Sindhis in India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sindhis (Sindhi: سنڌي‎; Sindhi, Devanagari: सिन्धी, Sindhī) are a socio-ethnic group of people originating from Sindh, a province of modern-day Pakistan.

After the 1947 independence of India and Pakistan, many Sindhi Hindus migrated to India and some later settled in other parts of the world.[1][2][3]

Pakistan and Indian independence[edit]

After the independence of Pakistan on 14 August 1947, the majority of the minority Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan migrated to India while the Muslim migrants from India settled down in Pakistan. Approximately 6 million Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while nearly an equal number of Muslims migrated to Pakistan from India. Hindu Sindhis were expected to stay in Sindh following the independence, as there were good relations between Hindu and Muslim Sindhis. At the time of independence there were 1,400,000 Hindu Sindhis, though most were concentrated in cities such as Hyderabad, Karachi, Shikarpur, and Sukkur. However, because of insecurity in Pakistan, and most of all, a sudden influx of Muslim refugees from Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Central Provinces, Hyderabad State, Rajputana (Rajasthan) and other parts of India, many Sindhi Hindus decided to leave Pakistan.

Problems were further aggravated when incidents of violence broke out in Karachi after independence. According to the census of India 1951, nearly 776,000 Sindhi Hindus migrated to India.[4] Despite this migration of Hindus, a significant Sindhi Hindu population still resides in Pakistan's Sindh province where they numbered around 2.28 million in 1998[citation needed], while the Sindhi Hindus in India numbered 2.57 million in 2001[citation needed].

The responsibility of rehabilitating refugees was borne by their respective government. Refugee camps were set up for Hindu Sindhis. Many people abandoned their fixed assets and crossed newly formed borders. Many refugees overcame the trauma of poverty, though the loss of a homeland has had a deeper and lasting effect on their Sindhi culture. In 1967 the Government of India recognized the Sindhi language as a fifteenth official language of India in two scripts. In late 2004, the Sindhi diaspora vociferously opposed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court of India, which asked the Government of India to delete the word "Sindh" from the Indian National Anthem (written by Rabindranath Tagore prior to the independence) on the grounds that it infringed upon the sovereignty of Pakistan.

Resettlement of refugees[edit]

Adipur[edit]

Soon after independence in 1947, a large group of refugees from Sindh in Pakistan, came to India. Adipur was founded by the government of India as a refugee camp. Its management was later passed onto a self-governing body called the Sindhu Resettlement Corporation (SRC). The person credited with the formation of this settlement was Bhai Pratap Dialdas, who requested the land from Mohandas Gandhi for the mostly Sindhi immigrants from Pakistan. 15,000 acres (61 km2) of land was donated by the Maharaj of Kutch, His Highness Maharao Shri Vijayrajji Khengarji Jadeja at the request of Mohan Das Gandhi because it was felt that the climate and culture of Kutch resembled that of Sindh.[5] Adipur, like Gandhidham, was built on the donated land to rehabilitate Hindu Sindhi refugees coming from Sindh. The Indian Institute of Sindhology established at Adipur, Gandhidham (Kutch), is a centre for advanced studies and research in fields related to the Sindhi language, literature, art and culture.[5]

Ahmedabad[edit]

Ahmedabad's population increased dramatically when many households and individuals of Hindu Sindhi descendants arrived from Pakistan for refuge into Ahmedabad. Kubernagar was established with barracks (houses), which were allocated to the refugees who arrived into Ahmedabad.

Gandhidham[edit]

The Maharaja of Kutch, His Highness Maharao Shri Vijayrajji Khengarji Jadeja, at the request of Mohandas Gandhi, gave 15,000 acres (61 km2) of land to Bhai Pratap, who founded the Sindhu Resettlement Corporation to rehabilitate Sindhi Hindus uprooted from their motherland.[5] The Sindhi Resettlement Corporation (SRC) was formed with Acharaya Kriplani as chairman and Bhai Pratap Dialdas as managing director. The main objective of the corporation was to assist in the rehousing of displaced persons by the construction of a new town on a site a few miles inland from the location selected by the Government of India for the new port of Kandla on the Gulf of Kachchh. The first plan was prepared by a team of planners headed by Dr. O. H. Koenigsberger, director of the Government of India's division of housing. This plan was subsequently revised by Adams Howard and Greeley company in 1952. The town's foundation stone was laid with the blessings of Mohandas Gandhi, and hence the town was named Gandhidham.

Ulhasnagar[edit]

Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra is a municipal town and the headquarters of the Tehsil bearing the same name. It is a railway station on the Mumbai-Pune route of the Central Railway. Ulhasnagar, a colony of Sindhi Hindu refugees, is 61 years old. Situated 58 km from Mumbai, the once-barren land has developed into a town in the Thane district, Maharashtra. Originally, known as Kalyan Military transit camp (or Kalyan Camp), Ulhasnagar was set up especially to accommodate 6,000 soldiers and 30,000 others during World War II. There were 2,126 barracks and about 1,173 housed personnel. The majority of barracks had large central halls with rooms attached to either end. The camp had a deserted look at the end of the war and served as a ready and ideal ground for the independence refugees. Sindhi refugees, in particular, began a new life in Ulhasnagar after the independence in 1947.

Sindhi Colony, Cox Town, Bangalore[edit]

Refugee Sindhi Hindus from Hyderabad migrated to Bangalore through Mumbai and Goa. A community housing society was created in Cox Town, with a temple, Sindhi Association and a Sindhi Social Hall, a community hub for celebrations, marriages and festivals such as Holi and Guru Nanak Jayanti. The immigration of the community resulted in the introduction of Sindhi culture and cuisine to the city.[6]

Sindhi Colony, Secunderabad, Hyderabad[edit]

Main article: Sindhi colony

Sindhi Colony is a major suburb of Secunderabad, India. It was founded to house refugee Hindu Sindhis coming from Sindh, after independence.

Official status of the Sindhi language[edit]

Although Sindhi was not a regional language in a well-defined area, there were persistent demands from the Sindhi-speaking people for the inclusion of Sindhi language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. The Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities also recommended the inclusion. On 4 November 1966, it was announced that the Government had decided to include the Sindhi language in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. At the 2001 census, there were 2,571,526 Sindhi speakers in India.

Sindhi people[edit]

Main article: Sindhi people

The Sindhi people live mainly in the north-western part of India. Many Sindhis inhabit the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh as well as the Indian capital of New Delhi. In India, Sindhi is the local language in the Kutchh region of Gujarat. Most Sindhis of India follow the Hindu religion (90%), although Sindhi Sikhs are a prominent minority (5-10%). There are many Sindhis living in various cities in India, including Jalgaon, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan, Mumbai, Pune, Gandhidham, Surat, Adipur, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Bhopal (Bairagarh), Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Kota, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Raipur, Indore, Gondia, Nagpur, Jabalpur, Katni, Satna, Sagar, Rewa, Bilaspur,[Dhule, Maharashtra, [Maihar, Madhya Pradesh], [Itarsi], [Aurangabad, Maharashtra] etc

Sindhi festivals[edit]

One of the oldest civilizations of human history, Sindhis have a rich and clearly distinct cultural heritage and are very festive. Their most important festival is Chetri Chandra, the birthday of Lord Jhulelal. Besides this, they celebrate Akhandi (Akshaya Tritiya) and Teejri (Teej).

Sindhi Sikhs[edit]

With the teachings of Guru Nanak during one of his travels to Sindh, many Hindu Sindhis adopted Sikhism. Many Hindu Sindhi women learned the Gurmukhī alphabet to enable them to read the Guru Granth Sahib. Many Amils, a sect of Hindu Sindhis, adopted Sikhism. There used to be a time, before the independence, when many non-Muslim Sindhis were Sehajdhari or Nanakpanthi Sikhs.

During the early 1900s, the Chief Khalsa Diwan of Amritsar sent out missionary groups once a year to Sindh to work among the Sehajdhari Sindhis. Over a period of 30 years with scarce resources this missionary activity resulted in an increase from 1,000 Keshdhari Sindhis in 1901 to over 39,000 in 1941 a significant number in those days.

The bond of the Sehajdhari Sindhis with Sikhism is legendary. Like the Sikhs of Punjab, the Sehajdhari Sikhs of Sindh also left behind their homeland and are now dispersed all over India and abroad. There are about 50 million Sindhis in Sindh province of Pakistan and about 2.5 million in India. Their main pilgrimage centres are Nankana Sahib and Dehra Sahib in Punjab, and Sadh Bela near Sukkur in Sindh. Sadh Bela is an Udasi shrine built in 1823.

Institutes established by Sindhi Hindus[edit]

Following is the list of Institutes,Collages,Universities established and run by Sindhi Hindus in India and abroad.

Institute Name Type Language of instruction Location Founder Founded Notes
Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board (Sindhi: حيدرآباد (سنڌ) نيشنل ڪاليجيئيٽ بورڊ‎) Education, Nonprofit organization English Ahmedabad Principal Khushiram Motiram Kundnani & Late Barrister Hotchand Gopaldas Advani 1922 To be at the frontline of human knowledge and work towards the fulfillment of cultural, scientific, intellectual and humane needs of society in general and students in particular; to enrich and enhance the economic vitality and quality of life, while being firmly rooted in the rich Indian ethos and belief
C. H. M. College (Sindhi: چندِيٻائي هِمٿمل منسُکاڻي ڪاليج‎) College English Ulhasnagar, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Principal K.M. Kundnani & Barrister Hotchand G. Advani 1 January 1964 Starting as an institution to cater to the aspirations of the minority Sindhi community, After being displaced from his native land Sindh, now in Pakistan because of partition of India on 15 August 1947.
Thadomal Shahani Engineering College (Sindhi: ٿڌومل شاهاڻِي انجنيئرنگ ڪاليج‎) Education and Research Institution English Bandra, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India HSNC Board 1983 Named by one of Mumbai's most respected philanthropists, Dada Kishinchand T Shahani after his father, Thadomal Shahani.
Kishinchand Chellaram College (Sindhi: ڪشنچند چيلارام ڪاليج‎) College English Mumbai HSNC Board 1954 It was the second institution that the Management set up in Bombay after it relocated itself in the city, following the aftermath of Partition. The onus of the task was taken up by late founders, principal K.M. Kundnani and barrister Hotchand Advani, who helped set up K.C. College as well as several other educational institutions. Kundnani and Advani were the pillars of that board.
Smt. M.M.K College of Commerce & Economics (Sindhi: مٺِي ٻائي مُوتيرام ڪُندناڻِي ڪاليج‎) College English Bandra, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 1961
R. D. National College (Sindhi: رِشي دَيارام نيشنل ڪاليج‎) College English Linking Road Bandra, Mumbai HSNC Board 1922 at Hyderabad, Sindh & reestablished in 1949 in India

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rita Kothari, Burden of Refuge: Sindh, Gujarat, Partition, Orient Blackswan
  2. ^ Nil (June 4, 2012). "Who orchestrated the exodus of Sindhi Hindus after Partition?". tribune.com.pk. The Express Tribune. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  3. ^ NANDITA BHAVNANI (2014). THE MAKING OF EXILE: SINDHI HINDUS AND THE PARTITION OF INDIA. ISBN 978-93-84030-33-9. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Markovits, Claude (2000). The Global World of Indian Merchants, 1750–1947. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 0-521-62285-9. 
  5. ^ a b c http://www.sindhology.org/sindhiyat.asp "Maharaja of Kutch on advice of Mohan DasGandhi, gave 15000 acres of land to Bhai Pratab, who founded Sindhu Resettlement Corporation to rehabilitate Sindhi Hindus uprooted from their motherland."
  6. ^ Discovering the heart of Sindh in Cox Town, 6 July 2013