Sindhis are across the border in Pakistan too.
There they write in the Perso-Arabic script, while in India the
Devanagari is used.
¤ The Origin of Sindhi
Sindhi is actually an offshoot of some of the dialects of the Vedic
Aryans. Sindh, on the north west of undivided India, had always been
the first to bear the onslaught of the never-ending invaders, and as
such absorbed Hindi, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, English and even
Portuguese. Sindh is where Persian and Indian cultures blended, for
the area was introduced to Islam in 712AD.
Thus, very little of Sindhi literature of the earlier period has
survived. The Summara and Summa periods are virtually blank except for
the few poems of Hamad, Raju and Isack. The heroic ballads of this
period set to music by Shah Abdul Karim (1538-1625) are the earliest
records of the Sindhi language.
¤ Great Sindhi Works
Real flourish of Sindhi poetic talent came during the last stages of
the 18th century. Although the time was not
appropriate for cultural developments as invaders repeatedly plundered
the country during this period. Several works like Shah Abdul Latifs
Shah-Jo-Rasalo, the magnum opus of Sindhi literature, were produced.
It describes the life of a common man, the sorrows and sufferings
of the ill-starred heroes of ancient folklore. Sachal, another
eminent, poet closely followed Shah Abdul Karim. He was a Sufi rebel
poet who did not adhere to any religion and denounced religious
radicals. The poet Saami was a complete contrast to Kari, more pious
than poetical, yet possessing a charm of his own. There was an excess
of songsters in Sindhi who recited similar ideas and themes in varied
tones. The notables among them are Bedil, his son Bekas, and Dalpat.
Gul Mohamad introduced Persian forms of poetry replacing the native
baits and Kafees. Mirza Kaleech Beg who composed on the same lines
contributed a lot to Sindhi literature.
¤ The Renowned Writers In Sindhi Literature
Dayaram Gidumal and Mirza Kaleech were two of the early prose
writers. The former was a great scholar and he was famous mainly for
his metaphysical writings. The noted lexicographer and essayist
Parmanand Mewaram wrote essays that educated and instructed both the
young and the old. This peer group also comprised of Bherumal
Meherchand, Lalchand Amardinomal and Jethmal Parsram, and Acharya
Gidwani, N. R. Malkani and Dr H. M. Gurbuxani. The Partition of India
however has not put a brake on the literary output of Sindhi.
Plays and poetry have continued to develop, but their themes have
changed. Music and beauty are no longer favoured, while poverty, filth
and moral degradation rule the mind of the poets.
A very crude variety of stories, though popular, are now the
representatives of the Sindhi literature.
Essay writing has witnessed a far greater interest on the side of the
writers. Sindhi literature is thus a far more junior member of the
family of Indian literature.