Monday, December 24, 2007

The Writing Tribe of Sindh

(The following article was first printed in DAWN)

Perhaps the largest literary association in Asia, with a membership knitted only by the Sindhi ukhur, and woven throughout Sindh’s cities, towns and villages, the Sindhi Adabi Sangat, despite a recent structural and ideological controversy within its ranks, continues to crackle. It does so because of an innate academic and artistic dynamism that has sustained it for over 50 years. Its chapters, extending to remote Sindhi hamlets, give it an atypical range in variability and imbue its collective mind with an equal passion for both Sindhi canonical and modern literature.

This writing tribe of Sindh talks constantly and easily with each other, in magazines and forums across Sindh. They speak and write as exhaustively of Shah Abdul Latif and Sachal Sarmast’s musiqiat as they do of Biloo Dada and Pishoo Pasha, (famed Sindhi short stories).

At its recent commemorative conference, held at Karachi University, the Sangat offered its usual literary cornucopia and connections. A far cry from the days when Sindhi was officially banned from the university as an examination medium, one could see young Thari anthropologists from Umerkot enjoying fellowship with the Sangat’s octogenarian, Sobho Gianchandani. A thick black/white wool scarf wound round his head, in Sobho style, he poured love and intellectual encouragement on adoring young writers.

Continue reading ...