔

عام عقیدے کے برعکس، نہ یہاں پرحکومت کرنے والے بادشاہوں، وسط ایشیا کے سلاطین جنہوں نے 300 سال حکومت کی، اور نہ ہی مغل جنہوں نے بعد کے 300 سال حکومت کی، نے یہاں اسلام متعارف کرایا۔ یہ کام ہندوستان آنے والے صوفی بزرگوں نے کیا جو اپنے وطن میں بنیاد پرستوں کی ایذارسانیوں سے تنگ آکر ہندوستان چلے آئے تھے، جن کے اعلٰی اخلاق ، انسانیت کے لیے محبت، دردمندی، رواداری اور سادہ طرز زندگی نے تمام مذاہب کے لوگوں کے دل جیت لیے۔

دیو مالا 4

ٹوپیاں سینے والے کی دیو مالا

برصغیر پر حکومت کرنے والے تمام بادشاہوں میں سے، جس کی تعریف ہماری کتابوں میں سب سے زیادہ کی جاتی ہے وہ اورنگزیب ہے، مغلوں کا آخری عظیم تاجدار۔ بابر نے سلطنت بنائی؛ ہمایوں نے گنوائی اور پھر واپس حاصل کی؛ اکبر نے اسے پھیلایا اور مستحکم کیا؛ جہانگیر اپنے عدل کی وجہ سے جانا جاتا تھا؛ اور شاہجہاں اپنی عظیم تعمیرات کی وجہ سے۔ لیکن اورنگزیب جسے ایک متقی انسان سمجھا جاتا ہے سب سے زیادہ توجہ کا مستحق ٹھہرتا ہے۔ پائی جانے والی دیومالا یہ ہے کہ وہ خزانے میں سے اپنے ذاتی خرچ کے لیے رقم نہیں لیتا تھا، بلکہ وہ اپنی ضروریات ٹوپیاں سی کر اور قرآن کی کتابت کرکے پوری کرتا تھا۔ کیا اس دعوے کو بار بار دوہرانے کی کوئی خاص ضرورت ہے؟ کوئی بھی جو مغلوں کے طرز زندگی سے تھوڑی سی واقفیت رکھتا ہے یہ جانتا ہوگا کہ درجنوں کے حساب سے محلات کو چلانے کا خرچ کتنا تھا۔ مغلوں کی کئی بیویاں، بچے، مصاحب، داشتائیں، اور غلام ہوا کرتے تھے جو کہ ہر محل میں ہوا کرتے ہونگے اور جن کی ضروریات بھی پوری کرنا ہوتی ہونگی۔ کیا ایسے اخراجات ٹوپیاں سینے سے پورے ہوسکتے تھے؟ اور اگر بادشاہ ٹوپیاں سیتا بھی تھا تو کیا لوگ انھیں خریدتے تھے اور عام ٹوپیوں کی طرح پہنتے تھے؟ کیا وہ ان کے لیے بہت زیادہ رقم خرچ نہیں کرتے ہونگے اور بطور مقدس ورثہ نہیں سنبھالتے ہونگے؟ کیا ایک بادشاہ، جس کی نظر اپنے اردگرد موجود جنگی خطروں اور ایک عظیم سلطنت کو محفوظ اور مستحکم رکھنے پر رہتی تھی، کے پاس اتنا وقت ہوگا کہ وہ آرام سے بیٹھ کر ٹوپیاں سی سکے؟ یہ نہ بھولیے کہ وہ شخص جسے ہم متقی مسلمان کہہ رہے ہیں اپنے ہی باپ کو اپنے محل کی ایک کوٹھڑی میں قید کرکے اور اپنے بھائیوں قتل کرکے برسر اقتدار آیا تھا تاکہ وہ اس کے اقتدار کے لیے خطرہ نہ بن سکیں۔

دیو مالا 5

یہ مسلمان تھے جو 1857 کی جنگ کے ذمہ دار ہیں؛ اور یہ مسلمان ہی تھے جنہوں نے جنگ کے بعد ایذارسانیاں اور تکلیفیں برداشت کیں، جبکہ ہندو انگریزوں کے قدرتی اتحادی تھے۔

یہ سچ ہے کہ ہندوؤں کی نسبت زیادہ مسلمان رجمنٹوں نے 1857 میں علم بغاوت بلند کیا۔ لیکن ہندؤں نے بھی لڑائی میں اہم کردار ادا کیا (جھانسی کی رانی اس کی بہترین مثال ہے)؛ نیز اگرمسلمان فوجی اس افواہ پر برافروختہ ہوگئے تھے کہ کارتوسوں کا سرا خنزیر کی چربی سے بنا ہے تو ہندو بھی اس افواہ پر کہ کارتوس کا سرا گائے کی چربی سے بنا ہے پر آپے سے باہر ہوگئے تھے۔ اور مسلمانوں کی بڑی اکثریت انگریزوں کے ساتھ آخر تک وفادار بھی رہی۔ (ان میں سب سے زیادہ مشہور سرسید احمد خان ہیں۔)

مزید یہ کہ مسلمانوں نے 1857 کے بعد اپنی سلطنت نہیں کھوئی تھی۔ انگریز اس سے پہلے ہی ہندوستان کے بہت سے علاقے کے آقا بن بیٹھے تھے، مسلمان اور ہندو حکمرانوں سے حیلے بازی اور فریب کاری سے بہت سا علاقہ ہتھیا چکے تھے۔

اس وقت مغل بادشاہ کی موجودگی برائے نام ہی تھی؛ اس کی عمل داری دہلی سے باہر نہیں تھی۔ 1857 کے بعد ہندوؤں نے تیزی سے ترقی کی، چونکہ وہ جدید تعلیم حاصل کرنے، انگریزی زبان سیکھنے، اور کامرس و تجارت میں آگے بڑھنے میں تیز نکلے۔ مسلمان صرف جاگیر دار تھے، ماضی کی عظمت اور شان و شوکت کے خوابوں سے بندھے ہوئے، اور جب ان کی جاگیریں ضبط کرلی گئیں تو ان کے پاس کچھ بھی نہ رہا؛ ان کی درس نظامی کی تعلیم اور فارسی میں مہارت ان کے کچھ کام نہ آسکی۔ یہ حقیقت ہے کہ یہ سب بدلتے ہوئے زمانے کے ساتھ بدلنے میں رکاوٹ تھا۔

دیو مالا 6

مسلمان انگریزوں کے خلاف جدوجہد میں سب سے آگے تھے اور بعد میں ان سے خصوصًا ناانصافی پر مشتمل سلوک کیا گیا۔

بالکل بھی نہیں۔ بلکہ حقیقت یہ ہے کہ مسلمانوں کو پہلا ’تحفہ‘ انگریزوں نے 1905 میں بنگال کی تقسیم کی شکل میں دیا (جسے 1911 میں واپس لے لیا گیا) 1906 کے شملہ وفد کو صحیح طور پر ’حکمیہ کارکردگی‘ کا حامل کہا جاتا ہے؛ مسلمانوں کو ان کے رہنماؤں کے مطالبے پر وائسرائے نے بلا تاخیر جداگانہ انتخاب اور رائے دہندگی کا یقین دلایا۔ اس کے بعد مسلم لیگ وجود میں آئی، جسے انگریزوں سے قرب رکھنے والے رہنماؤں جیسے آغا خان، جسٹس امیر علی، کچھ دوسرے نوابین اور جاگیر داروں نے قائم کیا۔ اور مسلم لیگ کے منشور کا پہلا مقصد کچھ یوں ہے:”برطانوی حکومت کے بارے میں وفادارانہ خیالات کو فروغ دیا جائے۔”

مسلم لیگ نے برطانیہ عظمی کے خلاف کبھی بھی تحریک نہ چلائی۔ اکلوتا موقع جب مسلمانوں نے تحریک چلائی 20 کے عشرے کی تحریک خلافت تھی جس کی قیادت علی برادران اور دوسرے بچے کھچے رہنماؤں نے کی۔ مسلم لیگ کا ایک بھی رہنما، قائد اعظم سمیت، کبھی بھی جیل نہیں گیا۔ یہ کانگرس تھی جس نے برطانیہ مخالف عدم تشدد اور عدم تعاون پر مشتمل تحریک 30 اور 40 کے عشرے میں جاری رکھی جس میں مشہور زمانہ ’ہندوستان چھوڑ دو‘ تحریک بھی شامل ہے، جبکہ مسلم لیگی رہنماؤں نے ان تحریکوں کی مذمت کرنے اور اپنے پیروؤں کو ان میں حصہ لینے سے روکنا جاری رکھا۔

دیو مالا 7

صرف مسلم لیگ ہی مسلمانوں کی نمائندہ جماعت تھی۔

یہ ناقابل تردید حقیقت ہے کہ1940 کے بعد مسلم لیگ نے مسلمانوں میں مقبول ترین جماعت کے طور پر اپنا تشخص قائم کرلیا۔ لیکن اس سے پہلے، 1937 کے انتخابات سے یہ ثابت ہے کہ مسلم لیگ کسی بھی مسلم اکثریت والے صوبے میں حکومت نہیں بنا سکی تھی۔ ان انتخابات میں، 482 مسلم نشستوں میں سے مسلم لیگ کو صرف 103 ملی تھیں (جو کہ کل میزان کے ایک چوتھائی سے بھی کم ہے۔) دوسری نشستیں یا تو کانگریس کے مسلمانوں کو مل گئیں، یا پھر دوسری قوم پرست جماعتوں جیسے پنجاب یوننیسٹ پارٹی، سندھ یونینسٹ پارٹی اور بنگال کریشک پوجا پارٹی کو چلی گئی تھیں۔

دیو مالا 8

علامہ اقبال پہلے انسان تھے جنہوں نے الگ مسلم ریاست کا خیال پیش کیا۔

یہ ان گہری راسخ شدہ دیومالاؤں میں سے ہے جن کا پروپیگنڈہ ہر حکومت نے کیا۔ حقیقت میں، شمال مغربی علاقے کے مسلم اکثریتی صوبے ایک قدرتی گروپ بناتے ہیں اور انھیں ایک اکائی تصور کیا جانا چاہیے کا خیال 1858 سے برطانویوں کے ہاں زیر بحث تھا اور اسے مختلف سیاسی پلیٹ فارمز اور اخباری مضامین میں بھی اکثر زیر بحث لایا گیا۔ اس تصور کی مختلف صورتیں اہم عوامی شخصیات نے پیش کیں، جن میں برطانوی، ہندو اور مسلمان سب شامل ہیں۔ جب علامہ اقبال نے اپنا 1930 کا مشہور خطبہ پیش کیا، اس وقت تک کم از کم 64 بار یہ تصور پیش کیا جاچکا تھا۔ چناچہ اقبال نے جو کچھ کہا وہ پہلے ہی سے موجود تھا، اور یہ کوئی طبع زاد ’خواب‘ نہ تھا۔ ان کے الہ آباد کے خطبے کی اشاعت کے بعد، علامہ اقبال نے ایک برطانوی اخبار میں ایک ’تردید‘ شائع کروائی کہ ان کا مقصد الگ مسلم ریاست کا مطالبہ نہیں تھا، بلکہ ان کی مراد ہندوستان کے وفاق میں رہتے ہوئے ایک مسلم بلاک سے تھی۔

دیو مالا 9

قراردادِ پاکستان نے ایک متحدہ مسلم ریاست کا تصور پیش کیا۔

حقیقت یہ ہے کہ مسلم بلاک کے بارے میں پیش کردہ مختلف تصورات میں ،جو انفرادی اور اجتماعی طور پر پیش ہوئے، مشرقی بنگال شامل نہیں تھا۔ ہمیشہ شمال مشرقی صوبوں پر زور دیا جاتا رہا، جن کی سرحدیں مشترک تھیں جبکہ دوسری مسلم اکثریتی ریاستوں جیسے بنگال اور حیدرآباد دکن کو الگ بلاک خیال کیا جاتا تھا۔ چناچہ یہ تھی قراردادِ پاکستان۔ جس کے مطابق: “علاقے جہاں مسلمان عددی اکثریت میں ہیں جیسا کہ ہندوستان کے شمال مغربی اور مشرقی علاقے، کو آزاد ریاستوں میں بدل دینا چاہیے، جہاں متعلقہ اکائیاں خودمُختار اور حکومت سازی میں آزاد ہوں۔

پوری قرارداد کے ادنی اور مبہم مسودے کو پرے رکھتے ہوئے، ریاستوں (جو کہ جمع ہے) والا حصہ بالکل واضح ہے۔ یہ صرف 1946 میں، مسلم لیگ کے نمائندوں کے اجلاس منعقدہ دہلی میں ہوا کہ قرارداد میں ترمیم کی گئی اور اسے مسلم لیگ کے ایک عمومی اجلاس میں اپنا لیا گیا اور مقصد ایک متحدہ ریاست کا قیام قرار پایا۔

دیو مالا 10

23 مارچ 1940 اس لیے منایا جاتا ہے کہ قراردادِ پاکستان کو اس دن نصب العین قرار دیا گیا۔ حقیقت حال یہ ہے کہ قراردادِ پاکستان 23 مارچ کو صرف پیش کی گئی تھی جبکہ اس کو منظور اور اپنایا 24 مارچ کو گیا تھا ( جو کہ اس اجلاس کی دوسری اور حتمی نشست تھی)۔

یہ ایک الگ کہانی ہے کہ ہم 23 مارچ کیوں مناتے ہیں۔ یہ دن 1956 سے پہلی کبھی نہیں منایا گیا۔ اس سال یہ پہلی بار یوم جمہوریہ کے طور پر منایا گیا تھا چونکہ ہمارا پہلا آئین منظور ہوا تھا اور پاکستان ایک حقیقی آزاد جمہوریہ بنا تھا۔ ہمارے لیے اس کی اہمیت ایسے ہی ہے جیسے ہندوستان کے لیے 26 جنوری کی۔ لیکن جب جنرل ایوب خان نے 1958 میں آئین منسوخ کرکے مارشل لاء نافذ کیا تو اسے اس دُبدھا کا سامنا کرنا پڑا۔ وہ ملک کو ایک ایسا دن نہیں منانے دے سکتا تھا جو اس آئین کی یادگار تھا جس کی اس نے خود دھجیاں اڑائی تھیں، اور نہ ہی وہ اس جشن کو روک سکتا تھا۔ چناچہ حل یہ نکالا گیا کہ جشن کو جاری رکھا گیا، لیکن اس کا نام بدل دیا گیا: قراردادِ پاکستان کا دن۔

دیو مالا 11

یہ غلام محمد تھا جس نے وزیر اعظم اور ریاست کے سربراہ کے مابین اختیارات کا عدم توازن پیدا کیا، اور وہی گورنر جنرل کی فوقیت کو وزیراعظم اور پارلیمنٹ پر مسلط کرنا چاہتا تھا۔

جب پاکستان وجود میں آیا تو ابتدا میں برطانوی حکومت کا 1935 کا ہندوستانی حکومت کا ایکٹ بطور عبوری آئین اپنایا گیا۔ اور قائداعظم نے بذات خود اس ایکٹ میں ایسی ترامیم متعارف کروائیں جس کی وجہ سے گورنر جنرل بالادست اور مقتدر ہوگیا۔ انھی اختیارات کی رو سے قائد اعظم نے اگست 1947 میں سرحد میں ڈاکٹر خان صاحب کی حکومت اور 1948 میں سندھ میں مسٹر ایوب کھوسو کی حکومت کو برطرف کیا۔

گورنر جنرل رہنے کے ساتھ ساتھ قائد اعظم مسلم لیگ کے صدر اور قانون ساز اسمبلی کے صدر بھی رہے۔

یہی اختیارات تھے جن کے تحت پنجاب میں 1949 میں مسٹر دولتانہ کی حکومت کو خواجہ ناظم الدین نے برطرف کیا، جن کی حکومت کو 1953 میں غلام محمد نے برطرف کیا تھا۔

تاہم 1954 میں اس وقت کی قانون ساز اسمبلی کے اراکین کی طرف سے ایک تحریک چلائی گئی تاکہ ایکٹ میں ترامیم کرکے گورنر جنرل سے اضافی اختیارات واپس لے لیے جائیں۔ اسی تحریک نے گورنر جنرل غلام محمد کو مشتعل کیا اور اس نے قانون ساز اسمبلی 1954 میں توڑ دی، اور پاکستان کی تاریخ کا دھارا بدل ڈالا۔

یہ کچھ دیومالائی داستانیں ہیں جنہیں بچپن سے ہی ہمارے کانوں میں انڈیلا جاتا ہے اور جو ہمارے شعور کا حصہ بن جاتی ہیں۔ ایسے بے شمار اور افسانے ہماری روزمرہ کی زندگی میں سرایت کیے ہوئے ہیں۔ اور یہاں بہت سے سوالات ہیں جن کے جواب موجود نہیں جیسے:

• نظریہ پاکستان کیا ہے اور یہ اصطلاح سب سے پہلے کب ایجاد ہوئی؟ (یہ 1907 سے پہلے کبھی نہیں سنی گئی۔)

گاندھی کا قتل کیوں کیا گیا؟

(چونکہ وہ شاید پاکستان کے مفادات کا تحفظ کررہا تھا۔)

• نام نہاد باغیوں شیخ مجیب، ولی خان، اور جی ایم سید کی حقیقت کیا ہے؟

• سقوط مشرقی پاکستانی کی وجہ کیا تھی؟

• بھٹو کو کیوں موت کے حوالے کیا گیا؟

• کیا تمام سیاستدان کرپٹ اور مفادپرست ہیں؟

•ہماری تاریخ ہر 10 سال بعد اپنے آپ کو کیوں دوہراتی ہے؟

ان تمام سوالات کے جوابات دیو مالا کی بجائے تاریخ کے مکمل مطالعے کے متقاضی ہیں۔ لیکن بدقسمتی سے تاریخ ایک ایسا شعبہ تعلیم ہے جسے ہمارے ملک میں کبھی بھی سنجیدگی سے نہیں لیا گیا۔ یہ وقت ہے کہ چیزوں کو بدلا جائے۔

Courtesy: Mr Awais Masood

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tribute to Comrade Sobho Gianchandani.

Sobho Gianchandani is a prominent Sindhi revolutionary who remains a source of inspiration for many generations of activists, writers and social reformers. Mr. Gianchandani, known lovingly as Comrade Sobho, has been associated with many political parties and campaign groups, including the Indian National Congress and Khudai Khidmatgar and is the founder of many progressive, democratic and nationalist campaigns in Sindh. After the partition, Pakistani authorities pressured him – like millions of other Sindhi Hindus -- to leave Sindh and migrate to India, but Sobho refused, and in consequence he was forbidden to travel abroad until 1998. Sobho was imprisoned for more than a year during the British rule, and after the partition, he fell under the wrath of Pakistani establishment and has many jail sentences to his credit, including one in 1971 for opposing military sponsored genocide in Bangladesh. Comrade Sobho and Mr. G. M. Syed were close associates and comrades in different aspects of the Sindhi rights movement. The G. M. Syed Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed on Mr. Gianchandani in appreciation of his life-long struggle for emancipation for Sindhis and other oppressed peoples of South Asia and in recognition of his grass-roots efforts to promote tolerance, justice and peace. REFERENCE: G M Syed Memorial Committee September 22, 2005

Face To Face

"I've never doubted that Pakistan would overlook my contribution"

Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

SANA Convention Karachi Sindh Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

Courtesy: Mr. Mazhar Lakkho

THE Academy of Letters, Islamabad, while expanding the area of its literary awards for the year 2004, this time chose the noted Sindhi writer Sobho Gianchandani for its lifetime achievement (Kamal-i-fan) award. In a press release, the academy praised Sobho for his contribution to Sindhi literature and culture and for the intellectual guidance he has provided to the younger generation. Sobho’s life long sacrifices in the cause of landless agricultural labour and the marginalized sections of society were also mentioned. Those who welcomed the academy’s decision included both Urdu and Sindhi language writers — Prof Saher Ansari, Dr Mazharul Haq Siddiqi (vice-chancellor, Sindh University), Agha Salim, Qamar Shahbaz, Prof Ayaz Gul, Taj Baloch and Shamsherul Haidery. Karachi’s Fiction Group, an important literary body, struck a sour note, saying the Academy literary award should have gone to a literary person. It is perhaps unaware of the services Sobho Gianchandani has rendered to the enrichment of Sindhi language, literature and culture. REFERENCE: Pushto poet honoured August 24, 2005 Wednesday Rajab 18, 1426

At age 88, Comrade Sobho Gianchandani is one of the oldest living communists in the subcontinent. He has seen it all, done it all - and still believes that communism will return to the world in a big way. In this wide-ranging interview conducted at his Larkana home, where he lives with his family, the "son of the soil," as he refers to himself, takes Newsline on a reflective journey into the past. From his days at Shantiniketan to his involvement in the politics of pre-Partition and post-Partition Pakistan, it's been an action-packed life.

Q: What made you decide to study at Shantiniketan?

A: In 1939, when I passed my intermediate, one of my classmates, Lekhu Tulsani, asked me what I had decided to do. I told him I wanted to devote my time to Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan instead of pursuing my initial aim of becoming a lawyer. Shantiniketan was a reputable institution with a vibrant environment, well known for its education in the various arts, and it also housed several international communities - Chinese, Indonesians, Americans etc. I sent a telegram to Tagore saying, "I am of good character, a good student and want to study at Shantiniketan. But I am not prepared to clear a technical pre-entry test at your institution." One day, I received a telegram from Shantiniketan, stating that I had been admitted without an interview. Thus, along with 23 girls and a boy, Gulchand, we left for Shantiniketan on May 19, 1939.

Q: Did you get to interact with Rabindranath Tagore?

A: It was very strange when Tagore called me to his office on the first day. He told the principal of the college, "Bring that boy from Moen-Jo-Daro (that's how Tagore always referred to me), who wrote that very assertive letter demanding that he must be admitted without any interview." I entered his office, he was writing something on a paper. He said, "Why were you so sure that I would admit you to my college?" I said, "Sir, I was sure because I have read your books and I felt that you recognise talent." He said, "I like your face; you Sindhis are really good-looking." He was also full of praise for the 23 Sindhi female students: "In just six months, they have learnt different genres of dance. Also, I like their modesty and simplicity. They came here with only three pairs of clothes, which they wash regularly." Next, he asked me why Sindh had become a place of such strife and why there were so many dacoits. Then, suddenly, he said, "You Sindhis killed our best man, Majumdar." The man was a Bengali archaeologist from Shantiniketan who was working at Moen-Jo-Daro. I told him a Brohi dacoit had killed Majumdar near Dadu, because he suspected that the latter had discovered gold.

Q: Being a revolutionary, how did you contribute to the freedom movement during your student life? Do you think the Communist Party made a mistake in supporting the British in the Second World War?

A: I became a communist at the age of 21, and while I was in the party I was very outspoken. The first students' conference was held in Patna in 1943, a year after the '42 movement began, to which I took a delegation of 11 youngsters from Sindh. After Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in 1943, the International Communist Party switched sides and started supporting the British. The Communist Party all over the world had changed its stance on the war: from being viewed as an imperialist war, it had now become a people's war. A meeting was arranged to sell the new idea to the students. The Communist Party sent Muqeeb-ud-din Farooqi, Sajjad Zaheer and Mian Iftikhar to do the job.

Addressing the students, Farooqi, the secretary of the Communist Party of Delhi, a gentleman from Delhi University, told the students not to feel betrayed and that the world was changing and, they [the Communist Party] with it. The Sindhi comrades, who had grown up in revolutionary times, were shocked at hearing that they were being asked to support the British.

While the leadership of the Indian Communist Party abided by this reversal, they were unable to convince some of the students of the wisdom of their choice. I came to the conclusion that when thousands of students were prepared to go to jail, I couldn't back out, so I resolved to join them against the British and joined Gandhi's struggle.

The decision had its consequences; just three days after joining the freedom struggle, I had to chase off three CID agents who had come to arrest me. I remained underground for a month, resurfacing on January 25, 1944, to address 3,000 students and to reassure them that I had not deserted them but was sustaining the movement underground. Then followed several jail terms. I was arrested soon after the address to the students; the authorities wanted to extract information out of me which they failed to, so I was put back into jail. It was during my time in jail that I met most of the senior leaders of the Congress and some full-time workers of the Communist Party.

Q: What contributed to the divide between the Muslim and the Sindhi Hindus near the time of Partition, which eventually led them to migrate?

A: The Sindhi Hindus, comprising mainly money-lenders and landowners, had [the mistaken impression] that there would be some disturbance, as had been the case in the past, and that Partition would simply imply a change of rulers. Also, they were sure that they would be able to stay on and continue to dominate the economy of Sindh, the accounts department and the services.

As the time of Partition drew near, the Sindhi Hindus increased their support to Congress's Allah Bux Soomro in Sindh, and the Muslims came to realise that the Hindus were using Soomro to secure their own private interests under the umbrella of the Congress.

Consequently, the Muslims felt inclined towards Jinnah's movement for an independent Pakistan. Then came the troubles in Sukkur and the Masjid Manzil Gah riots, in which Sindhi Hindus were targeted. According to G.M. Syed, the riots were staged at the instigation of Ayub Khuhro, Pir Ali Mohammad Rashidi and other important pirs of upper Sindh. That's when the Sindhi Hindus decided to migrate to India.

Q: Moving to post-Partition Pakistan, had the elections taken place in 1959, would the political history of the country have been any different?

A: It was presumed that the elections scheduled for January 1959 would make a difference in the political history of the country. In our estimation, the Awami League would secure 65 out of the 100 seats in East Pakistan; 25-30 seats were expected to be won by Maulana Bhashani.It was also conjectured that at least 30 communists would come to the assembly, some from the Awami League, some from Maulana Bhashani's party and the other seven from the Communist Party. America, too, had calculated such an equation and was uneasy with the fact that if Mian Iftikharuddin alone - the only communist in the assembly at the time - could prove to be such a headache, what would happen if 30 communists, along with Mian Iftikharuddin's brains and his newspaper empire, gained seats in the National Assembly?

But nobody knew at that time that Iskander Mirza was planning a coup. We came to know through Comrade Hassan Nasir on October 3. He had been informed that Ayub Khan was invited to assumepower to prevent the elections from taking place in January 1959. And on October 8, 1958 martial law was imposed.

The October 8 headline of Dawn read: "Army takes over Pakistan." I rushed to G.M. Syed and asked him "Is the army at your door?" He asked me what I meant, so I handed over the newspaper to him. He broke his silence and said, "Sobho, run away to India! It would be a safer place for you. You should not stay in this country anymore."

I replied, "Not at all, why should I leave? This is my land. I have grown up here. I will stay here with you through thick and thin." My Sindhi comrades also advised me to leave the country. I told them I had made my decision to stay; I had family here, we had land and property, and more than anything else, I was a son of the soil, I could not tolerate being an immigrant. So, I stayed in 1947, and as you can see, I am still here.

Q: How do you view the role of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the political history of Pakistan? Do you think he was a revolutionary?

A: I have never liked Bhutto; he was a dictator. Time and again, he had tried to convince me to support him. But I never did. I even avoided meeting him because I knew this was a man who pretended to be revolutionary, but he was really an agent of the Punjab establishment.

Bhutto had wanted to join the Awami Party. G.M. Syed told me a joke regarding this: "One day, Bhutto come to my residence and said, "Shah sahib, I want to join your party." Jokingly, I said to him, "Do you know ours is a party of rebels?" Bhutto replied, I know. Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi interrupted us and asked Bhutto "Have you taken your father's permission? A Khan Bahadur's son cannot become a member of a rebel party." Bhutto shouted back, "Revolution is not the monopoly of Hyder Bux Jatoi! I am also a revolutionary." Hyder Bux Jatoi persisted. Bhutto spoke to Shah Nawaz Bhutto via telephone. Meanwhile, Iskander Mirza contacted Shah Nawaz Bhutto and told him, "I have planned a great career for your son Zulfikar, tell him not to join the rebels." Consequently, the next day Bhutto came and submitted his resignation, saying he didn't want to be a rebel. "I told you so," shouted Hyder Bux Jatoi.

Q: You contested the 1988 elections as a candidate for the National Assembly on a reserved seat and won, but ultimately you didn't make it to the National Assembly.

A: According to the announcement made on Pakistan Television, I had secured the majority of votes among the 16 or 17 candidates. After the announcement of my success in the elections, both Sharif and Benazir asked me to join their parties, but I told them that I intended to be in the opposition because I stood for the poorest and most deprived sections of society.

While I was busy establishing contacts with all those who had supported and voted for me, my brother called to tell me that the Election Commission had ordered a recount of the votes on the application of Bhagwan Das Chawla, a businessman, who was claiming that he had secured a majority of the votes. The third sessions judge of Larkana refused to recount the votes and told the Election Commission that the election results had already been announced.

However, what followed is a reflection on the sad state of affairs in our country. One of my comrades, G.R. Aslam, told me, "Comrade, go and rest. The results have already been decided by the ISI, and your name is not on the list of winners."

Soon, I received a telephone call from Bhagwan Das Chawla. "You seem to be very happy that you have won," he said, "but I have spent 63 lakhs to reserve the seat and 7 lakhs to file the appeal. You know 7 million rupees makes no difference to me. Do you know how it was made possible?" he asked me. "I have an army colonel, who is an employee in my company. He secured my seat for me." By using his contacts, [he had ensured] that all the doors were closed on me.

Q: From being a revolutionary, how did you turn into an agricultural reformer?

A: While I was under house arrest in my village from 1959-1964, I was looking after a small rice factory - my brother's solution to my state of unemployment. Rice was scarce then because of a disease that had attacked the old variety of rice, and having read about the agriculture of other countries and how they had made deserts bloom, I decided to try my hand at solving this crisis. I contacted the Dokri Rice Association, where I got in touch with a Mr Bhatti who had introduced Irri 8. I first got only a handful of the seed and grew it on my land. My father being a conservative grower was critical of this and said I was out to "destroy all" with my experiments with seeds. However, I went on to produce 2,400 kilograms of rice on just one acre of land, whereas, traditionally, one acre of land was producing 400 kilograms of rice at the time.

The next crop was Mexi Pak (a variety of wheat imported from Mexico). It was a challenging task to introduce a wheat crop to a land that had been producing rice for thousands of years. People were fascinated by the fact that a man who did not even know how rice or wheat was grown had settled in the area and grown a magnificent crop of rice, wheat and mango, and thus I became an agricultural reformer.

Q: Your literary work (comprising several newspaper columns and two Sindhi publications), has won the Award of Excellence from the Academy of Letters. How do you feel about getting state recognition?

A: I was the first Sindhi to be awarded by the Academy of Letters, [and that too] after much persuasion by some Baloch and Sindhi writers. They brought to the notice of the jury that not a single Sindhi had been awarded since the academy's inception. Everybody thought I would rush to Islamabad to receive the award from General Musharraf.

But I said, Sobho will fall sick on the day he is summoned to Islamabad; it would go against his principles to receive the award from a dictator. So, they arranged for the governor of Sindh, Ishratul Ibad to give me the award. The governor said, "I want to meet this interesting man." I was told that a special ceremony was going to be held in Karachi and the governor would present the award. On that particular day, I pretended to be in Larkana and sent my daughter and my son-in-law to receive the award on my behalf.

Q: As a communist, do you feel you have contributed enough to society and, conversely, has society recognised your contribution?

A:I am one of the oldest living communists in the subcontinent. I have been content with my life here and with my decision not to migrate. I have tried to contribute [in my own way] towards the building of the Communist Party and towards achieving the beautiful world we had hoped for. It does not matter if we have failed, because even in the Soviet Union, communism has undergone a change.

We have some of the finest intellectuals, writers and thinkers in Pakistan and, even academically, I don't think my life has been a failure here. I have been bestowed with the Academy of Letter's Award of Excellence for the 'best writing' in Sindhi, as well as Rs.500,000. Having spent nearly 10 years of my life in jail and another five or more years underground or under house arrest, I've never doubted that Pakistan would overlook my contribution,

Q: Following the demise of the Soviet Union, how do see the future of communism on the world stage?

A: Ultimately, we will win. All is not lost - 25% of the voters have voted for the Communist Party in Russia. The party enjoys an important geo-strategic position and will play a major role in the power game. Communism is not dead, millions of people still feel that the state should take care of their needs.

But times have changed, as has the strategy. Communists all over the world are working towards achieving a welfare state. Look at India, 62 members in the Lok Sabha are old communists. Once I asked the then secretary general of the Communist Party of India (CPI), "What are you doing in India? Are you looking for a revolution?" He replied, "No, we are saving the Muslims from massacre, fighting against Hindu extremists. We are creating hurdles for corporate giants who have snatched the resources from the masses and are looking to usurp still more resources. We are trying to stop the land mafia from encroaching upon more land and depriving the masses of their homes. We are fighting the war of the poor, the suppressed and the deprived in the assemblies. We are fighting this war with words, not bullets, and our voice is being heard by the policy makers in the assemblies - and simultaneously by the public, which keeps this voice alive through a movement for their rights."

Q: Do you think Pakistan can ever become a communist state?

A: No, it is very difficult for a Muslim state to become a communist state and to tolerate communism. I know there are many people who still believe that this old man is striving to establish communist rule in the country.

I am content that our comrades have penetrated different institutions and are working diligently for the welfare of society at large, which is what our aim was. So, the dream of a welfare state is not dead; I see my comrades engaged in the fight against reactionary forces by raising their voice in the media and through public mobilisation.

Q: What are the most challenging threats facing Pakistan now?

A: Religious extremists have turned this country into a living hell. Under the banner of Islam, they are killing innocent children and closing the doors for women. I fear that if they are not dealt with, with an iron hand, they will thrust our progressive society back into the Stone Ages. Although Musharraf was a dictator and had no legitimacy, he had the courage to take up arms against handful of reactionaries, who are proliferating like the plague and pose a threat to our coming generations. REFERENCE: Face To Face "I've never doubted thatPakistan would overlook my contribution" - Comrade Sobho Gianchandani By Salam Dharejo

General Zia, Pakistan & Mistreatment with Minorities.

Amnesty International Report 2010 - Millions of Pakistanis suffered abuses as a result of a sharp escalation in armed conflict between the government and armed groups. Pakistani Taleban and other anti-government groups targeted civilians throughout the country, while security forces used indiscriminate and disproportionate force and carried out suspected extrajudicial executions. In areas controlled by the Pakistani Taleban and allied armed groups, civilians faced severe abuses, including arbitrary arrest and detention; torture and other ill-treatment; a near total absence of due judicial process; stringent restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly; religious and ethnic discrimination; and violence and discrimination against women and girls. Violence against minorities increased, with the government failing to prevent attacks or punish perpetrators. There were no executions, although 276 people were sentenced to death. - Pakistan 28 May 2010 Christian minority member Fanish Masih, aged 19, was found dead on 15 September in Sialkot prison where he had been held in solitary confinement. Prison authorities claimed that he had committed suicide but his relatives reportedly noted bruises consistent with torture on his forehead, arms and legs. Three prison officials were suspended for negligence, but no criminal charges were brought against them. REFERENCE: Amnesty International Report 2010 - Pakistan Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2010 - Pakistan, 28 May 2010, available at:

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that it was a criminal negligence to bring changes in the documents like Objectives Resolution as former president General (retd) Zia ul Haq tampered with the Constitution in 1985 however, the sitting parliament had done a good job by undoing this tampering. At one point Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the word ‘freely’ was omitted from the Objectives Resolution in 1985 by a dictator, which was an act of criminal negligence, but the then parliament surprisingly didn’t take notice of it. He said the Constitution is a sacred document and no person can tamper with it. The chief justice said credit must go to the present parliament, which after 25 years took notice of the brazen act of removing the word relating to the minorities’ rights, and restored the word ‘freely’ in the Objectives Resolution, which had always been part of the Constitution. The chief justice further said that the court is protecting the fundamental rights of the minorities and the government after the Gojra incident has provided full protection to the minorities. “We are bound to protect their rights as a nation but there are some individual who create trouble.” - DAILY TIMES - ISLAMABAD: Heading a 17-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry termed as criminal negligence the deletion of a word about the rights of minorities from the Objectives Resolution during the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1985. Ziaul Haq had omitted the word “freely” from the Objectives Resolution, which was made substantive part of the 1973 Constitution under the Revival of Constitutional Order No. 14. The clause of Objectives Resolution before deletion of the word ‘freely’ read, “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to ‘freely’ profess and practice their religions and develop their culture.” DAILY DAWN - ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Tuesday praised the parliament for undoing a wrong done by the legislature in 1985 (through a constitutional amendment) when it removed the word ‘freely’ from a clause of the Objectives Resolution that upheld the minorities’ right to practise their religion. The word “freely” was deleted from the Objectives Resolution when parliament passed the 8th Amendment after indemnifying all orders introduced through the President’s Order No 14 of 1985 and actions, including the July 1977 military takeover by Gen Zia-ul-Haq and extending discretion of dissolving the National Assembly, by invoking Article 58(2)b of the Constitution. After the passage of the 18th Amendment, the Objectives Resolution now reads: “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their culture.” The CJ said: “Credit goes to the sitting parliament that they reinserted the word back to the Objectives Resolution.” He said that nobody realised the blunder right from 1985 till the 18th Amendment was passed, even though the Objectives Resolution was a preamble to the Constitution even at the time when RCO (Revival of Constitution Order) was promulgated. REFERENCES: CJ lauds parliament for correcting historic wrong By Nasir Iqbal Wednesday, 09 Jun, 2010 - CJP raps change in Objectives Resolution * Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says deletion of clause on rights of minorities was ‘criminal negligence’ * Appreciates incumbent parliament for taking notice of removal of clause by Gen Zia’s govt in 1985 By Masood Rehman Wednesday, June 09, 2010\story_9-6-2010_pg1_1 CJ lauds parliament for undoing changes in Objectives Resolution Wednesday, June 09, 2010 Says minorities’ rights have to be protected; Hamid says parliament should have no role in judges’ appointment By Sohail Khan

Islamization Under Zia

Soon after seizing power, Zia ul-Haq used appeals to Islamic values to legitimize his regime and consolidate his hold on power. He attributed Bhutto's downfall to un-Islamic behavior, and promised to "transform the country's socio-economic and political structure in accordance with the principles of Islam." (34) He first postponed elections promised for 1977, and again canceled those scheduled for 1979 on the grounds that Pakistan's political system was not Islamic. (35) In 1978, Zia expanded the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) (36) to include many conservative ulama. Under the 1973 Constitution, the CII had been authorized to review existing laws and recommend reforms to bring Pakistan's political, legal and economic institutions into line with Islamic principles. Before 1978, that power had not been exercised, but Zia used the CII to give its stamp of approval to his policies, notably his ruling that Pakistan was to continue under martial law without elections or political parties. (37) Zia's Islamization efforts had their greatest impact on Pakistan's criminal justice system. (38) The potential for misuse of power by the police and jail authorities had existed since colonial times, and successive periods of martial law had further increased the powers of the law enforcement agencies and eroded safeguards against abuses. The effect of Islamization was to bring more people, particularly women, into contact with an already abusive and corrupt criminal justice system and, to increase the state's power over the lives and liberties of its citizens. When Zia came to power, Pakistan had two functioning legal systems: the civil courts system, based on Anglo-Saxon common law and the law of the colonial state, and the martial law courts, which were expanded under successive military governments. Zia rapidly took steps to restrict further the jurisdiction of the civil courts and to bring them under the martial law authorities. (39) The May 1980 Constitutional Amendment Order prohibited the High Courts from reviewing the jurisdiction or judgments of the martial law courts. The Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) of 1981 went even further, empowering the martial law authorities to decide whether a case would be held in the martial law or civil courts and retrospectively validating everything done by the military regime since 1977. (40) Article 17 of the PCO required judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court to take an oath to abide by the PCO; those who did not, or who were not asked to, were dismissed. (41) The PCO also curbed the power of the High Court to grant interim relief or bail with regard to a detention order on a habeas corpus petition. (42)

Under Zia, the martial law courts had exclusive jurisdiction to consider any crime defined as a violation of martial law. For example, political meetings or anything that could be construed as "defamation" of the martial law regime were illegal. (43) In addition, the martial law courts had discretion to hear any case involving an offense under the Penal Code. Most cases came before summary military courts, but important political cases were heard before special courts that could impose the death penalty. Both courts suspended safeguards against unfair trials and coerced confessions. Writs of habeas corpus could not be obtained from a civil court to review a military arrest or conviction. Defendants' access to counsel was highly restricted, and proceedings were held in camera, usually within the prison. (44) Throughout the martial-law period, all fundamental rights guaranteed under the 1973 Constitution were suspended, political parties and trade unions were banned, and opposition activists were jailed by the thousands. Mistreatment and torture of detainees, including the flogging of prisoners, were widespread. Zia further undermined the independence of the civilian court system with the introduction of the shariat courts (discussed in full in this report's section on the judiciary). In 1978, he established Shariat benches in each High Court to review all laws to ensure that none was repugnant to the Quran or the Sunnah. In May 1980, these benches were reorganized and centralized under the Federal Shariat Court, which consisted of eight High Court judges or persons so qualified. (45) As a system parallel to the civil court, the effect of the Shariat Courts was to weaken the jurisdiction of the Superior Courts, create insecurity amongst superior judiciary and make unnecessary inroads in a judicial system that could have dealt with the Shariat jurisdiction in its existing structure. (46)

In 1981 and again in 1982, the structure of the Federal Shariat Court was amended to reduce the number of civil judges, or persons so qualified, and to add ulama to the bench. (47) In 1983, 150 qazi (religious judge) courts were also established at the district level. (48) Zia took other steps to reinforce the process of Islamizing the legal system. Among these were the promulgation of the Hudood Ordinances (1979) and the Qanun-e-Shahadat (Law of Evidence) Order (1984). Both of these laws have had a devastating effect on the rights of women. (49) Zia's foreign policy interests also had an impact on domestic Islamization efforts. The year after Zia seized power, civil war broke out in Afghanistan. That war intensified with the Soviet invasion of 1979, driving some three million refugees into Pakistan. Zia immediately offered support to the resistance, reorganizing and expanding the military intelligence agency, ISI, as the pipeline for assistance to the mujahidin. (50) The resistance groups favored by the ISI advocated the installation of a radically fundamentalist Islamic state in Afghanistan and Zia hoped that by aiding them, Pakistan would continue to have influence over Afghanistan once they were in power. (51) In December 1984, Zia called for a referendum on his policies and continued rule. Opposition groups called for a boycott, which was declared illegal under martial law. The government claimed to have received widespread support in the referendum, which Zia asserted gave him a mandate to continue in office until 1989. Opposition sources and foreign journalists reported that voter turnout had been very low. In February 1985, general elections (which had been postponed in 1977 and canceled again in 1979) were held for the National Assembly. Political parties were banned from participating in the elections, and many individuals associated with political parties were barred from running as individuals. Again, advocating a boycott was declared illegal, and hundreds of opposition leaders were detained before the elections. Mohammed Khan Junejo, who along with other Pakistan Muslim League party members ran as individuals, became the new prime minister.

The new Assembly's first order of business was to adopt the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which ensured that all constitutional amendments, laws and orders promulgated during the martial law period, including all the new Islamic laws, were affirmed, adopted and declared, notwithstanding any judgement of any court, to have been validly made by competent authority and, notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution, could never be called into question in any court on any ground whatsoever. Adopting the Eighth Amendment was the precondition for the lifting of martial law, which took place on January 1, 1986. With the end of martial law, the PCO was repealed. Under the Revival of the Constitution 1973 Order, the Constitution was restored, but it had been drastically amended to increase the powers of the president over the judiciary and National Assembly and to ensure that President Zia remained in control even after martial law was lifted. (52) Over the next two years, opposition parties began to demonstrate openly, but some restrictions remained and several hundred opposition party leaders remained in prison. Ethnic tension in Sind province between Pathans, Sindhis and Muhajirs continued to escalate, erupting in street gunbattles and car bomb attacks. In a surprise move on May 29, 1988, Zia dismissed the government of Prime Minister Junejo and called for national elections to be held within 90 days. (53) On August 1 of that year, Zia, along with several senior military officers and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel, was killed in a plane crash, the cause of which has never been determined. The president of the Senate, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, became acting president. Following a Supreme Court ruling, elections for prime minister were held on a party basis, pitting the PPP under Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, against an alliance of conservative and Islamist parties known as the IJI (Islami Jamhjoori Ittehad, or Islamic Democratic Alliance) under Punjab Chief Minister Nawaz Sharif. When the election was held on November 16, the PPP won 93 and the IJI 55 of the 205 seats contested. (54) REFERENCE: Double Jeopardy Police Abuse of Women in Pakistan Police Abuse of Women in Pakistan JUNE 21, 1992

Muslims Target Christian Evangelists in Pakistan


In this photo taken on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009, a man carries a child out of a house after it was attacked by a mob in Gojra, Pakistan. Non-Muslims make up less than 5 percent of Pakistan's 175 million people. They are especially vulnerable to anti-blasphemy laws that carry the death penalty for derogatory remarks or any other action against Islam, the Quran or the Prophet Muhammad. Minority Rights Group International, a watchdog organization, lists Pakistan seventh on the list of 10 most dangerous countries for minorities, after Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Congo. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) - LAHORE, Pakistan | Christians in Pakistan are feeling increasingly insecure after several violent attacks by Muslim extremists in the past two months. In one case, eight Christians were burned to death by a Muslim mob after reports that the Muslim holy book, the Koran, had been desecrated. Growing Talibanization of the country and a blasphemy law in place for two decades make non-Muslims, especially Christians, easy targets for discrimination and attacks, Christian and human rights activists say. "The attacks on Christians seem to be symptomatic of a well-organized campaign launched by extremist elements against the Christian community all over central Punjab since early this year," Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairwoman Asma Jehangir said at a press conference last month. The situation has become so serious that Pope Benedict XVI and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari discussed it during a meeting Thursday at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, the Associated Press reported. The Vatican said the two stressed "the need to overcome all forms of discrimination based on religious affiliation, with the aim of promoting respect for the rights of all." Most of the attacks on Christians' houses and churches followed claims of desecration of the Koran. Subsequent investigations generally proved the claims to be false. Pakistani Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian himself, said that no Christian would even think of desecrating the Koran. Some elements wanted to create an atmosphere of disharmony, but the government would not allow anybody to play with the lives and properties of the Christians, he said. REFERENCE: Muslim threats to Christians rise in Pakistan 4:45 a.m., Sunday, October 4, 2009

Religious minorities, Christian communities in particular, also saw heightened threats to their security in 2002. On March 17, two unidentified men threw six grenades at the Protestant International Church in a diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, killing five people and injuring forty others. On August 5, six Pakistani guards were killed during an attack on the Murree Christian School, a missionary school for foreign students forty miles east of Islamabad, when four gunmen stormed the premises. The gunmen, who had escaped to nearby woods, blew themselves up with hand grenades when they were found and surrounded by police. Only four days later, unidentified attackers hurled grenades at a chapel in a missionary hospital in Taxila, twenty-five miles west of Islamabad, just as the women of the congregation were leaving from the daily morning prayer. Three nurses were killed in the blast, as was one of the assailants, while twenty others were injured. The violence extended to Christian humanitarian aid workers on September 25, when two gunmen entered the Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ) in Karachi, and killed seven people by shooting them point blank in the head. All of the victims were Pakistani Christians. The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance and the National Commission for Justice and Peace condemned the attacks, asserting that Pakistan's Christians were being victimized for Pakistan's alliance with the U.S. The massacre was followed by a three-day mourning and protest, organized by Christian groups in Pakistan. At this writing, no arrests of the killers had been made, but those protesting had been detained. Pakistan REFERENCE:

Christians in Danger - Pakistan

Christians in Danger - Pakistan - Feb 2002 - In the dust and ruins of the slums of Islamabad, 500 Christian families cram into tattered tents. "Christians come from the poorest and most oppressed class in society," says the local Bishop. Few can afford proper schooling for their children. Even the traditional route of becoming a cleaner for a Muslim family is under threat. Since the attack on a Catholic church in Bahawalpur, which killed 22 church goers, the entire Christian community in Pakistan in nervous. With American pressure in Afghanistan and the Middle East mounting, the already unpopular Christians are the first victims of increased radicalisation. However, a visit to Rawalpindi girls' school shows a rare sight -- Christian and Muslim children taught together. Despite the armed guards at the doorway, they strive for their motto "work in peace". However, Christians in Islamabad are still prisoners of their poverty and their future is bleak.

The struggle of Pakistan's Christians

CARING: Christians in today's Pakistan (2% of the population) have paid a high price for being in the minority. In Islamabad, the capital, a community of 5,000 of them live in extreme poverty, literally walled-off from the rest of society. REFERENCE:

A burnt house of a Christian family in Azafi Abadi at Chak 95-JB on Gojra-Faisalabad Road. – Photo by White Star - Courtesy Daily Dawn Pakistan Christians’ homes burnt over ‘desecration’ dated Sat, 01 Aug, 2009 Sha'aban 09, 1430

Christians in Pakistan are suffering relentless persecution

Christian persecution in Pakistan

Burning Questions

1 - A JUDGMENT by the High Court in Lahore is worrying Pakistan's Christians. The court decided recently that Pakistan's blasphemy laws are applicable to all the phrophets of Islam. Jesus is a prophet in Islamic teaching. By worshipping Jesus as the son of God, Christians are, it could be argued, committing a blasphemy. The Bible itself, which Islamic scholars regard as not strictly factual, might be reckoned to contain blasphemies against Abraham, Noah, David and Jacob, all of whom are in the Islamic canon. Blasphemy carries the death sentence in Pakistan. Reference: Prophet and loss: Pakistan. (blasphemy law) The Economist (US) May 7, 1994.

2 - The two cleaners from Jhang district, 300 miles south of Islamabad, were jailed by a Faisalabad court in 1999 under Pakistan's draconian blasphemy laws, having been wrongly accused of burning a copy of the Koran. Because the law can be invoked on the word of just one witness, it is frequently manipulated by Muslims to settle scores or rouse religious tensions. Reference: Pakistan's blasphemy laws used to persecute non-Muslims Massoud Ansari in Lahore and Michael Hirst Published: 12:01AM BST 25 Jun 2006

3 - Lahore: March 2, 2009. (SLMP report) Two Christians named Wallayat Masih son of Saraina Masih alias Sala resident of village Maloki District Kasur and Mushtaq Masih son of Sooba Masih resident of Kareem Park Bank Stop Lahore have been charged under blasphemy law vide case registered vide First Information Report (FIR) No. 33 dated 1st March 2009, under section 295 B & C with police station Theh Shaikham District Kasur, both have been arrested and presently detained in the local police station. 7 team members from CLAAS and SLMP visited village Maloki for fact finding today on 2nd March 2009. Mr. Joseph Francis the National Director Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement (CLAAS) and Chief Coordinator Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan (SLMP) led the team. Reference: Two Christians Charged Under Blasphemy Law in Kasur, Punjab. July 6, 2009, 2:36 pm

4 - Pakistan's human rights commission has reacted strongly after the country's military ruler gave up plans to change the way in which a controversial blasphemy law is implemented. A number of Islamic organisations had threatened to hold demonstrations on Friday to protest against the proposed changes. But General Musharraf has said that he now plans to leave the laws completely unchanged. Bishop John Joseph killed himself in protest at the blasphemy laws. Reference: Pakistan's blasphemy law U-turn Wednesday, 17 May, 2000

5 - Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Bishop John Joseph, who committed suicide in 1998 to protest the blasphemy law, was recalled today in a mass in the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in Faisalabad. Mgr Andrew Francis of Multan and Mgr Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad participated in the celebration, together with dozens of priests. In his homily, the bishop of Multan described Mgr Joseph as a "perennial voice of ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue", who "preached the words of the Gospel with all his life". Reference: Mgr John Joseph, blasphemy martyr, remembered by Qaiser Felix 05/06/2006 17:59 - Analysis: Pakistan's Christian minority Monday, 29 October, 2001 -

6 - "As it was the unanimous demand of the Ulema, Mashaikh and the people, therefore, I have decided to do away with the procedural change in registration of FIR under the blasphemy law" (General Musharraf, Dawn 17.5.2000). How was public opinion determined? No one asked me! Is the reference to ulema and mashaikh to the self-proclaimed ones or men and women of Islamic learning? And did populism prevail over Islam? Why was no attempt made to enter into a debate, or at least a learned Islamic discourse? What was the role of the two ministers (religious affairs and law) who are primarily concerned with this issue? One does not recollect any valuable contribution from these two sources. Reference: NEED TO CHECK MISUSE OF BLASPHEMY LAW (28 May 2000) EDITOR'S NOTE: An article entitled "Need to Check Misuse of Blasphemy Law" by Qazi Faez Isa, was published in DAWN, Karachi, on Sunday, May 28, 2000

7 - The blasphemy laws were legislated and subsequently made more strict to ensure protection to the minorities. But some recent incidents have shown that even the Muslims were victimized under the present blasphemy law on the complaint of other fellow Muslims. The most recent example is provided by gory murder of Yusuf Kizab in the Kot Lakhpat Jail by an activist of the banned Sipahe-i-Sahaba. Yusuf had been sentenced to death sentence under the blasphemy laws. The worst example was the suicide of Father John Joseph some four years ago. On the eve of May 6, 1998 Dr Joseph, the Bishop of Faisalabad, committed suicide in front of the Sessions Court, Sahiwal to protest against the death sentence of a Christian Ayub Masih, pronounced by the court under the blasphemy law. Reference: The Impact of The Blasphemy Law by Mohammad Shehzad Issue No.4, September 2002 Copyright © The DAWN Group of Newspapers

8 - The barbaric murder of Jagdeesh Kumar, accused of blasphemy by some of his workmates at a garment factory in Karachi, brings out in sharp focus once again the exposed and vulnerable situation of non-Muslims in a Pakistan still wedded to the legacy of General Zia-ul-Haq. When the police finally intervened, the body of the 22-year-old victim had been mutilated and disfigured beyond recognition: among other things the eyes had been gouged out. The reports published indicate that he was a quiet man, from a poverty-stricken Hindu family belonging to some obscure village in the Sindh desert. People with such a depressed and vulnerable background come to factories to seek out a miserable living, not to engage in religious controversies. In the days and weeks ahead, we will learn that some petty personal quarrel or irrational hatred of a Hindu was the real reason for his murder. Reference: Blasphemy and persecution by Ishtiaq Ahmed Saturday, April 26, 2008
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Text/Report to support questions.

HRCP Annual Report - State of Human Rights in 2008

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

... It is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order ... wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality.

Constitution of Pakistan


Subject to law, public order and morality (a) every citizen shall have the right to profess, practise and propagate his religion; and (b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.

Article 20

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 18

No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice. No one shall be subject to discrimination by any state, institution, group of persons, or person on the grounds of religion or other belief.

Reserved seats for minorities in parliament

The system of reserved seats for minorities and women introduced by President Musharraf in 2002 failed to fulfil the required objective of giving a political voice to minorities. The minorities’ representatives in the assemblies usually followed the line of the party that got them elected and not the interest of their communities. In early February, the World Minorities’ Alliance Convener, Mr. J. Salik, said the current system did not allow any minority person to contest elections independently on the minorities’ seat. He had challenged that process in the Supreme Court in 2002 but to date no hearing had been set. (N, Feb 6) A minority representative said: “When the Hasba Bill was approved in the NWFP, two persons elected by the MMA on reserved seats also voted for it. This instance showed that representatives of religious minorities elected on reserved seats were not free to pursue private agendas”. (DT, Feb 24)

Freedom of Religion


As in previous years, the spread of hatred against the Ahmadis continued. At least six Ahmadis were murdered because of their faith during 2008.

An anchorperson of a popular TV channel held a prime-hour discussion commemorating the 1974 amendment to the Constitution declaring Ahmadis as “not Muslims”. The programme ended with a verdict by a participating mufti, of an extremist school, that the Ahmadis deserved to be murdered for deviating from the view of the finality of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Neither the TV channel nor the anchorperson was chastised by the government for the virulent broadcast. Following the TV discussion, three Ahmadis were shot dead in early September – Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqui in Mirpurkhas, Seth Yusuf, a Nawabshah trader, and Sheikh Saeed at his pharmacy in Karachi. (D, Sep 21)

In Lahore in late May the International Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Movement (IKNM) announced a moot to be held at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal. IKMN Ameer MPA Maulana Ilyas Chinoti added the moot would mark a hundred years of successfully countering Qadiyaniat. (N, May 23)

In Faisalabad in early June, a mob of 300 college students barged into the rooms of Ahmadi students, beat them up and threw their belongings out of their rooms. The boarders also stole valuables from the Ahmadi students. The Punjab Medical College (PMC) through a notification rusticated 23 Ahmadi students on the report of the disciplinary committee. It was alleged that they were preaching and distributing Ahmadi literature. (DT, Sep 9) The students suffered harassment and interruption in their studies for months before they were allowed to resume their studies. In Shabqadar, Charsadda district, local clerics refused to lead the funeral prayers for a man believed to be an Ahmadi. The local clerics issued a fatwa (decree) that the deceased had become an Ahmadi and, therefore, no one would lead his funeral prayers. (DT, Sep 23)


The Christian community was discriminated against and the marginalisation of an already poor and disenfranchised community continued with the State offering virtually no protection. In early January, dozens of Christians held a protest outside the Lahore Press Club against the occupation of their homes in Bakar Mandi by influential people with the support of the government. The protesters said they had been living on the government property since pre-partition time but now they were being forced out. They said that the residents were very poor and had no means to buy houses; they had no shelter and had been left with no option but
to commit suicide along with their children. (N, Jan 7)

In late February, the Christian residents of Chananpura, Bakar Mandi, claimed that they were under siege by “land grabbers” who continued to harass and threaten them despite an ongoing civil lawsuit to decide ownership of the disputed land. The residents claimed that armed men, acting on behalf of the alleged land-grabbers, stripped and beat one of their young men, Faqirah Masih. They also hurled threats at him of bulldozers demolishing their prepartition homes. (D, Feb 23)

In Lahore, two minority councillors were injured during a scuffle in a meeting of the Lahore district council when they had attempted to move a resolution against a blast that damaged a church and also draw attention to the Freedom of thought, conscience and religion 7 7

illegal occupation of the Church of Christ in Garden Town by land grabbers. (D, Mar 17)

In late May, Christians protested against the Defence Housing Society, Lahore, for desecration and bulldozing of the graves in a Christian graveyard situated on Walton Road. The Christians alleged that they were being stopped from burying their dead in the graveyard. In June, 20 minority members of the Christian community, in Peshawar, were kidnapped and beaten up at a charity dinner for the members. The attackers, who came in land cruisers and pick-up trucks, attacked the Christians who were in the middle of their prayers. The attackers threatened them of similar attacks in the future if the “Christian community did not mend its ways”. (D, Jun 22)


The Hindus of the scheduled class were neglected and ignored in every walk of life. At a conference at the Lahore Press Club, the Haray Rama Foundation and Guru Gorakh Naath Sewa Mandal director protested that there was no lower caste Hindu or other caste MPA or MNA representing the non-Muslims in Punjab. He stated that the lower caste was given no representation in the 10 national assembly and 23 provincial
assembly seats. (N, Jan 5) In Hyderabad, the low caste Hindus staged a demonstration outside the press club protesting discrimination towards them by successive governments. They said that the lower caste constituted 95 percent of the Hindu population; the 5 percent upper caste Hindus became MPAs and MNAs and patronised only their own class. (D, Oct 26)


The Sikhs had no representation in parliament and could not hope to have their issues taken up. In Lahore, Dr. Swaran Singh of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara stated Sikhs in the country (about 12,000 in
number) faced social and political problems because of a lack of direct access to the government. While Christians and Hindus had representations in the government, Sikhs had none. Many Sikh youths were deprived of quality higher education because there was no scholarship quota in the Higher Education Commission. Further, the poor Sikhs did not receive financial relief from the government. Christian and Hindu widows received Rs 5, 000 per month but the Sikh widows were deprived. (DT, May 3)

Blasphemy laws and their victims

In Karachi, a Hindu factory worker, Jagdeesh Kumar, was killed outside his workplace by a mob, which comprised of many of his colleagues. He was allegedly accused of blasphemy. The law enforcement agencies did nothing to save the young man. (D, Apr 26, May 11) In early May, Dr Robin, of Hafizabad, who had lived and served in that town for thirty years was booked under Section 295- C of the Pakistan Penal Code. The doctor was charged with blasphemy when he joked with a patient about the latter’s unruly beard. After incitement by a local Imam, hundreds of residents marched to Dr. Robin’s residence threatening to kill him and his family. While the mob encircled Dr. Robin’s house, law enforcers stood by and watched the whole episode silently. A Christian welfare organisation rescued the doctor and Jagdeesh Kumar: Done to death by his co-workers. State 7 8 ate of Human Rights in 2008 his family from likely death. Dr. Robin was put in jail and the uprooted Robin family had to go into hiding to escape the anger of religious extremists.

Demolition of places of worship

In Lahore, members of the Christian community protested against the demolition of a church in Garden Town, desecration of the holy Bible and illegally occupation of the land. The Church of Christ was constructed in 1963 and had been a place of worship since then. (DT, Jan 25). In protest, Sunday prayers were offered on the road in front of the demolished church. The participants said the police and d i s t r i c t administration had remained silent spectators despite the desecration. (D, Feb 15)


1. The blasphemy law was promulgated in 1985 and in 1990 the punishment under this law, which sought topenalise irreverence towards the Holy Quran and insulting the Holy Prophet (PBUH), was life imprisonment. In1992, the government introduced death penalty for a person guilty of blasphemy. Immediate abolition of ‘blasphemy’laws is needed as these provisions are often used against non-Muslims as well as Muslims to settle personal scores.

2. School curriculum has to be sensitised toward non-Muslim Pakistanis so that children feel safe, secure and equal.

3. The Ahmadis have been denied the benefit of the joint electorate system which was revived in 2002. The discrimination should be ended.

4. The Commission on Minorities should be made functional by reinforcing its independent status and providing it with the necessary resources, human as well as financial.Christians demand end to occupation of a church by the land mafia.