Sindh Festival: A welcome initiative

It serves purpose of: sending loud & clear reminder about merits of Sindhi culture, reaffirms waning Sindhi identity.

Editorial February 08, 2014
The Festival City at Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim features handiwork of men and women from rural Sindh. Handmade bangles, neatly threaded ajraks and shawls, and ornaments carved from wood are some of the items that stood out. The presence of Sindhi singers is also a treat for visitors. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS/FILE

The ongoing Sindh Festival has helped flash a bright, clear and welcome spotlight on the distinctiveness, richness and inherent liberalism of the Sindhi culture. The open-to-public musical shows, poetry recitations and sports tournaments at the festival are nothing short of a rare and welcome elixir for a populace that has since long been doing little apart from gaping wide-eyed at the state’s monstrous challenges. Here is hoping that through this venture, Pakistanis will snap out of their stupor of shock and horror, albeit for a while.

The ‘cultural coup’ of the Sindh Festival — brainchild of PPP patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari — kick-started at Moenjo Daro on February 1 and will last for 15 days. That the Sindhi culture is in need of such an ‘emergency’ rescue mission is quite apparent. Today, little, if any, Sufi couplets are being written in Sindhi because the language does not ‘sell’ amongst the country’s top literary circles. Moreover, little, if any, local research is being done on archeological sites in Sindh, as scholarly work in the province, despite the 2010 devolution of education, still remains crippled owing to negligence shown towards it for whole decades by education and culture ministries driven largely by the centre, which contributed to the Sindhis’ cultural alienation and the deep-seated resentment that many from the ethnic group have harboured against the state. Hence, this festival serves important purposes: it sends a loud and clear reminder about the merits of Sindhi culture and reaffirms a waning Sindhi identity.

This much-needed initiative should set the stage for all-encompassing reforms to prop up a people whose cultural space has been systematically encroached upon and who have been denied social and economic leeway for decades. The province needs to be treated not just as the land of a certain, distinct cultural group, but as a part of Pakistan — a province to which central leadership is accountable. In fact, this needs to be the case not just for Sindh but for the other two smaller provinces as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2014.

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Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom | 8 years ago | Reply

No Nation on the surface of Planet Earth has ever desecrated ‘n denigrated, decimated ‘n destroyed, dumped ‘n damaged, debased ‘n degraded their Glorious Heritage. Even the tiny nations, like Island Republic of Singapore and poorest nations like Cambodia and Laos preserve, protect and promote their Ancient Heritage! It is this miserable, corrupt, rogue, terrorist and illegitimate state known as ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan, ’ which is the only country in the world that cares a damn for the Heritage under their charge!

But, then again, Ancient Moenjodaro is not ‘Pakistani’ Heritage – it is the Sacred and Sanctified Heritage of the World’s Greatest 7,000 to 10,000 years old Civilisation, the Sindhu Civilisation! So, the vile, vitriolic, venomous Punjabi and Panahgeer dominated Pakistan cares a damn for what belongs to our Mother Sindh! Long Live Sindh and Sindhi Nation!

SindhiPakistani | 8 years ago | Reply

Sindh was at forefront in the formation of Pakistan., first Assembly to pass resolution to be part of this federation. And today our country is under attack, there are dark shadows of terrorism, and extremism, fast creating instability and divisions, and Sindh is leading this fight against dark forces to save our country using cultural front. Old and new, rural and urban Sindhis are all dancing and echoing sense of unity, sending a powerful message to whole Pakistan that our roots are strong, hold them firmly and lets fight fundamentalism and extremist forces. Lets make Pakistan strong and progressive nation.

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