History of Sindh in a Galance By:G M Sayed
SINDHU DESH is that part of the Indian Subcontinent to Its Nature has entrusted from time immemorial a vast area of rich and cultivable land, with plenty of water flowing in the river Indus as also, with a bounty of long seashore, which enabled the natives of this land to acquire a rich heritage of refined culture and civilization, for their citizens in the prehistoric period of this region.
Tracing history through the archeological findings, it revealed that long before the past five thousand years, this country had progressed on the path of civilization, carrying the citizenship of their inhabitants at par with the ancient civilization of Egypt, Summeria, Assinay and Babul, etc.
According to some historians, many of the ancient dwellers those in fact led their people towards the highly civilized society of olden days were of Dravadian origin. Where from and when they came to settle on this soil, history seems to be silent. However, with a number of discoveries of the archeology, a few folklore and anecdotes in this respect are referred to. One important disclosure is that about twenty-five thousand (25,000) years ago in the Mediterranean Sea, there used to be a subcontinent by the name Mediterranean where several millions of people lived.
They may have developed their own culture, tradition and civilization after hundreds of thousands of years of experience. Several scholars opined that geological changes occurred due to some unknown natural catastrophe with a severe earthquake, which caused the Mediterranean subcontinent to submerge into the sea because of the tidal waves rushing on from the sides of Gibraltar and Dardanelles. Thus the subcontinent disappeared, giving out the present name of the sea as Mediterranean .
Because of this calamity, probably millions of people along with their heritage and culture were destroyed, leaving behind only a few traces like the Island of CRETE and others. Out of this adversity only a few clan could manage to escape.
Later on, one after the other, they migrated via Middle East to Sindhu Desh to settle here normally along the banks of the Indus River. They built up a new civilization resembling that of Egypt, Summeria, Assyria and Babylon, which were known the old Mediterranean civilization.
The Dravadian flourished and dominated the entire region, reigning in the Indus Valley for about fifteen hundred years before Christ i.e. thirty-seven hundred (3,700) years ago, the Aryans from Mid-Asia, pushing forcibly many of the Darvadians towards South India.
While combating, the Darvadians were massacred in a large number, and very many were captured to remain as captives and slaves. Those men and women were later declared as scheduled caste i.e. the ACHUTES and DASIS.
Afterwards, the Aryans dislodged the prevailing traditions and culture. Instead, the new rituals, heritage, traditions and culture singling to that of the Dravadian color custom and creed were practiced and installed. The signs of this duplex civilization are found in the primitive society. So this version seems to be correct that the Dravadian originally belonged to the old Mediterranean civilization.
Since their inception the inhabitants of this valley, that is, the Sindhu Deshies lived in peace and tranquility advancing their culture, trade and commerce solely because of their rich natural resources. Yet, the impetus of theirs remained hampered due to various reasons.
The valley being in the seismic zone suffered many onslaughts of earthquakes, which caused major damage and destruction to life and property.
Hence, the changing geographical conditions readily brought in the environmental changes. This affected the monsoons, inundated in Indus basin and turned over the course of the river.
Moreover, repeated attacks of the powerful belligerent alien invaders and their subjugation with the dictates of their imperialist design hindered not only the polity and economy of Sindhu Desh, but also handicapped the natural growth of their sagacity and intellect.
Whenever an assessment is made of the evolutionary process of the Indus valley, it appears as a battlefield of many wars, which were fought in the past by the sons of the soil, just to resist against the hegemony and domination of the foreign rulers.
The history of this region reveals that the valley remained under the domination of the foreigners for quite a long period. Five hundred years before Christ, it remained under the yoke of the Iranian Empire. They exploited its natural resources to become even richer. Significant traces of the Persian rules and domination are visible in their architectural style of construction and town planning. These may still be seen in Birhamanabad, Bhambhore and Ranikot. Thereafter, Alexander the Great dominated Iran.
The Indus valley, being a part of the Iranian Empire, also came into his hands. Its lakes,rivers, forests, pastures, fertile lands and ocean etched Sindh So, with a royal decree, the ancient Sindhu desh became a center of power for his dynasty. He ruled over the valley, though for a short time. After his demise one of his Generals, Demittress arrived in Sindh. He occupied Patyala i.e. the modern Hyderabad Sindh. He also ruled and exploited the dwellers for some time. The monuments and coins collected from the ruins speak about the Grecian domination over Sindh. During the Greek imperialist rule, the Sindhis revolted many times and finally they succeeded in ousting the alien ruler. Yet the effects of their valiant attempt did not last long as they were soon subdued and had to surrender again to the Sassanian rulers of Iran.
In the 7th century, the Arabs too entered Sindhu Desh, as conquerors. But later on when their grip slackened, the Pathans, the people from North Western part of undivided India often plundered and looted the local people. After that the local tribesmen, the descendants of Soomras and Samas, gained power. They ruled Sindh for a span stretching over three to four hundred years. The reign of Samas and Soomras also came to an end. They too submitted before the Arghoons and Turkhans.
So the continued exercise of changing hands from one dynasty to the other ultimately brought in the Mughal Emperors. During their reign the colonization of Sindh continued. When the Mughal Empire of Delhi became weak and broke into fragments, an independent state in Sindh emerged under the leadership of Kalhoras and Talpurs. It existed till the advent of the British rule. The Agents of the British Imperialism, for their vested interests, attached Sindh with Bombay Presidency. They ruled Sindh through Bombay for about a hundred years Their rule proved a terrible experience for the people of Sindh who suffered humiliation in almost every walk of life. During this long span of time, the plight of the common man was most pitiable. Not an iota of social uplift could be seen in any aspect of life. Political slavery had its effects on social conditions, which remained as coercive as the Serfdom in the Medieval Poland. The tyrannical colonial rule, with its unjust gross injustice, exasperated the people to, launch a campaign against the British Government for separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency. The constant struggle of the people at last bore fruit and in 1936, Sindh consequently got its recognition, though unfortunately in the shape of a province. The Sindhis did have a distaste once again, but they nurtured the hope that, after the shackles of slavery were done away with, Sindhu Desh would emerge and exist as an independent and sovereign state in the community of nations.
For a variety of reasons such as the political motivation of men with vested interests, their mutual differences, lack of foresight and the ignorance of the masses, the real objectives of freedom could not be achieved in 1947. Pakistan came into being because the Britisher were compelled to leave the Sub-continent, dividing it into Bharat and Pakistan on the basis of the so-called two- nation theory. The then Pakistan consisted of two wings i.e. East Pakistan and West Pakistan. In fact, it was an unnatural demarcation, as both the parts were situated more than a thousand of miles away from each other. So it did not work for long and the very theory of ‘two- nations’ flopped with the creation of Bangla Desh.
Under this umbrella, tyrants and corrupt Military high-ups and the top bureaucrats of Punjab strengthened and stabilized the Punjabi imperialistic design so much so that it culminated in the defacto rule of the state of Punjab over the entire Pakistan. The people of the Punjab being in a majority always framed and approved such a constitution that Sindh, Baluchistan and the Frontier provinces remained at their mercy, having no recognition as Sindhis, Baluchis and Pukhtoons, in the so-called state of Pakistan.
The people of Sindh are not like the wise men of Gothum, who could be beguiled for long on one pretext or the other. They know that their land is full of treasure, its natural resources and income are far more than its encumbrances. It was because of the richness of resources that in olden days and in the recent past many foreign rulers like Iranians, Arabians, and Europeans were tempted to occupy and take control of the region.
The majority of dwellers in Sindh have enjoyed the pleasures of life through their trade, agriculture, farming and cattle-breeding. These farmers, traders and shepherds have lived comfortably in peace and harmony for long. So characteristically they have become non- violent and non-adventurous, but they are now being dubbed as lethargic or Epicurean. Besides, they are also being regarded as docile. At the same time, there are voices, which claim that the Sindhis are being reduced to the level of ‘Red Indians’ in America. These aberrations are made because, basically and essentially, the Sindhis are peace loving people. Even during the days of their pristine glory, they have never indulged in threatening the territorial integrity of their neighbors.
A dialectical approach in the last five thousand years history of Sindhi reveals that the fate of the people of the area is like that of the tidal wage, which fluctuates periodically. After the wave has passed, the surface of the sea becomes smooth again. This change is significant. It is as if night has changed into day. When there had been a foreign domination it was a dark period for them. So the locals remained fast asleep; but when the foreign domination ended, the daylight appeared. Then they worked hard, shoulder to shoulder, from dawn to dusk, just to march forward on the path of progress. In this way they enjoyed the fluctuating fortunes of life with the passage of time. The repeated domination of different imperialist powers did try to subdue them but they remained contented, patient and timid even to such an extent that many a myopic man believed that they have lost their national pride and thus the very spirit of their patriotism is eclipsed.
Nowadays, throughout Pakistan, the Punjabi Imperialism is at its peak. This design of the imperialist rule has subjugated the people of Sindh. While facing the brunt of the Punjabis they are subjected to all kinds of miseries. As a result of the economic exploitation, the poor are made poorer. The’ heavy influx of the alien people in Sindh is a part of planned colonization. In this way an attempt is made to convert the majority of Sindhis into an abject minority. The state of Punjab wants to obliterate the proven history of Sindh as its being a separate state and nation, having its own creed, heritage, culture, language and traditions. In the wake of the present conditions, the Sindhis should strive to rise to the occasion in order to save their motherland. I am confident that they will redeem Sindh from the cruel clutches of usurpers. History is a testimony that the Sindhis have always proved as the valiant sons of their country.
(This article is taken from the Preface of Book of ‘Sindhudesh; The Case yet to settle’ ; Written by GM Sayed, Translated by Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo)