Sindhi Hindus in Gujarat

Published: March 5, 2011
The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore

The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore

Hindus were driven out of Sindh after 1947. They went to the neighbouring Indian state of Gujarat but were not accepted there by the local Hindu communities. Shockingly, these very Hindus, partly to be accepted as true Hindus, participated in the anti-Muslim violence in Godhra in Gujarat in 2002.

These facts have been revealed in the book Interpreting the Sindhi World: Essays on society and history; Edited by Michel Boivin & Matthew Cook (Oxford University Press, 2010). Like East Pakistan, nationalism in Sindh was language-based. The province was pluralist, just like East Pakistan. Hindus and Muslims lived in peace. Richard Burton wrote: “Hindu religion is not to be found in a state of purity in Sindh. Hinduism here is mixed up with the heterogeneous elements of Islam, and the faith of Nanak Shah. A Hindu will often become the murid (follower) of a Mussulman, and in some cases the contrary takes place… all great Pirs revered by the Moslems have classical Hindu names” (p.17).

The Supreme Court of India, in 2004, fined a litigant for asking to delete Sindh from the Indian national anthem, thus challenging any organic relationship between territory and nationalism (p.31).

The modern state of Gujarat consists of a strip of ‘mainland’ Gujarat, the peninsula of Saurashtra, and the western arm of Kutch (p.33). Later, Junagadh was also added. The Hindus of Sindh mostly moved to this state after Partition. They left en masse in 1948, after the immigrating populations touched off riots in Karachi.

Rita Kothari records the Hindu migration into Gujarat. Ships from Karachi arrived at the ports of Porbander, Veraval, and Okha on Gujarat’s coast. Movement towards Gujarat also happened indirectly, especially via Rajasthan, when Sindhis arrived from Mirpurkhas (p.58). These Sindhis looked ‘Muslim-like’ to the locals: “The Hindus of Sindh were not quite the most suitable examples of orthodox Hindus, as they were a meat-eating community in a largely vegetarian region” (p.59).

Local Gujaratis did not want Sindhis to occupy the evacuee properties left behind by Memons who had preferred to migrate to Pakistan once it was decided that Junagadh would merge with independent India. Local Gujaratis resented the government’s decision to allocate evacuee properties to Sindhis. They disliked Sindhis for being like Muslims, due to their meat-eating habit (p.64).

Parts of Bombay that included the districts of Godhra and Dahod (now in Gujarat) also beckoned Sindhis due to their availability of evacuee property. A majority of the 15,000 Sindhis who live in Godhra are from Lower Sindh, the region of Lar. Peasants and fishermen by vocation, the Laris are considered coarse and poor. The second smaller group, one that is more powerful in terms of political representation, was from Upper Sindh and the regions of Larkana and Shikarpur (p.65)

It is in the struggle of the Sindhi Hindus in Gujarat to be accepted as Hindus that they backed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and then fought with local Muslims. Kothari writes: “The subsequent communal history of Godhra, with its notorious series of riots between the Ghanchi Muslims and the Lari Sindhis has, at its roots, the issue of evacuee property.”

The reputation of the Godhra Sindhis had spread to other parts of Gujarat. The Sindhi aggression against Muslims was seen as a special gift the Sindhis had brought with them to Gujarat. One Sindhi said: “The Maharaja of Baroda wanted us to put the Muslims of Baroda also in place. He wanted us to have townships next to Muslim colonies so they remain under control” (p.66). Ninety per cent of Sindhi Hindus are BJP voters today and recognise Sindhi LK Advani as their leader (p.73).

Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (58)

  • Rajat
    Mar 5, 2011 - 11:18PM

    Well Wow, this was enlightening and taught me what?? nothing… looks like Mr. Khaled Ahmad sahib likes to have a casual go at India and its people (both Majority and Minority alike) from time to time. Last month’s “plight of Indian muslims” and then now this.

    One word of caution though, religious extremism is rampant in your country, elements may get angered by such a judgemental article, esp on Sindhi Hindus, some who are still (although a small community) in Pakistan. I have heard quite a lot about hate articles in your urdu papers, now I have seen it in a paper like express tribune. Tch tch. Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Ali
    Mar 5, 2011 - 11:46PM

    So what does that mean? Gujarat riots were the making of our own faults too. I agree that wat happned to the hindus was deplorable. i belong to Sindh, and what I hear from parents is that they used to live peacefully with hindus and had no problem with them whatsoever. Most of the muslims felt resentfull as well when they were exiled forcefully, but… that does not mean one can blame pakistan (in one way or another) for the gujarat riots. whether the sindhis helped the hooligans or not is debatable, but there is hardly any sound reason to beleive that these riots wud nt have happned without their support. Recommend

  • Ronit
    Mar 5, 2011 - 11:54PM

    but were not accepted there by the local Hindu communities….????

    Are u for real…I live in Mumbai and Gujarat is my maternal place…Sindhis live here as comfortably as they can…L K Advani, one of the most senior Indian politicians is a SINDHI, that tells u abt the influence and position of Sindhi community in India…u need to do ur homework I guess….ask an Indian next timeRecommend

  • Mar 5, 2011 - 11:57PM

    Jinnah’s Two Nation Theory is the fountainhead of all communal strife in the subcontinent for the last seven decades.Recommend

    Mar 6, 2011 - 12:03AM

    I think Khaled Ahmed is not aware of innocent people being killed right under his nose. Please count the number of innocent Muslims killed in Pakistan last year by Taliban and in sectarian violence. Please check which part of Pakistan these killers belong?. Sindh, Punjab, or KPRecommend

  • Ashok
    Mar 6, 2011 - 12:10AM

    I’ve read Khaled Ahmed’s pieces in the past and really they were very good, but it doesn’t seem to be the case currently. His more recent pieces have a distinctly anti Indian (Hindu) flavor to them. This article seems to be full of disinformation and is way too linear in thinking (ex: “This happened because of that”) on issues that are not at all linear but sporadic and spontaneous and relate to cultural phenomena that are multifaceted in dimension. Quoting from a book doesn’t necessarily make one more authoritative as a book is just a written form of speech.Recommend

  • mussarat hussain
    Mar 6, 2011 - 12:26AM

    Loyal, faithful and more staunch Ahmedis migrated to Pakistan after 1947, were they
    accomodated in Pakistan. It’s a point to ponder Sir?

    Being a human being my heart sheds the tear of blood after I see images of bodies belonging
    to minorities including shiite and Ahmedis brothers ( I dont care if Mulla exclude me from the
    fold of Islam for calling Ahmedis as “Brother”, after all they are also very patriot pakistani
    and staunch believers).

    We need mindset and teachings of Islam in real sense that guarantees security and protection
    to every individual living within its bound.

    Progressive elements should unite on one platform to ward off influence of virulent propaganda
    infused by illiterate extremists to make Pakistan a real secular state as visioned by the father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali JInnah who was once decalred “Kaafir-e-Azam by Mulla.

    Very good article indeed.

    Mussarat Hussain
    Former Chief Reporter APP
    Washington DCRecommend

  • mussarat hussain
    Mar 6, 2011 - 12:31AM

    Correction in third para please

    My heart shed tears of blood after I see bodies of shiite and Ahmedis minorities littering the city roads. Were Shiite or Ahmedis or any other minorities were welcomed in pakistan, even what happened to real muslims of Bengal who were eventually separated from Pakistan.

    Mussarat Hussain
    Washington DCRecommend

  • Bubba
    Mar 6, 2011 - 12:48AM

    If he had written something against Muslims You Hypocrite, would have accepted it without varyfying. You are a liar and do not represent ant facts . Get lost.Recommend

  • kanchachink
    Mar 6, 2011 - 12:51AM

    A loose write up and mis representation of facts ..the writer should not attempt to “LIE” !
    I would appeal to the journal to have this post removed .. its incorrect and misrepresented !Recommend

  • Mar 6, 2011 - 1:00AM

    Wow – this bears some investigation. Having said that, I have many many sindhi friends, we have many many sindhi colonies in Mumbai and while all of them have some story of devastation, loot and murder (as their grandparents or parents left Sindh in Pakistan), I cant think of a more apolitical, hardworking community (and rather intelligent). Recommend

  • Babloo
    Mar 6, 2011 - 2:18AM

    Khaled Ahmed is a respected columnist. But this piece is sheer non sense , based on rumour and hearsay. Gujrat riots happened because a Muslim mob set fire to a train carrying Hindu pilgrims. Period. In the riots that followed about 800 Muslim and additional 200 Hindus died. The fact is 90% of Muslims stayed back in India and their numbers have swollen in dramatic manner. In stark comparison, only 5% or less of Hindu, Sikhs are left in Pakistan. The reasons are well known and need no elaboration.Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Mar 6, 2011 - 3:09AM

    I dont understand the point that is being made in this article ..?
    There are bits and pieces of quotes from a book and not one of them is startling enough to get a mention.
    It is extremely common in all societies, cultures, religions, races to be suspicious of new faces that join en-masse in the name of relocation, migration or refugee settlement in old and established communities and it takes time for the new relationship between the old and new to foster.
    All western democracies (let alone developing countries) went through those phases and are now inclusive and accepting to all such migrants which identify themselves with the nation they immigrated to. Sindhis in India went through the same process… I haven’t read about a single Sindhi suicide bomber from old Gujrat killing new Sindhi settlers in the name of Sindhu-desh !!

    We need introspection within our decaying land before we start finger pointing on non related issues across our border.

    Haris ChaudhryRecommend

  • Dinesh PATEL
    Mar 6, 2011 - 3:27AM

    What Riot.

    No riot took place in Gurat.

    Gujarat is a peaceful place.Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Mar 6, 2011 - 3:50AM

    The author’s pulling facts out of … know where……air I mean LOLRecommend

  • akash
    Mar 6, 2011 - 5:07AM

    ok the book had one theory that these sindhis wanted to prove they were bigger hindus(although we Indians reject that)..if they participated in riot then they were criminals.. regardless of religion or motive..
    coming back to sindhis having islamic influence in their way life or religion.. its not just Sindhis.. we indians have strong influence of other religions in our way of life.. its a part of our DNA.. thats why i go to mazar on fridays whenever i get a chance and offer prayer being a Hindu or a church.. thats why many muslims celebrate our festivals too.. thats why perhaps our biggest teleserial MAHABHARAT.. ( a hindu epic) the dialogues were written by legendary Rahi Masoom Raza.. a muslim but above all an Indian.. who understood hindu culture perhaps better than many of us.. interfaith marriage is no longer a massive issue in India as it is in pakistan.. pakistanis in general love to talk about Gujraat riots and babri masjid.. with 1.2 billion population and such diverse ethnicity.. we do have issues sometimes.. which gives our enemies a chance to gloat.. we understandRecommend

  • Dr. Prabhakar Vaidya
    Mar 6, 2011 - 6:00AM

    Ronit, I am a Hindu and I have read the article with interest. I am surprised at times, but everything it says agrees with my childhood experience. I was 5 when the Sindhi wave started
    in Bombay. They were disliked, and most of all by the Gujaratis. The attire of Sindhi women, is what people called the “Panjabi Dress”. Girls used to wear saris at that time, when they came of age. The Panjabi dress was seen as very immodest. This was also because the average Indian everywhere, even today finds the typical Pakistani look very attractive. (Look at the popularity of all the Khans and Sindhi girls like Saira Banu in films).

    The Sindhis have made a remarkable progress in every field (at least one “mini-nobel prize winner”.) The rest of the society has adopted many of their customs which were criticized by us. Women routinely wear the Panjabi dress and eat while walking in the street.

    The mini Nobel prize winner confirmed that there still are divisions between the Laris and other Sindhis. Sindhi’s are only people in India without their home province and without much literature.I had felt that this was the reason why they are so adamantly right wing, most of the time.

    My dream is that soon India and Pakistan will be like Malaysia and Singapore and Indian Sindhi’s will discover their literary and cultural heritage from their Pakistani brothers. Notice how calming it is for a right wing Sindhi to visit Pakistan, even Advani mellowed.Recommend

  • Truthseeker
    Mar 6, 2011 - 6:19AM

    @ Ronit
    Read it again and again until you realise that he is not giving his opinion, but quoting the book : Interpreting the Sindhi World published by OUP.

    Read the message before shooting the messanger.Recommend

  • ManOnTheStreet
    Mar 6, 2011 - 7:53AM

    The information in this write up seems quite inaccurate. I’m speaking from first-hand experience (my parents being Sindhis from Larkana/Karachi) India has been a mother to us Hindu Sindhis. We are respected, prosperous and well-liked in India.
    Also, I didn’t like the writer’s attitude. He seems to be quite happy about his (wrong) inferences! Recommend

  • Ravi
    Mar 6, 2011 - 7:53AM

    don’t frustrate pakistni papers run mostly delusional articles by illusioned writers.
    As for the author what about muslim migrants from india who were called MUJAHIRS and were killed in thousands till early 90’s.
    India on the other hand has accepted all hindus, parsis, jews who ran away from pakistan during partition and this because hindus dont feel their faith is going to diminish. Hindus have never been insecure people like muslims.
    Food for thought
    What makes to include india in almost all your articles???????Recommend

  • Veny
    Mar 6, 2011 - 8:02AM

    I do not agree with this article on the author whom I respect. Sindhi’s did not have to prove their allegiance when migrated nor Hindus did not like them. Evacuees properties has nothing to do migration. When Muslims migrated to Pakistan they did not have anything in mind to take over Hindu properties and the converse is true. Myself being a South Indian lived in Rajasthan where it accepted many Sindhi’s and I have met some of them, they are well off in doing small business and have no qualms. By the way , we have Sindh in our national anetham not because of we want Sindh province of Pakistan, but we believe in Sindh culture which is the root of Indus Valley civilizationRecommend

  • SKChadha
    Mar 6, 2011 - 8:14AM

    The big cities across the border or western coast of India absorbed most of the migratory population of Sindhi and Punjabi during partition in 1947. In search of livelihood these migrants did not moved to villages of India. They mainly settled in big cities and started minor trading and menial work. In last 63 years by their hard work and survival instinct they have become a forceful trading community in northern and northwestern parts of India.

    Economic development in India and the survival instinct of these refugees in India has helped them a lot. They have totally integrated in Indian society unlike Mohazirs in Pakistan. However, they have not forgotten their roots, culture, faith and language which are distinct to Gujarat and Rajasthan. The first generations of these migrants have not forgotten the scares of Partition and have anger for their displacement. However, the new generations (i.e. second and third generation of these refugees) have nothing to do with Pakistan.

    Friends, like a banyan tree we have now developed our own roots in this part of the world. These roots are becoming stronger day by day. Yes, what we hear about Sindh and Punjab from our parents, at times, excite us to search for our roots which are engraved in Pakistan. There is nothing more in it.

    If one really ask me then such migration has helped second and third generation of Sindhi and Punjabi a lot. From remote villages of Pakistan our parents have settled in major cities of India. They provided us education, a survival instinct, tolerant behavior, the values of life and a distinct beautiful heritage. To me such migration, though struggle and pain for first generation, is always beneficial for our next generations to come.

    This is a success story of migration from feudal poor rural environment to major cities of India. It is a migration from amateurish, unprofessional, uneducated and substandard environment to enlightened, educated world.

    I hope Mohajirs in Pakistan who have settled in large cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad etc. since 1947 may also have similar success stories. I would also like to have their views to understand the facts on other side of the border. Will somebody enlighten us?

    The article is totally misplaced and misrepresents this community of India.Recommend

  • aceleo
    Mar 6, 2011 - 10:43AM

    Pakistan and Pakistanis seems to be more worried about whats wrong with the rest of the world but they try to remain aloof from whats wrong inside. They always have something to blame for the wrong doings.

    Acknowledgment of a problem is the first step towards its resolution , when there is no acknowledgment one can never begin on the corrective path. And sadly very few people in Pakistan dare to acknowledge facts.

    As in case of this writer, he seems to be more worried about the Sindhis and Muslims in Indian Gujarat, he should understand that all that matters by the end of the day for a common man whether Hindu , Muslim or any other community is basic amenities to sustain a respectable livelihood and a hope for a better future and Gujarat being the fastest growing state in the Indian continent offers all.

    What has Pakistan to offer to the Indian Sindhi community or Indian Muslims, for whom generally most of the Pakistan seems to be very concerned. And what has the writer on offer to these indian community , when they are living in far better and far less polarized much much more free society as compared to Pakistan.

    So start acknowledging your own problems, then bother about the rest of the world. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Mar 6, 2011 - 10:44AM

    Hindu Sindhis are not anti-muslim. They largely live in harmony with the Indian muslims. If some have reservations about Pakistan, it is because they remember how their brethren got slaughtered during pre-partition days.Recommend

  • AD
    Mar 6, 2011 - 10:47AM

    joke.Name a single Sindhi Hindu in India who said i am not welcome.Recommend

  • AD
    Mar 6, 2011 - 11:04AM

    Mr. Jethmalani may sue you for this article.Recommend

  • Zeeshan Pandit
    Mar 6, 2011 - 11:19AM

    “Ninety per cent of Sindhi Hindus are BJP voters today and recognise Sindhi LK Advani as their leader (p.73).”

    Don’t forget Advani’s brutal role in the Babri mosque demolition. It’s very tragic to hear Sindhi Hindus are overwhelmingly BJP voters. Recommend

  • Usman Ahmad
    Mar 6, 2011 - 12:05PM

    Sometimes I fell Khalid Sahib is a ‘shock-writer’ much lick a shock-jock. He doesn’t write on conventional topics. Instead he explores unexplored areas or those topics which are given little or no attention. And yes for that matter he uses the reference of a book. So just enjoy Indian fellows. Don’t get upset. He is no judge of you.Recommend

  • White Russian
    Mar 6, 2011 - 1:09PM

    I dont understand why people like to read their own opinions, instead of what author is trying to
    communicate. First: it is a kind of book review, in which Khaled Ahmed is more like presenting the gist of the book. Second, nowhere he attributed the fault to Pakistan, or judged that this or that community is good or bad.
    Moreover, simply stating the facts, instead of weaving a false narrative, is confusing for some of my friends. Facts can not completely fit to any known narrative and they never will. If they fitted, we had no need for empiricism, and a grand Platonic theory for everything would have explained all the past and all future, leaving newspapers (and books, seminars, discussions etc) redundant. Recommend

  • Mar 6, 2011 - 1:47PM

    Apparently Advani on a visit to Pakistan was asked as to how he, a Sindhi and a resident of Karachi for the first 20 years of his life, went on to become the deputy prime minister of India. To this Advani said, Indian culture (note no religion) is not exclusive. It is inclusive. Recommend

  • manoj
    Mar 6, 2011 - 2:05PM

    I live here in dist-Nashik,state Maharestra,India.
    I have many friends who r sindhis from pakistan.Pak is more than 1000 km from here.
    there r many sindhi colunies here.
    u pakistanis r not worth of these sindhi. people.These sindhis r the most prominent and financially strong communitiy.
    If they would have been in present pakistan (that is impossible , u either killed or convert them to islam) , helped u development.
    Few months ago some relatives from lahore of my sindhi friend visit india to migrate in india .(secretly why-?)
    Dont care anout us every induan be it hind,muslim,sikh or chrisian b poor , middleclass or rich happy here.
    As non sindhi i really felt u people missed sindhis a strong business community.


  • Faisal
    Mar 6, 2011 - 2:07PM

    Hafeez Sayed(LeT) is from Shimla, India
    Musharaff is from Delhi
    Zia was from Indian Punjab
    A Q Khan is from Bhopal….i.e all right wingers of Pakistan

    what i am implying is that people who migrated in 1947 have a bigger grudge against Hindus/Muslims on the other sidRecommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Mar 6, 2011 - 5:08PM

    @Veny: “By the way , we have Sindh in our national anetham not because of we want Sindh province of Pakistan, but we believe in Sindh culture which is the root of Indus Valley civilization”

    Au contraire mon-ami – re-integration of lands that were part of the Vedic/Indic Civilization will always be on the agenda. Recommend

  • ahmed
    Mar 6, 2011 - 5:30PM

    @Dr. Prabhakar Vaidya:

    Amen !!!!Recommend

  • Fact Check
    Mar 6, 2011 - 6:22PM

    Are there any writers in Pakistan who, can write an article without mentioning India and the United States.

    News flash: Bothe India and US have problems but both are managing quite well without your advise or help. On the other hand, Pakistan doesn’t seem to able to do either.

    Being that it may, why don’t quasi intellectual writers advise and help you government which is drifting in the ocean rudderless, about the military controlling every aspect of your country, the ISI starting a fight with the US, which they know they can’t win, let us not even start on corruption (India has corruption).

    If none of the above interests any of you writers, what about the flood? How are the flood victims doing, are they being helped, how much aid were received, how was it spent? See, there are numerous issues that needs to be investigated, written about. Instead, all of you (with few exceptions) seem to be stuck in the 20th century events. It happened, we know all we need to know about why it happened, been analyzed to death so, let’s make pact and move on and do somethings about things that affects us here and now.

    Besides, objective history will only surface 1,000 years from now when, all of us dead and gone. Recommend

  • bharat abhichandani
    Mar 6, 2011 - 6:44PM

    I am a sindhi guy, thanks to my brothers who have commented in this article. Your positive thoughts towards sindhi community is satisfying and make me feel not lonely. I beleive we all can come together irrespective of our religion to make prosperous india. love you all, jai hind.Recommend

  • Ronit
    Mar 6, 2011 - 7:52PM

    @Dr. Prabhakar Vaidya

    That is the most stupid explaination I have ever come across.Recommend

  • Asad Durrani
    Mar 6, 2011 - 7:56PM

    Laughing Our Laud!!!! I can see all Hindus Collectively went into deep depression & into extreme denial mode after reading this article because it revealed their Hypocrisy. This is the same writer whose views are quite liberal and he is the hard crtique of Pakistani institutions in general. I have seen All these Hypocrite Hindus taking their hats off for his such writings because it was criticizing Pakistan’s Policies etc. You can find all his such articles under his name and can also read the comments of these Hindus who collectively appreciated his writings. Now, that he wrote a single article in which he revealed facts about these Hypocrites, they collectively attacked this article and the writer himself. Basically these Indians are Hypocrites and they have no tolerance at all and in general language even here online , they must be called Hindu exttemists. I am glad that their true faces are revealed through their own postings about this article. Those who did nt know who these Indians are now they must have no doubt that they are the Extremists & Hypocrites. Recommend

    Mar 6, 2011 - 7:58PM

    Godhara and Kashmir are the pet topics of the Pakistani journalists and anything even distantly related to the same is used as their bread and butter, therefore no Indian should mind because it provides livelihood to some as well as diverts the attention of the Pak people away from their internal problems.
    So Khaled sahib, please continue your good work since exchange of views between the common people will bring the two countries together and lessen the hatred between them. Recommend

  • anuj mehta
    Mar 6, 2011 - 9:03PM

    wow….i never heard before that Sindhis are not accepted by hindus……in fact, it makes me laugh to read that Sindhi needs reconginiton as hindus in India…..FYI, sindhis are not the only meat-eating hindus as Rajputs also eat meat ( not beef or pork though)…..and no body would ever doubt Rajputs being non-hindu…….Sindhis are our own brothers and sisters , a prosperous community, probably, with sharpest and most polished business skills……Hope you have done your home work before writing Recommend

  • IKarma
    Mar 6, 2011 - 9:34PM

    Proof of pakistan’s Intellactual bankruptcy, besides financial one and live in denial of both . Has the writer ever come to Gujrat or India ? we had a Muslim president and a current vice president, defence expersts and film stars. Sindhis are all over accepted and doing very very well. Dont get jealous guys , just stop being domestic servants to the west and arab world , stand on ur feet and u will realise :)Recommend

  • aceleo
    Mar 6, 2011 - 9:59PM

    @Asad Durran – “Laughing Our Laud!!!! I can see all Hindus Collectively went into deep depression & into extreme denial mode”

    haa haa haa dude , exactly this knee jurk reaction i was talking about in my previous comment , dude just grow up..
    Just writing anything dosent proves your point . Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Mar 6, 2011 - 11:34PM

    Influx of refugee with different attire and attitude in every society are frowned at the first site. The same was true about Sindhi or Punjabi dress in 1940-50s in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The same was true for jeans wearing girls in 1970-80s or shots wearing ladies. Please do not misinterpret the frowning of that period on dress as abhorrence for community.

    The intermingling of different cultures takes its own time. Similarly, the feudalistic mind of native Gujarati and Marathi also took time to accept the culture of refugee community. A burqua clad women in pubs will be frowned by you even today. Have you observed at any time the criminal intimidation of such refugee community by normal Gujarati or Marathi? On other hand these dresses have been absorbed by Gujarati & Marathi community in their own culture.

    It is a cultural influence of refugee community and not a dislike in the sense of abhorrence. Many in India envy the progress Sindhi and Punjabi refugees made in India. Surprisingly, Ahmed and Asad Durrani interpret it as Hindu hypocrisy …? The period of 1950-60s is quoted by them in 21st Century for India/ Hindu bashing. This makes me laugh …. ?? I have no expression for it. Recommend

  • PriyaSuraj
    Mar 6, 2011 - 11:44PM

    @Asad Durrani – I (I meaning any reader) will agree with Mr. Khaled Ahmed when I feel what he has written is correct, and disagree with him when I feel what he has written is incorrect. Normally thats how people behave. If I liked the last article by Mr Ahmed does not mean I have to like all articles written by him. My views about his articles have nothing to do with whether I like Mr Ahmed or not. You tend to paint people black or white where as the world is grey.Recommend

  • John
    Mar 7, 2011 - 1:09AM

    To all: I read the book ” Interpreting the Sindhi world”. While the historical aspects of the events in that book was interesting, the conclusions the author of the book and the excerpts the Pakistan writer of this column came up with are not factual. It stands biased at the most. The job of historian is to state the facts and leave the conclusions and opinions to the readers. The book mixed up both and at times it was hard to tell what were facts and what were opinions.

    I agree with the Indians who comment on this columns, mostly. However, during partition there were frictions with the local Hindus in non metro areas of Gujarat. It was not because of religious differences of who true Hindu was. It was primarily a general community apprehension to any new comers in en masse. As far as one can tell with proof, there is no evidence that the Gujarat riot had it’s deep rooted hatred of Sindhi emigrants, as book try to concludes. It was just any other religious riots, as despicable as always, organized, fanned, and orchestrated by both religious groups extremists who were goons. Nothing more.Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Mar 7, 2011 - 4:50AM

    i dont understand what exactly is meant by sindhis were not accepted.
    accepted by whom?
    accepted as what?

    does the author of the book mean not accepted as hindus? although internally there can be lot of divisions and discrimination among hindus; most importantly based on caste; no one can accept or reject and label another hindus as true hindus false hindus or apostates etc. this because hindus dont have cult like structure as in abrahamic religions. it is a heterogeneous culture. people may fight on local issue or declare someone as outcaste but this concept of one kind of hindus not accepting someone else as “Hindu” is strange.

    does the author of the book mean not accepted as indians? india was not created on 1947, only pakistan was. india just got independence from europian colonizers. sindhis were not refugees from one county to other. They just migrated from one part of india to another. They were people internally displaced under the sword of islam. In india (or whatever you prefer to call this civilization from himalaya to indian ocean), people and communities have been migrating from one part to another for thousands of years. language based nationalism is modern european concept. the language based states were created years after independence. Indians dont need to prove their indianness to anyone else (like pakistanis have to pray 1000 times, kill others and blow themselves to prove their ‘arab’ness)

    Any place of india has many communities living and working there, sindhis is just one of them. so who was supposed to accept whom?Recommend

  • Mar 7, 2011 - 5:51AM

    Sindhi Hindus not accepted by Indian Hindus ? Please pay a visit to India and you will see they are as much part of India as any other community. Infact Sindhi Hindus have been coming to India in small groups to present times owing to their persecution and force conversions and have been accepted in India open heartedly. Take care if your own country men, Sindhi Hindus are Indians, all of them should have come to India right in 194 but those who grand parents committed blunder, are now learning the truth.Recommend

  • Anil
    Mar 7, 2011 - 12:10PM

    Author may be right…But what does he gain by brewing the historical facts??Sindh community people are proud for their culture,their language and that’s why they had requested India not to omit Sindh’s name from India’s national anthem.This shows how deeply they are connected to their roots.But now I think,Author has raised a war against them.Sindhis are what???Now a days muslim world is becoming intolerant in the name of religion.Recommend

  • Safraz Hussain
    Mar 7, 2011 - 4:43PM

    I Think these are not guilty, because In sind our Muslim Sindhis are envolve in violence against the brother communities regarding Tribal Fighting. This is a crime, any one do, Muslim or Hindu or some one other. Recommend

  • sharjeel
    Mar 7, 2011 - 7:42PM

    @ Manoj SK chadda
    Sindh has a very diverse culture.My grandfather migrated to Karachi from Bihar.Sindh is a beautifull place.Sindhis accepted muslims from Bihar,Up,Cp,Gujrat and Rajastan.I am very proud to be born in Karachi,Let me tell u there is no such divide among a common sindhi and mohajirs.We are living together for more then six decades now.There is still a large hindu population living in different cities of sindh mainly in hyderabad,mirpur khass,tharparkar,sukker ,jacobabad and indeed Karachi.Recommend

  • Mar 7, 2011 - 9:00PM

    I cant believe this is my third comment here but I couldnt resist. My one advice to the author is to visit India and possibly live among Hindus to understand them better. It is laughable to think that one sect of Hindus would not recognise another. In fact one of the myths that flourishes in Pakstan is that because Islam is a religion of peace it allowed for other religions to flourish and that is why you still have hindus in India. Whereas India is pretty unique when you consider the expansion of Islam wherein the indigenous religion and sometimes culture was wiped out entirely in countries such as Egypt and Iran. How is it that Muslims remained a minority in India despite having ruled, according to Zaid Hamid, for 1000 years? The answer to that question is the inherent instinct of Hindus to accept other religions and other strains of the same religion. We may not welcome it, but we learn to live with it, in some cases respect the difference and in most cases ignore it and live in our own insulated worlds. That is why Hinduism has survived for so long. We may not be proactively tolerant but we inherently understand that religion is a personal journey to God. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Mar 8, 2011 - 11:13AM

    I guess author has merely made extracts from a book “Interpreting the Sindhi World: Essays on society and history; Edited by Michel Boivin & Matthew Cook (Oxford University Press, 2010).” Page references are also given.

    It seems an independent view presented by foreign authors who are neither Pakistani nor Indian.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Mar 8, 2011 - 12:05PM

    @ Sharjeel

    As I learn from my deceased parents, I am a Punjabi with roots in Village Khivan (Dingi near Sialkot). My father served at Drigh Road Cantonment, Karachi for years as Labour Officer before migrating to India in 1947. Due to scars of Partition and feudal past, my grandmother (migrating from Sialkot) was not allowing my Muslim friends in our house. This is also fact that she was averse of my having friendship with them. However, she did not have any say in front of my father who had many Muslim friends and colleagues in his service. I have seen this dichotomy in my house and we all used to argue with her. By the time of her death in 1983 she had also forgotten the scars of partition. This may be due finding no support from any one of us.

    I admit that the situation was not so pleasant at all places especially Gujarat. This may be because of dominance of Jainism who are strict vegetarian and forget about meat they do not eat even Onions and Garlic. Even now a days there is total prohibition of alcohol in Gujarat. You will be surprised that in world Gujarat is the only place where you will find MacDonald’s outlet which is pure vegetarian. Few people from older generation do not take even the vegetables grown beneath the earth like Potato, ginger, beetroot etc. (Aajkal Saale Sab Chup Chup Kar Khate Aur Peete Hain).

    This is cultural phenomenon of vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism. There are number of housing societies in Gujarat and Maharashtra which are formed by strict vegetarians. Irrespective of religion, cast or creed many households even now a day do not rent their property to non-vegetarians. Probably, Jawed Akhtar and Shabana Azami had also faced this problem while purchasing flat in Mumbai. Can we call it a social divide which may result in Godhra like incidence….? To me it is quite amusing and that is why I feel that it is blown absolutely out of proportion and blah blah blah ….. in the Article.Recommend

  • Pravin
    Mar 8, 2011 - 2:11PM

    I have Sindhi friends in my city of Pune. Sindhis are extremely hard working community and they have earned their respect and money starting from scratch here. They have amalgamated with the state and city very well where ever they have settled. Few months back, I visited another smaller city, Dhule, related to Yoga program and found that lots are Sindhis participating. The program was in Marathi. It used to smoothly get into Hindi whenever Sindhi speakers used to come up on stage. In the night, there were Marathi and Sindhi bhajans. It was so beautiful to see how cultures are blending.

    I don’t want to say that ‘all is well’ in India, but definitely ‘by and large-all is well’ and we are loving it.Recommend

  • Haresh
    Mar 8, 2011 - 2:29PM

    The author does not seem to be aware of the facts pertaining to Sindhis in India.
    At the outset, Sindhis do not need to behave or act in any manner to fit in or to prove their “Hinduness” to anyone. Any Hindu would know that Hinduism has many variants and within every linguistic group or caste etc, the mode of worshipping, culture, diet etc changes. Sindhis are not the only Hindus to eat meat, support the BJP or take part in riots etc Nor are we the only Hindus to support LK Advani.
    Hinduism is an inclusive religion, thus Hindus do visit Dargahs, Gurudwaras and Churchs, just like Sikhs and Christians (especially in South India) visit Temples.
    Sindhis have never faced any discrimination and we are a part and parcel of India.
    The author will do well to explore the status and attitudes of Mohajirs in Sindh. He may also study the plight of the stateless Urdu speaking population in Bangladesh who are living in refugee camps waiting to be rescued by Pakistan who has disowned them! They are the ones who will need to try and fit in somewhere and not Sindhis in India.
    The article is out of touch and out of sync.Recommend

  • Mar 8, 2011 - 3:13PM

    I Think Mohajir is not here in Sind, but we can say, Urdu speaking Sindhis, Seraiki, Balochi, Punjabi, Pushto, and Marwari speaking and lot of languages holders. I Think a Family which lives here, generate his income here, but she is not envolve to send the Properties to other Locations of the country or World that is Sindhi…….. This land is mother of all sindhis who are born here….. We Love all the Sindhi born.Recommend

  • Bambbaayyaa
    Mar 8, 2011 - 10:39PM

    Selective lies and Selective truth … are all hall marks of a true pakistani … With this particular attitude of the so called psudeo intellectuals… see where pakistan stands now..
    Then they go out to the world with a begging bowl asking to protect their Nuclear bomb .. which wud otherwise fall into there own bread and nurtured Terrorists…
    Pakistanis have developed a knack of lying with clenched teeth … The problem here is evrybody knows they are lying the moment they start speaking …Recommend

  • Ravi Shastry
    Mar 9, 2011 - 2:55AM

    I am fan of Khaled Ahmed. But in this case, unfortunately he is out right wrong. There is a no ‘Hindu’ look as Hindus look differently from different areas. If Sindhis were prosecuted (I’m from the south and so my exposure to Gujarat is very limited), it is because they are from a different geographic area and have different language/ custom. It is definitely not because of the religion. Hinduism is basically a all accepting and very secular in nature.Recommend

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