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Urdu and Sindhi Deserve Equal Standing

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Nibir Kanti Datta

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Oct 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/5/96
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Palestinians and Sindhis were both send into exile around the same time
because of partitions. However, every people of the world has a unique
history. Hence, despite similarities in fate, the analogy between
Palestinians and Sindhis cannot be exact.

The Palestinians in exile live as Arabs among Arabs. Whatever else
they may have lost, it isn't their language and culture. The Sindhis in
India, on the other hand, do not live among Sindhis. It has been an
uphill battle for them. To keep alive the language among the next
generation, the Sindhis in the Indian Diaspora have been forced to adapt
their language to the Hindi script. And even this may not be enough. If
they are completely cut off from cultural contact with their ancestral
land, Sindhi will die out in India in a generation or two.

It is here that Pakistan can play a very positive role. By establishing
cultural contact with the Sindhis in India, Sindh can help these people
to keep in touch with their linguistic and cultural heritage.

Bangladesh is taking an active role in forging cultural exchanges with
India. One of the largest cultural shows in Calcutta is the annual show
organized by the Bangladesh government on 21st February to honor the
martyrs of the 1952 language movement in the erstwhile province of East
Pakistan. West Bengal now gets to see and hear the top musicians, the
singers and the writers of Bangladesh at least once a year.

Such cultural contacts benefit everybody. Today, for example,
Bangladesh is playing a very positive role among the Bengalis in India.
Bangladesh TV has become so popular in Calcutta, that Indian channels
have been forced to compete with it to come with better programs to
retain their share of viewers. Everyone has come out a winner as a
result. This is truly a win-win scenario. No one loses. Everyone comes
out ahaead

The Sindhis in India need Pakistan's help to keep alive their heritage.
I hope Sindh will be generous enough to offer it. There is no reason why
Sindh cannot emulate Bangladesh to send cultural troupes to tour India.
It will be a step in the right direction.

As for Sindhi-Americans, they can defenitely set a precedence by
organizing Sindhi conventions here that will benefit all Sindhis
regardless of the path they took in 1947. Once again, the
Bengali-Americans can act as the role model. Annual Bengali conferences
in America are no longer copartmentalized by the events of 1947.
Performers from both Bangladesh and West Bengal are entertaining
Bengali-Americans regardless of their district of origin or religion.
And that's the way it ought to be with the Sindhis


Nibir Kanti Datta

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Oct 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/6/96
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Farhan Siddiqui

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Oct 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/7/96
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Nibir Kanti Datta <da...@littongcs.com> wrote:

>The Sindhis in India, on the other hand, do not live among Sindhis. It has been an
>uphill battle for them. To keep alive the language among the next
>generation, the Sindhis in the Indian Diaspora have been forced to adapt
>their language to the Hindi script. And even this may not be enough. If
>they are completely cut off from cultural contact with their ancestral
>land, Sindhi will die out in India in a generation or two.

Let's first look at similar situation in Punjab. The Punjabi Hindus
instead of joining with Punjabi Sikhs for advancement of Punjabi
language have opted for Hindi language. Only Sikh have flourishing
punjabi literature while Hindu Punjabis have completely opted for
Hindi. Haryana is home state of Punjabi Hindus and what is the state
language of Haryana ? Hindi. What did Haryana declared it's second
language ? Tamil. Why Tamil ? To soften South Indian sensibilities of
imposing Hindi on them. I think there is a parallel between Hindu
Sindhis and Hindu Punjabis both will opt for Hindi. If there was a
small state created for Sindhi Hindus, like Harayana for Punjabi
Hindus, these Sindhi Hindus would have adopted Hindi long ago.

Farhan Siddiqui


Nibir Kanti Datta

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Oct 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/8/96
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Farhan Siddiqui is indeed right. For reasons I am not very sure, Punjabi
has taken second place to Hindi in Haryana and to Urdu in West Punjab.
However, Punjab is definitely not typical of the subcontinent.

Farhan Siddiqui errs in thinking that Hindi is the natural language of
the Hindus just as there are some who err in thinking that Urdu is the
natural language of Muslims. Hindu Punjabis will not cease to be Hindus
if they honor Punjabi in their literary endeavor any more than Muslim
Punjabis will cease to be Muslims if they do the same. Majority of the
Hindus have a mother tongue other than Hindi and they are certainly not
ashamed of their linguistic heritage.

Punjab is certainly not typical. Most people in the subcontinent are
aware that languages do not have religion, only human beings have.
Sindhi, like Bengali, has nurtured the Muslims as much as it has
nurtured the Hindus. There is nothing in the history of Sindhi to
suggest that Sindhi Hindus are ashamed of the language.

Anyway, I am not sure why Farhan Siddiqui feels so threatened by the
thought of Sindhi-Pakistanis helping their brethren in India to keep in
touch with their linguistic and cultural heritage. After all, Shah Abdul
Latif had inspired the Hindus as much as he had inspired the Muslims. No
one is harmed, least of all Farhan Siddiqui, if Sindhi-Indians take
pride in their heritage and look upto the Sindhi-Pakistanis for help.

Hans Reiser

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Oct 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/8/96
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If I went to Afghanistan to hire programmers (I went to Russia a few
years ago and hired some programmers) would I be likely to find many?

Would any of them be women wanting work they can do at home over the
internet, or do women stay out of the computer field in Afghanistan?

I was thinking that with the war winding down, there might be people
there in need of a decent opportunity.

Hans
rei...@ricochet.net
Owner
The Naming System Venture

Nibir Kanti Datta

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Oct 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/12/96
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Farhan Siddiqui is indeed right. For reasons I am not very sure, Punjabi
has taken second place to Hindi in Haryana and to Urdu in West Punjab.
However, Punjab is definitely not typical of the subcontinent.

Farhan Siddiqui errs in thinking that Hindi is the natural language of
the Hindus just as there are some who err in thinking that Urdu is the
natural language of Muslims. Hindu Punjabis will not cease to be Hindus
if they honor Punjabi in their literary endeavor any more than Muslim
Punjabis will cease to be Muslims if they do the same. Majority of the
Hindus have a mother tongue other than Hindi and they are certainly not

ashamed of their linguistic heritage. Jinnah erred, to the lasting
detriment of his new found country, when he decided that Bengali was a
Hindu language that did not deserve to be the national language of
Islamic Pakistan.

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