Article on Sindhi Language

There is some controversy over how old Sindhi Language is and what family of languages it belongs to. But Sindhi Language in India continues to florish even today. While most scholars consider it an Indo-Aryan language, some scholars believe that it belongs to the languages of the Indus Valley, i.e. a period before the advent of Sanskrit. Sindhi language lacked a fixed script till 1853 when it was decided to have Arabic characters for it.

The early poetry in Sindhi language traced back to the 14th century is bayts of Mamoi saints. Qadi Qadan was the notable poet. Shah Karim was a Sufi poet of note. Sind’s greatest poet is Shah Abdul Latif (late seventeenth century) whose collection of poems Rasalo shows a combination of deep thought, graphic description and beauty of language. Besides Abdul Latif, the trinity of Sindhi poets was composed of the eighteenth century writers, Abdul Wahhab (Sachal) and Bhai Chainrai (Sami), the last being a Vedantist. The influence of Persian poetry is to be seen from early eighteenth century when ghazal, gasida, rubai and mathnavi entered Sindhi literature. Subject matter changed from mysticism to romanticism. Khalifo Gul Mohammad ‘Gul’ was the first Sindhi poet to compose a Diwan. Kishinchand ‘Bewas’ composed poems on nature instead of the traditional love lyrics.

Sindhi prose got an impetus with the British annex­ation of Sindh, after which several grammars and dictionaries were published, besides books on religion, art, and science. Writers who enriched Sindhi prose were Munshi Udhoram, Diwan Lilaramsingh, Dayaram Gidumal and Mirza Qalich Beg. The last named writer is also a well-known novelist (Dilaram, Zeenaf). Other novelists of note are Lalchand Amardinomal (Choth jo Chand), Abdul Razzaq (Jahan Ara), Bherumal (Anand Sundrika), Nirmaldas Fatehchand (Dalurai ji Nagari), Guli Kripalani (Ithad), Ram Panjwani (Qaidt) and Naraindas Bhambhani (Malhin).

As for drama, Mirza Qalich Beg made a beginning with Laila Majnun (1880). Khanchand Daryani wrote several original dramas. Ahmed Chagla and Lekhraj ‘Aziz’ have enriched Sindhi drama.

After partition the province of Sindh went to Pakistan, but there are a large number of Sindhis all over India. Sindhi literature in India continues to flourish.