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May 2, 1924|
Sangeen (Dadu District), Sindh, Pakistan
|Died||June 30, 2004
Jamaluddin Abro, (Sindhi: جمال الدين ابڙو - Urdu: جمال الدین ابڑو ) also known as Jamal Abro (2 May 1924 – 30 June 2004, Larkana, Pakistan) was a Sindhi writer. He was born in May, 1924 at Sangi, a small village in Mehar Taluka, then part of Dadu District.
Jamal Abro studied in a number of schools in Larkana and Hyderabad. He passed his matriculation from Bombay University in 1941 and later, became a student at the Bahauddin College in Junagadh, Gujarat. In 1944 he went to Bengal and worked as a volunteer at relief camps for famine affected areas. He also worked as an activist with the Khaksar Movement.
He took a degree in law in 1948 from Shahani Law College in Larkana and started working as a lawyer. Abro entered public service in 1952 and was posted as sub-judge in a number of places in Sindh. In the latter part of his career, he served as a judge in the labor court and as secretary to the Provincial Assembly of Sindh. He remained active on the literary front with the Sindhi Adabi Sangat (the organization of Sindhi writers with members all over Sindh).
Jamal Abro is survived by 7 children from his wife Noor-un-Nissa (his one daughter died at a very young age). His family currently resides in Karachi
Abro was one of the generation of Sindhi writers who came to the literary forefront, immediately after the independence and infused a new consciousness into Sindhi literature.
Abro's first short story was published in the year 1949 and was followed by a some others. Pishu Pasha aroused much debate and discussion, and this was the name given to the collection of nearly a dozen short-stories published in 1959. This nearly brought to a close Jamal Abro's work as a short story writer and was followed by a long gap of silence. An invitation to contribute a story for a university magazine being edited by Shaikh Ayaz, (the leading Sindhi poet who was a close friend) led him to write his first story in fifteen years. This story was a poetic and haunting narrative focusing on karokari (the ritual murder of a woman accused of immorality), written as only the author of "Pirani" could have. It was followed by a story, written during the Writers' Conference, Islamabad, in the days of General Zia ul-Haq's Martial Law; it describes the conference as a setting for an encounter with the angel of death.
Although Abro wrote only a handful of stories, he had great influence on the modern Sindhi short story. He wrote on some common situations in the society around him and marked them with his individual stamp. Shaikh Ayaz wrote of "Pirani":
I don't know who made the distinction that poetry dances while prose walks. While reading 'Pirani', I felt that even prose can dance. In the beginning, 'Pirani' enters with a musical note and little bells begin to tinkle in the air. Suddenly there is a piercing cry and one can see the story dancing on red-hot coals.