I have received a lot of interesting responses(by email) to my book. However, I am posting this one which was received by me soon after I posted this chapter on the blog. This is from Dr Dur Pathan from Pakistan and it came to me in two parts. I have followed these two emails with my own response to Dr Dur Pathan.
Here are Dr. Pathan's words:
“Sindh History”picturises her love and keen interest in the history and glorious Past of Motherland of her forefathers.I am of view that due to non-availablity of the sufficient & authentic Source-Material there prevails an idea in minds of Young generation that Hindus/their forefathers were compelled by Sindhi Muslims to quit Sindh.Where as historical facts and ground realities do not this misconception.
It was due to mishandling of the situation/issue by political parties including the Congress.Parties were in run to add feathers in their caps.Every body was aware of the fact that Britishers intended to leave the country therefore the Congress & other parties for want of taking credit and in the urge of earning the title of “The Father Of nation”ignred most important human,social and other interests/demands of the time.
The Congress committed blunders in Sindh since beginning.All-India or Regional Parties failed to get feedback from the masses and were not capable to pick any problem of the people of the country and unite masses to agitate and offer tough time to Britishers,they (all parties) selected Khilafat Issue for making stage for their political Drama. Khilafat was not the issue of the people,by the people and for the people-neither of the people nor of the country-,it was imported issue that due to mishandling divided the Nation inspite of efforts to unite Hindus & Muslims. not only this but this Movement set ugly trend of migrating to un-seen Land. This Tahreek created love and affection for “Dreamlands”.Sindh saw a Uncotroled migration after partition as people had previou experience and record of the unwanted Migration.This may kindly be put on record that it was not peoples’policy or agenda to get rid of Hindus from Sindh,but it was result of misguiding by Parties and their Leaders and later on desire of imported leaders those where without their own “Constituencies”,in future the they wanted to be accepted as elected leader/learers of the people,therefore the misused their power (being in the power) to create such conditons as to bring their own voters.one of the most important causes of the Migration on lage scale was that one as stated.Prior to the Great Migration,lradres also played negative role in inspiring masses to leave their own country.For example Mahatma Gandhi-the great preacher and strenuous advocate of the Non-violance-asked Sindhi Hindus that “They must learn the art of defending themselves against robbers, raiders and the like.If they do not feel safe and are too weak to defend themselves thet should leave the place which has proved too inhospitable to live in”.Recommendations like these made masses to uproot themselves from the land that gave them name,fame,cultre,history and identification.Problems are every where,robbers are in every country and raiders have no any country. It was not the solid and genunine reason to leve the country. Masses were misguided and history was compelled to take very ugly and unwated course in this way.Therefore Young generation must look into the matter keeping
hidden causes and reasons in mind.
-------to be continued-------.
While reading the article common reader will form opinion that Sindhi Hindus faced rainy days in Sindh due to discriminating attitude of the Muslim segment of the society.But is not true as we can not divide masses from religious point of view.Masses are masses what so ever their religion may be.Neither it was Sindh State policy nor masses ever supported it to victimize Sindhi Hindus.They were other reason responsible for victimization of some individuals.It has been said that Seth Naomul helped Foreigners to conquer Sindh in reaction to his father’s unwanted humiliation and converting to Islam.No doubt,this ugly event happened in the last days of Talpur Rule,but we must not ignore the fact that event underreference was not outcome of the State Policy.Talpurs/Mirs were Shias by faith where as their Muslim subjects were Sunnis.There was clach and difference of faith.Sunnis were bent upon to give tough time to Shia Rulers,therefore they either made mistakes on their own or were misused bt Anti-Government elements including Agents of the East India Company.Hindus were made target with special reference to their right of religion.Talpurs failed to protect Hindus from Anti-Govt elements in a fear that they might face uprising from Sunni Muslims.In protecting their own power and Interests they made Hindus scape goats.Sindh History can not accept (and not even afforded as future conditions proved) the excuse of Seth Naumal to victimize his own Motherland in reaction.His father was made target by the Merchant class as he was ever rising figure in trade & commerce and threat to other Merchants.Anti-Bhojwani group hired purchaseable Mullas and raiders.There might be involment of any Agent of the East India Company.Illwillers acheived their purpose support of an influential man-Naumal-was diverted and Britsher availed this opportunity.While going through the pages of the “Memoirs of Seth Naomal”one can see that how the Rulers take care of Seth Hotchand.Seth Naumal has narrated the story of sorrows and longings of his father honestly and correctly.He has not claimed himself as a Hero of Hindu community,but later on some Hindu writers gave that impression and they were wrong.Also some Muslim Writers with purpose to give Muslims impression that Hindus have acted against the interests of Motherland,condemned the role
role of Seth Naumal.Both kind of writers damaged Hindu-Muslim trust and relationship.Seth Naumal was not an angle he was a human being and all human beings are not mistake-free.He is character of our history by virtue of his unwanted reaction he provided Foreigners to Rule & ruin us.Sindh has unfortunately produced people like Seth Naumal.What to say about Khuhro and Pir Ali Muhammad shah Rashdi who imposed One Unit on Sindh? So Seth Naumal is not Hero of Hindus, nor enemy of all Sindhi Muslims.
Therefore his special reference in our history is to be made in the capacity of an Scholar & Historian but not as a Hindu or Muslim Writer.
end of 2nd email
My response to Dr Pathan's email follows:
Firstly, thanks for taking the trouble to write to me at length. it is only through discussion and calm dialogue that we can arrive at the truth, and that's what really matters.
There were several points in your emails 1& 2 which I would like to address, with humility but also with honesty.
The very first contention is that my source material was not sufficient or authentic for my perspective of the partition to be in order.
I am sure there are many books written on this subject on both sides of the border and both of us might have not read some. However, in my defence, I would like to add that perhaps I cannot be faulted more than any other historian on this subject since this was my quite substantial bibliography:
1. "Centenary Presentation, Life and Works of Principal Nirmaldas Gurbaxani" published by S. C. Samtani.
2. "Sadhu Navalrai, the Maker of Modern Sind and Sadhu Hiranand, the Soul of Sind" written by Sita C.Samtani
3. "Hiranand, the Soul of Sindh by Dayaram Gidumal by Sita C. Samtani
4. "Vidya 1909-1998," by Kamla High school, Bombay52.
5. "My Times" by Acharya J.B. Kripalani
6. "Vidya 1985," Kamla High School, Bombay 52.
7. "A Brief History of the Sind Brahma Samaj" by Dr. Bhagwandas D. Gurbaxani
8. "Success is Our Birthright" By Reena Rupani
9. "Taking the High Road" By Ram Buxani
10. "The Future of Pakistan." By Prof. D. H.Butani
11. "A Saga of Trials and triumphs of Sindhis" by Mira G. Advani
12. "The Advent of Advani" by Atmaram Kulkarni
13. "Sindh, A Scattered Treasure" by Popati Hiranandani
14. "National Integration of Sindhis"by Dr. Subhadra Anand
15. "Ram Jethmalani," Nalini Gera
16. "My Times" by J.B.Kripalani17.
17. "The Sindh Story" by K.R.Malkani
18. "Lal Advani, The Man and His Mission" by Gulab Vazirani
20. "Dr. L.H.Hiranandani, Born to Heal" by Subhadra Anand
21. "Cosmopolitan Connections" by Mark-Anthony Falzon
22. Those were the Days and then" by Mira Govind Advani
23. "Seth Naoomal Hotchand Bhojwani" by Lal Pushp
24. "History of Sindh" by Richard Burton
25. "The Aftermath" by Rajendra Prasad
26. "Sindhi Culture" by U.T. Thakur
27. "The Jagtiani Family" by Harish Jagtiani
28. "Mountbatten, the Private Story" by Brian Hoey
29. "Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel" by B. Krishna
30. "Sadhu T.L.Vaswani" by Mira G. Advani
31. "Freedom at Midnight" by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins
32. "Sind's Role in the Freedom Struggle" by Baldev Gajra
33. City of Hyderabad Sindh (712-1947)by Dr. Qammaruddin Bohra
34. "Jai Sadhubella" by Acharya Pandit Sitaram Chaturvedi
I am sure therefore on that front you are more or less convinced.
However, I would be happy if you could add references in your contention.
History is often written by victors, which does not mean it is true. Of course, Hindu Sindhis lost their ancestral homeland, and so we are no longer in posssession of the records in Sindh and that is our loss; however, it cannot be ruled out that "inconvenient documents' are often burnt or destroyed so that the victors appear faultless. To this extent it is possible for both sides to err.
That is why my book records first hand accounts, undiluted by political powers or vested interests.
This is the reason why I attempted to directly ask those who migrated what they had personally seen, what had happened to them, so that the truth may be obtained from ordinary Hindu Sindhis, from all parts of the world today, and from all parts of Sindh then, before the Partition.
I do believe that these people whether they were in Singapore or USA had no loyalties to the Congress or anybody and were really keen to be noted by history as having experienced certain events at that time. I don't believe any one of them lied to me, and they all spoke straight from their hearts, sometimes with a tear in their eye.
Further you remarked that this "mishandling of the situation" was because of "political parties including the Congress". While you have mentioned the Congress at several places you are reticent about the other political parties, which I believe is not being even-handed; also, you have not specified in which way these other political parties( Muslim League included) helped deprive Hindus of their Sindh homeland. It is important for us to be fair if we wish to obtain the truth, I have always believed this. I am sure you agree.
Additionally, I dont think Gandhiji wanted to be called "Father of the Nation" kindly let me have the source of this impression that you have formed about Gandhiji. If I remember correctly he used to get annoyed when somebody addressed him as "Mahatma". I agree with you that Congress made some mistakes( I have already said this in my history section) but why refrain from talking about the Muslim League and its role in this loss to Hindus?
I am surprised and dismayed that you believe that it was Gandhiji that caused the migration of Sindhis to secular India away from Islamic Pakistan. Yes, when he was repeatedly being told about the troubles to which the Hindus were being subjected he was forced to say this. What will a sane Hindu say to his fellow Hindus if he finds they are unequal to the Muslim numbers in Pakistan? How many Hindu Sindhis were there in Sindh? What was the climate like in those days? Did the Muslim migrants into Sindh come with anger, ambition and revenge when they arrived in Sindh? I am sure you can enlighten us on this as well.
Then in your second email you have claimed that there "were other reason responsible for victimization oif some individuals". Kindly furnish these reasons so I may be enlightened and be in a position to accept or refute the claim.
You also state that the masses were misguided, be so kind as to elaborate on this.
While the British were foreigners, it is true that when they took charge of Sindh Hindus were allowed certain humane rights like the right to buy land in their own ancestral home after so long! Don't you think that discriminating against Hindus when they were in power would have already damaged Hindu Muslim trust and relationship? Perhaps Seth Naomal may be seen differently by Muslims and Hindus, but it is a fact that under the British the Hindus in Sindh were accorded better status than under Islamic rule.
Of course the British made their mistakes and so did the Congress, but it is surprising that you have not said anything at all about Jinnah and the Muslim League. I don't believe that one can straight away go towards amity between Hindu and Muslim Sindhis all over the world by glossing over facts, or by keeping silent about inconvenient realities.
It is by being honest that we will have true peace, or else we will be just hoodwinking each other to come around to our point of view. And we know that this only creates more anger when discovered.
Kindly also let me know which history books I can obtain to learn more on this subject. Meanwhile it would be good if perhaps you too can read the stories of the Hindus who lost their homeland because they belonged to the wrong religion.
Respectfully from an Indian Hindu Sindhi,