Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch

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Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch
Born (1917-12-16)16 December 1917
Jaffer Khan Laghari village, Taluka Sinjhoro, Sanghar District, Sindh, Pakistan
Died 6 April 2011(2011-04-06) (aged 93)
Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan
Cause of death Cardiac arrest

Nabi Bakhsh Khan (a.k.a. "N. A.") Baloch (Sindhi: نبي بخش خان بلوچ‎) (16 December 1917 – 6 April 2011) was a research scholar and writer. He contributed to many subjects and disciplines of knowledge which include history, education, folklore, archaeology, anthropology, musicology, Islamic culture and civilisation. His published over 100 works in English, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Sindhi and Saraiki. Almost double would be the number of his research articles published in local and foreign languages. He contributed articles on 'Sindh' and 'Baluchistan' which appeared in the Fifteenth Edition of Encyclopædia Britannica, 1972.

He did pioneering work on the classic poets of Sindh which culminated in the Ten Volume Critical Text of Shah Jo Risalo, the poetic compendium of Shah Abdul Latif, the great Sufi poet of Sindh.[1] He edited Forty-two volumes on Sindhi Folklore, with scholarly Prefaces in English, 'Folklore and Literature Project' Sindhi Adabi Board.[2]

In addition, he compiled and published a Sindhi dictionary ''Jami'a Sindhi Lughaat[3]' in five volumes which was later revised in three volumes.[4] He also compiled Sindhi-to-Urdu, Urdu-to-Sindhi dictionaries co-authored with Ghulam Mustafa Khan. His works also include the compilation and editing of classical Sindhi poets including Shah Inayat Rizvi, Qadi Qadan, Khalifo Nabibakhsh, and Hamal Faqir. In the field of history, the following works edited by Baloch hold a special importance: Tareekh Ma'soomee,[5] Chachnama,[6]Tuhfatul Kiram [7] by Mir Ali Sher Qania, Lubb-i-Tareekh[8] Sindh by Khudad Khan, Tareekh-i-Tahiree[8] by Mir Tahir Muhammad Nisyani, Beglar Nama [9] by Idrakee Beglaree.

Early life[edit]

Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Baloch son of Ali Mohammad Khan Laghari Baloch, was born in the village of Jaffer Khan Laghari, District Sanghar of Sindh, Pakistan. He obtained his early education at Village Palio Khan Laghari from a local teacher. He then went on to acquire Secondary education from the famed Naushero Feroz Madressah . He completed Matriculation in 1936 and affiliated himself with Bahaudin Degree College, Junagarh, from where he earned B.A (Hons) 1st Class Third position, in 1941. Baloch was advised by his erudite professors to join the high standing, Aligarh Muslim University. According to Baloch this was where he cultivated the acquaintance of Sub-Continent's intellectual elite whose inspiring influence equipped him to become the 'man of letters'. By the end of academic year 1945, he obtained two degrees – Master in Arabic with distinction (1st position-1st Class Division) and Bachelor in Law (1st Division).

Baloch returned to Sindh and while teaching at Sindh Muslim College, Karachi (1945–46) as professor of Arabic, he applied for scholarship to the U.S. for higher education. He left for the U.S. in 1946 and joined the 'Teachers College', Columbia University, New York, for master's degree in education and later acquired a Ph.D. in the same discipline in the year 1949. After the completion of his thesis on Teacher's Education, he joined an internship program with United Nations. owing to his highly impressive work at U.N. he was offered a permanent post there, which he chose to decline and returned to Pakistan.


In 1950, Baloch joined the Ministry of Information, Pakistan, as officer on special duty. Baloch set a trend in government publications as well as broadcasting on radio.He initiated the monthly magazine Naeen Zindagi. Numerous other publications about Pakistan and its five provinces were started by Dr. N.A. Baloch to educate the public and counter the propaganda from across the border. In addition, he promoted the folk music and folk culture of the five provinces through radio.

In 1951, he was appointed as Public Relations Officer for Pakistan Mission in Damascus. However, he opted to participate in the making of the Sindh University, Hyderabad, Sindh and once again returned to homeland for a higher cause. He was the first professor appointed by the university where he established the first ever Department of Education in Pakistan. In 1973, Baloch was conferred with National Merit Award and was elevated to the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Sindh[10](1973-1976). During his tenure at the university he was responsible for initiating several publications and editing monographs such as: Journal of Education, Journal of Research: Arts and Social Sciences, Historical Perspective on Education, Methods of Teaching Hasil-a-lNijh of Jafar al- Bubakani, and Report on Education in Sindh with an extensive introduction by Baloch (drawn by B.H. Ellis, first printed for the Government at the Bombay Education Society Press in 1856).

Baloch also played a key role in the establishment of various institutes associated with the University of Sindh. Department of Sindhi began work in 1953. A Sindhi Academy initiated earlier by Baloch developed into the concept of the Institute of Sindhology. Baloch worked out the draft of the scheme to establish the institution at Sindh University, which was approved by the Secretary of Education. Baloch served as the Director and at his insistence, the name was changed from Academy to Institute. Baloch had the Institute shifted form Old Campus to the New Campus. the Institute, now, has a large library, a museum, heritage gallery and an auditorium. It has been carrying out the work of collecting and preserving books and other materials on Sindh and publishing them. Baloch initiated the publication of the monthly journal of the Institute under the name Ilmee Aa'eeno (Mirror of Knowledge)[11]

Parallel to the continuing scholarly endeavors mentioned above, Baloch during his tenure at the Sindh University remained a guiding force for several institutes in Sindh. He worked as Honorary Secretary Bhitshah Cultural Centre[12] where he organized literary conferences during the annual functions. He promoted the rural cultural milieu, spreading the message of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. In this regard he published studies on Shah Jo Risalo. The first biographical work on Shah Abdul Latif written in Persian by Mir Abdul Hussain Khan Sangi, Lutaif-i-Lateefee, was edited and introduced by Baloch and published by Bhitshah Cultural Centre in 1967. The manuscripts of Shah Jo Risalo were procured from London and published in 1969.[13]

Mehran Arts Council[14] was established under the chairmanship of the commissioner of Hyderabad, Baloch as honorary secretary, worked out the scheme, persuaded authorities to give grants, bought a plot for the council in Latifabad and had a building constructed. Baloch wrote 'Musical Instruments of the Lower Valley of Sindh' (1966), and two articles as appendices: ‘Shah Abdul Latif as the Founder of a New Musical Tradition’ by Baloch and the ‘Traditional Music of Sindh’ by Ilyas Ishqie. This work was translated into Bengali by Folk Music Research Group, Dacca, East Pakistan in 1970. Baloch also edited Aziz Baloch’s work, ‘Spanish Cante Jundo and its Origin in Sindhi Music’, published by Mehran Arts council in 1968. Among other articles and monographs, Mehran Arts Council also published Sabhai Rangga (All Hues) on all aspects of folkloric poetry in 1969 edited and introduced by Baloch.[13]

Baloch was also instrumental in influencing decisions by the Archaeological Department and extended his cooperation in initiating excavations at Bhanbhore, Mansura, Umarkot, and Talpur Museum at Hyderabad Fort. He persuaded the Department of Archaeology to establish Zonal office of Archaeology at Hyderabad. The wall of the fort of Hyderabad near the main gate, Mosque of Mian Yarr Mohammad, Graveyards at Landhi and Mian Wahyoon, Tomb of Mir Shahdad Khan and number of other historical places were preserved at his behest.

The landmark achievement in this regard was the establishment of a number of museums. Land was procured and buildings were constructed alongside the Raani Bagh on National Highway for the Sindh Provincial Museum and Sindh Provincial Library for which Baloch had been working since 1951. Baloch served as honorary director and donated his personal collection of artifacts, coins and other materials.

On an international level Baloch collaborated with Dr. Knez in setting up the ‘Sindhi House of Pakistan’ at the Smithsonian Institution Washington, and made arrangements for the relevant material to be exported.[15]

It was also during Baloch’s term as the vice chancellor of Sindh University that an International Conference ‘Sindh Through the Centuries’ was held from 2 to 7 March 1975 at Karachi, jointly hosted by Karachi and Sindh Universities. Baloch as one of the chief hosts took the delegates to visit the historical and archaeological sites most of which had been discussed in the papers presented at the conference. Illustrious scholars from world over who participated in the conference included: H.T. Lambrick, J.E. van Lohuizen, J.A. Boyle, S.Digby, C.F. Buckingham, Annemarie Schimmel and E.I. Knez.

From January 1976 to June 1989, Baloch's services were acquired by the Federal Government of Pakistan in Islamabad, on specific orders by the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Baloch was given the designation of Secretary for Culture, Archaeology,Sports and Tourism, a post he served at for one year. Important projects supervised and guided by Baloch include the Centenary Celebrations of Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1976) and Allama Mohammad Iqbal (1977). He also served as Member Federal Pay Commission and Member Federal Review Board.

From 1 July 1979 and up to October 1979, Baloch was appointed chairman of the National Commission on Historical and Cultural Research. The institute was able to initiate several projects of significance under his chairmanship. The following research works were launched:

  • Publication of "Pakistan Journal of History and Culture."
  • Chachanama, critical edition with Persian text, English translation and extensive Introduction and notes.
  • Advent of Islam in Indonesia.
  • Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi’s Diary During His Days of Residence in Kabul.

The following other projects were completed:

  • Pakistan: A comprehensive Bibliography of Books and Government Publications with Annotations 1947-80, Islamabad, 1981, pp. 515 edited by Baloch.
  • Two volumes of Documentations on Separation of Sindh from Bombay edited by Dr. Hamida Khuhro of which the first volume was published.
  • History of the Texila Region.

A project in six volumes studying architectural monuments of

  • Pakistan,
  • Thatta and Makli,
  • Uch,
  • Multan,

Lahore, and Wooden Architecture in Northern areas.

Except Pakistan and the work on Lahore, the rest of the studies were completed and published during Baloch’s tenure. The work on Thatta and Makli was assigned to Dr. Ahmad Hassan Dani. Baloch would accompany Dr. Dani to Thatta and provide all possible help in this regard. He wrote a detailed introduction on the city of Thatta which was appended to the work.

Baloch planned a project of 25 volumes of history of the Muslim Rule in the Subcontinent to be published by the institute. The first seven volumes of the project were to include original works on

  1. Advent of Muslims in Sindh; Fatehnama (Persian Text, English Text, Arabic Text)
  2. Arab Rule in Sindh (712-1050 AD),
  3. Ghaznavi Period,
  4. Ghaurid Sultans, and Delhi’s Sultans of Slave Dynasty,
  5. Khalji Period,
  6. Tughlaq Period,
  7. Afghan Kings: Lodhi & Suri Periods.

The next five volumes (8th to 12th) were designed to cover Moghul Period: (8) Babur & Humayun. (9) Akbar, (10) Jahangir & Shahjahan, (11) Aurangzeb, and (12) Decline of Moghuls. The next seven volumes (13th to 19th) were expected to cover ‘Local Rulers’: (13) Sultans of Bengal, Jaunpur, Awadh; (14) Deccan and 18 Mysore; (15) Gujrat & Malvah; (16) Sindh; (17) Punjab & Sarhad; (18) Baluchistan; and (19) Kashmir. The 20th volume was to cover the British Period: Freedom Movements. The remaining five volumes (21st to 25th) were planned to cover various aspects of the ‘Islamic Heritage’: (21) Governmental Institutions (Establishment), (22) Education, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Navigation, (23) Communications, City Development, Agriculture, Industry & Technology, Trade & Commerce, (24) Art of Construction (Architect and Archeology) and related Arts & Skills, and (25) literature.[13]

In November 1980, Baloch was called upon to take charge as the first Vice Chancellor of the International Islamic University. The university became functional in shortest possible time under Baloch’s punctilious and sanguine management. However, he resigned in August, 1982 and continued his work at the National Institute of Historical Research until October, 1982. From 1983 to 1989, Baloch served as adviser to ‘National Hijra Council.’ Here, Baloch began work on the ‘One Hundred Great Books of Islamic Civilization’_ a project that was of high standing in its originality and literary value. In all, eleven works were published out of which five were produced under Baloch’s personal supervision. The work on remaining six was finalized, but published after he left the organization (1989) and returned to his hometown, Hyderabad.

Books that were edited with introductions by Baloch under the Great Books Project are as follows:

  1. Al-Khwarzmi’s Algebra, Original Arabic text with Rosen’s translation, introduction by Prof. Ayidin Sayili, and explanatory notes by Mullek Dous was published in 1989.
  2. Banu Musa, Kitab al-Hiyal (The Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices), translated, annotated, and introduced by Dr. Donald Hill.
  3. Al-Jazari’s Kitabul Hiyal, (Integration between Theory and Practice in the Application of Mechanics), translated into English by Ahmad Y. al-Hassan and introduced by Donald Hill, 1989. This work speaks of 19 Sindhian Waterwheel that has erroneously been called Persian Wheel.
  4. Al-Beruni’s Kitab al-Jamahir fee Ma’ arifat al-Jawahir, translated by Hakim Mohammad Said, and edited by Dr. N.A Baloch, 1988. The work discusses al-Beruni’s experiment which for the first time introduced the concept of ‘Specific Gravity’.
  5. Dr. Hamidullad Khan, The Prophet Establishing A State, 1989.[16]

Baloch, in 1989, formally began the compiling, rearranging and editing of the authentic text of the Poetic Compendium of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai,Shah Jo Risalo. This was a gigantic project involving not only extensive research and deep rooted understanding of the great poet’s philosophy but also an optimum expertise in Sindhi Language itself. In this regard he also produced a companion dictionary Roshni for the understanding of the classical text.

In 1991, Sindhi Language Authority was established by the Government of Sindh, and Baloch was invited to join as its chairman. Baloch remained with this institute for a period of 27 months during which numerous works were published on a multitude of topics pertaining the teaching and promotion of Sindhi Language. During his tenure at Sindhi Language Authority he was also given the additional charge of Minister for Education with the caretaker government for a period of three months.

Baloch remained Professor Emeritus Allama I.I Kazi Chair, University of Sindh, established in 1990 until his demise.

Baloch's participation in UN and UNESCO forums and international conferences[edit]

  • Participation in the United Nations Internship Program, Summer 1948.
  • U.N. Accredited Speaker (1948-49 toured Canada Sept. 1948).
  • Member Pakistan Delegation to the UNESCO Regional Seminar on Primary Education in South Asia, Karachi,1956.
  • Member Pakistan Delegation to Indo-Pak Cultural Conference, New Delhi, 1962.
  • Pakistan Delegate to the UNESCO Meeting of Experts in Teacher Training from Asian Countries, Manila, 1963.
  • Member Participant, UNESCO Expert Committee on Teacher Education,Paris, December 1967.
  • Delivered a series of lectures at the Higher Islamic Educational Institutes in Indonesia (March 1977) at the invitation of the Indonesian Government.
  • Member Pakistan Delegation to the 20th UNESCO General Conference,November 1978 and April 1979.
  • Member International Editorial Committee on ‘History of Central Asian Civilization’ (nominated by the Director General UNESCO, in personal capacity as Scholar / Historian, 1980 - till death).

National Merit Awards conferred on Baloch[edit]

  • Tamagha-i-Pakistan (T.PK), 1962-68.
  • Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam (SQA), 1971.
  • President’s Award of Pride of Performance, August, 1979.
  • Conferment of I’zaz-i-Kamal by the President of Pakistan, 1990.
  • Sitara-e-Imtiaz, 23 March 2002.
  • Conferment of D. Litt, by University of Karachi, 1990.
  • Kamal-e-Fun Award, Academy of Letters Pakistan, 2007.
  • Conferment of Degree of Doctor of Educational Management, (Honours Causa.)Institute of Business Administration,University of Karachi, 2009.
  • Conferment of Hilal-e-Imtiaz, by President of Pakistan, 23 March 2011.
  • Appointed Life Patron of Dr. N.A. Baloch, Institute for Heritage Research, Department of Antiquities, Government of Sindh, 2009, founded after his name in recognition of his outstanding academic services to Pakistan and Sindh.


  • Sindhi Jami'a Lughaat (First edition in 5 volumes 1960–1988 published by Sindhi Adabi Board; 2nd revised edition in 3 volumes, published by Sindhi Language Authority 2004–2006 (third volume in Press))
  • Roshni, Sindhi to Sindhi one volume dictionary, 1998, published by Sindhi Language Authority
  • Sindhi Lok kahaniyoon (7 volumes)
  • Madahoon Ain Munaajaatoon
  • Munaqibaa
  • Moajiza
  • Molood
  • Teeh Akhriyoon
  • Hafta Deinh Ratyoon Ain Maheena
  • Jang Naama
  • Waqiaati Bait
  • Munazira
  • Sindhi Senghar (Shairy)
  • Paroliyoon, Dunoon, Muamaoon Ain Bol
  • Gujhartoon
  • Door
  • Geech
  • Lok Geet
  • Bait
  • Narr Ja Bait
  • Kafiyoon
  • Mashahoor Sindhi Qisa
  • Rasmoon Riwaj Ain Sanwan Saath
  • Sindhi Hunr Shairy
  • Kulyat-e-Hamal
  • Mubeen Shah Jo Kalam
  • Miyeen Shah Inaat [Inaayat] Jo Risalo
  • Khalifay Nabi Bakhsh Laghari Jo Risalo
  • Shah Lutfullah Qadri Jo Kalam
  • Nawab Wali Muhammad LAghari Jo Kalam
  • Kulyat-e-Sangi
  • Beylaain Jaa Bola
  • Laakho Phulani
  • Kazi Qazan Jo Kalam
  • Ragnamo
  • Soomran Jo Daur
  • Sindhi Mosiqee Je Mukhtasir Tarikh
  • Sindhi Boli Ain Adab Jee Tarikh
  • Sindhi Sooratkahti Ain Khatati
  • Gadah
  • Shah Abdul LAtif jo Risalo (10 volumes), 1989 to 1999, published by various publishers.
  • Sindh Main Urdu Shairy (Urdu)
  • Molana Azad Subhani (Urdu)
  • Deewan-e-Matam (Urdu)
  • Deewan-e-Shuq-e-Afza or Deewan-e-Shair
  • Talaba Aur Taleem (Urdu)
  • Advent of Islam in Indonesia, 1980
  • Muslim Luminaries: Leaders of Religious, Intellectual and Political Revival in South Asia, 1988
  • Kabul Ki Diary (Memoirs of Mawlana Obaidullah Sindhi during his days of residence in Kabul, compiled by Mawlana Abdullah Laghari, edited by N. A. Baloch
  • Sindh: Studies Historical (English)
  • Sindh: Studies Cultural (English)
  • Traditional Arts & Crafts of Hyderabad Region (Sindh, 1966, Mehran Arts Council)
  • Musical Instruments of the Lower Indus Valley of Sindh, 1966, Mehran Arts Council Hyderabad
  • Gosha-e-Baloch, published by Urdu Department, University of Sindh
  • Chachnama edited and translated into English (Persian, English)
  • Baqiyaat az Kalhora (Persian)
  • Beglar Naama by Idraki Beglari (Persian)
  • Takmilatul- Takmilah, Addendum to Qania's Maqalatush-Shu'raa and Takmilla of Mohammad Ibrahim Khalil, published by Arts Faculty, Allama I.I. Kazi Campus, Sindh University, 2007 (Persian text, Sindhi preface)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Foreword- Abdul Ghaffar Soomr: Dr.N.A.Baloch-The Scholar Laureate, compiled by Umaima Baloch published by Dr.N.A.Baloch Institute of Heritage Research, 2012.
  2. ^ Sindhi Folklore and Literature Project, Sindhi Adabi Board, 1956
  3. ^ Jam'ia sindhi Lughaat, Sindhi Adabi Board, 1960-1985
  4. ^ Jam'ia Sindhi Lughaat (3 Volumes), Sindhi Language Authority, 2004.
  5. ^ Published bySindhi Adabi Board,1953.
  6. ^ Published by Sindhi Adabi Board, 1954.
  7. ^ Published by Sindhi Adabi Board, 1957
  8. ^ a b Published by Sindhi Adabi Board, 1964
  9. ^ Published by Sindhi Adabi Board, 1980
  10. ^ "University of Sindh – Official Website – Allama I.I. Kazi Campus Jamshoro". Retrieved 2016-04-04. 
  11. ^ Chand, Prof. Mohammad Umar (2007). World of Work-Predicament of a Scholar. Hyderabad, Pakistan: Institute of Sindhology. pp. 19–20. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b c World of Work-Predicament of a Scholar, edited Prof Umar Chand,Institute of Sindhology,2007
  14. ^ "Mehran Arts Council - Hyderabad, Sindh - Event - Facebook". 
  15. ^ Register to the Papers of Eugene I Knez (Part 6) 1920s–2000, With Information Dating Back to 1481 By Alan L. Bain National Anthropological Archives Smithsonian Institution December 2002
  16. ^ Chand, Prof.Mohammad Umar (2007). World of Work-Predicament of a Scholar. Hyderabad,Pakistan: Institute of Sindhology. pp. 38–39. 

External links[edit]