Address by Governor at the felicitation of eminent Sindhis organised by the Global Sindhi Council
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the felicitation of eminent Sindhis organised by the Global Sindhi Council at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 1130 hrs on Monday 18th December 2017
Shri Ashok Hinduja, Chairman, Hinduja Group, Shri K K Ramani, Author and Consultant, Dr Ram Jawhrani, Chairman, Global Sindhi Council and Sahyog Foundation, Shri Mukesh Sharma, Smt Shibani Sharma, Smt Ritu Chhabria, Shri Pahlaj Nihalani, Shri Mahesh Tejwani, President, Vivekanand Education Society, all distinguished awardees, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon and Namaskar.
I extend a warm welcome to each one of you to Raj Bhavan.
I am pleased to associate myself with the felicitation function organised by the Global Sindhi Council. I acknowledge, applaud and congratulate the eminent members of the Sindhi Community who have been felicitated with the Global Sindhi Council Awards today.
At the outset, I congratulate the Global Sindhi Council and more particularly its Chairman Dr Ram Jawhrani for his sincere efforts in preserving and promoting Sindhi language and literature and for honouring excellence.
Dr Ram Jawharani is a multi-talented personality who has been a writer, film producer, philnathropist and a committed social worker. Last year, I had the honour of releasing his book wherein he has painstakingly chronicled the life and work of some of the greatest personalities from the Sindhi community.
The Global Sindhi Council deserves our wholehearted compliments for creating a tradition to honour achievers from the Sindhi community. During the last one decade, the Global Sindhi Council awards have gained in stature and acceptance because of the high standards set by the Council and the high profile of the recipients. My felicitations to all the award recipients.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In the history of human civilization, few communities have suffered such trauma and pain as the Sindhis did, in the aftermath of the Partition of India.
A moment arrived in the history of the nation that the Sindhis were left with no other choice, but to abandon their home and hearth, and come to this part of India empty-handed.
In recent years, we have seen the large scale migration of people from Yemen, the Rohingyas from Myanmar and so on.
Quite often, it becomes extremely difficult for migrant communities to pick up the threads of their life all over again, and to start a new life in an alien land. Many such communities get entangled in the mesh of poverty and disease and never come out it.
The Sindhis are perhaps a singular exception. The Sindhis not only picked up the lost threads, but on the strength of hard work and determination, transformed themselves into one of the most successful communities anywhere in the world.
The Sindhis settled in different parts of India and wherever they went, assimilated with the local population and cultures, while also maintaining their identities and culture. Many Sindhis came to Ulhasnagar on the outskirts of Thane and started their own lives. The educational institutions set up by Sindhis in Mumbai after independence benefitted not just Sindhi students, but also students from all other communities.
Today, Sindhis have become Global Citizens. Sindhis have become the most successful business leaders and enterpreneurs. The Sindhis are not job seekers, but job givers.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Acharya Kripalani had made two pertinent observations about the Sindhis. He noted the fact that the Sindhis made good progress without any help from the Government. Secondly, he noted that no Sindhi after partition ever begged, he earned an honest living. That’s truly remarkable.
During the last seventy years since Independence, the Sindhis have made spectacular contribution to the socio-economic progress and development of India, development of Maharashtra and development of Mumbai.
The Sindhi community has given the nation some of the most prominent politicians like Jairamdas Daulatram, Acharya J B Kripalani, Lal Krishna Advani, K R Malkani, Hashu Advani and so on. It has also given the nation great personalities like Sadhu Vaswani, Dada Vaswani, Barrister Ram Jethmalani and many others. Today, there is hardly any field which has not been touched or conquered by the Sindhis. We are truly, sincerely proud of the Sindhi community, and of each one of you.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today Sindhis have become global citizens. Preserving ‘Sindhiyat’ the rich culture, traditions and most importantly the Sindhi language has become a challenge for all of us.
I was reading the biography of the British Governor of Bombay, Sir Bartle Frere. He was appointed as Governor of Bombay in the year 1862.
Before coming to Bombay as Governor, Bartle Frere was Commissioner of Sindh.
As the commissioner of Sindh, he had issued a decree in 1851, making it compulsory to use Sindhi language in place of Persian in Sindh.
The officers of Sindh were ordered to learn Sindhi compulsorily to enable them to carry on day-to-day work efficiently.
A committee was constituted in the year 1853 comprising equal number of Hindu and Muslim members, which unanimously decided on the use of Persio-Arabic Sindhi script with slight modifications.
Sir Bartle Frere not only gave Sindhi language one script but he even published different Sindhi books related to various streams of the literature, which gave impetus to Sindhi writers to move quickly with literacy. I do feel that deliberate efforts are needed to promote Sindhi language, especially among the youths.
We will have to think how technology can help us to reach out to the new generation and promote Sindhi language and literature.
Thought will have to be given to starting a global portal to connect the members of the Sindhi community settled in different parts of India and all over the world.
I want Global Sindhi Council to work for the unity of Sindhi brothers and sisters. As Chancellor of 20 public universities in Maharashtra, I offer my fullest support to you in your efforts to promote Sindhi language and literature at the university level.
I congratulate all the awardees and wish the Council very best in its endeavours.