Sindhi Literature


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sindhi Literature

 

the literature of the Sindhi people, who inhabit the region of Sind in the lower Indus Valley.

The oldest work of Sindhi literaure is the Sindhi Mahabhar-ata (ninth-tenth centuries), which is known from Arabic and Persian versions. For the most part, Sindhi literature comprises a. rich folklore: folk songs, romantic and heroic dastans, tales, and legends. There are surviving fragments of poetic works by the earliest poets (14th century), but the uninterrupted poetic tradition begins with the Sufi verses of Qadi Qadan Sehwani (died 1551) and Shah ‘Abdul Karim Bulri (1528–1623).

The greatest poet of the classical period was Shah ‘Abdul La-tif Bhitai (1689 or 1690–1752), who wrote The Book of the Shah; the main sections of this work are reworkings of popular folk dastans and songs. Well-known contemporaries included the poets Shah ‘Inayatullah Rizwi, Mahdum Muhammad Hasim, and Mahdum Diya’uddin Tattawi. Among those who continued in the tradition of Shah ‘Abdul Latif Bhitai were the lyric poet Sacal Sarmast (1739–1826), the author of popular songs, and Sami (1743–1850), whose work synthesized Sanskrit and Persian poetry; these poets introduced the genres of the doha, bait, sloka, sur, and kafi into Sindhi poetry. The influence of Persian poetry is seen in the first attempts to use the aruz system of versification; this influence increased during the 19th century. Sayyid Tabit ‘Ali Shah (1740–1810) was the first to compose a qasida in Sindhi, and Halifa Gul Muhammad (1809-56) published the first divan of ghazals. The poets Bedil (1814—73), Da-lapat (died 1841), and Bekas (1858–81) used images that were far removed from national traditions and that are characteristic of Middle Eastern Sufi poetry: the nightingale and the rose, the candle and the moth, the wine and the cupbearer, and so forth.

In the late 19th century an educational trend emerged that was headed by Mirza Qalic Beg (1853–1929). Prose and drama, which first appeared at this time, dealt with the national liberation struggle and the social emancipation of the people. The foundations of Sindhi prose were laid by Mirza Qalic Beg, Diwan Korumal Candani (died 1916), Diwan Gidumal (1857–1927), J. Parsram (died 1948), Bhiromal Meherchand (died 1950), and L. Amardinomal (died 1954). The first newspapers and magazines were published during this period.

Since the partition of India in 1947, Sindhi literature has developed in both India and Pakistan. Literary journals include Nain Dunya and Kahani in India and Mehran in Pakistan. Works of world literature are being translated into the Sindhi language. Realistic tendencies are becoming firmly established in the literature, and organizations of progressive writers have been created. The best-known contemporary poets are Narain Shyam, Anchal, Rahi, and Garadhan Mahbubui of India and Sheikh Ayaz (born 1923), Muhammad Bakhsh Wasif, and Ab-dur Razzak Raz of Pakistan. Prose writers include Ram Pan-jwani, Gobind Malhi, and Uttam of India and Amar Jalil, Tanwir Abbasi, Gamal Abro, and Anjam Halai of Pakistan.

REFERENCES

Sukhochev, A. S. “Literatura Pakistana.” In Pakistan. Moscow, 1966.
Pir Hasamuddin Rashidi. Sindhi adab. Karachi [no date].
Ajkabharatiya sahitya. Delhi, 1958.
Imroz, 1960, October 27.
“Sindhi adab nambar.” Naiqadren, 1973.
Saida Gazdar. “Sheikh Ayaz ke sath ek sam.” Pakistani adab, 1974, no. 1.
Chatterji, S. K. “An Early Arabic Version of the Mahabharata Story.” Indian Linguistics, 1950, vol. 11, parts 2–4.
Pakistan Year Book, 1969. Karachi, 1969.

A. S. SUKHOCHEV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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