Review of the Book, Case of Sindh by G.M.Syed

By Naveed Tajammal

G-M-SyedThe book, ”Case of Sindh”, was first published in an artificial language created by Reverend. Ernst Trumpp a German Christian missionary,which will be explained subsequently in this article, entitled ‘Sindh  Galha-ay-thee (Sindh speaks)1992 and was translated in English by Hameed Sabzoi 1994.

While giving grounds of his case G M Syed acknowledges that Sindh is a distinct Geographic entity where there are rivers, forests, lakes, mountains, deserts and verdant valleys. Through the ages it has been expanding and contracting. It has been independent and enslaved during various stages of its history but at the same time it has always had a pure and proud soul which has never accepted slavery or indignity. It has never surrendered to death despite the fact that attempts have been made to bend or break it. This spirit has flitted around Sindh like monsoon clouds as the last voice of the Dravidians of Moenjo daro. It has emerged from time to time. Sometimes in the shape of Raja Dahir, sometimes in the person of Dodo Sommro, sometimes in shape of Darya Khan and Maukhdum Bilawal and Shah Hyder Sannai. It has expressed itself in the love and the course of Shah Enayat. In the next para Syed adds, “I feel that these historic persons of Sindh have become part and parcel of my being which would like to reach a logical end now.” Without doubt it is Sindh’s geographic, national, political, economic, cultural and moral beauty which is the ingredients of its independence. It is the throbbing spirit which has forced me since early childhood to strive for the emancipation of Sindh and its people whatever shape my political struggle has taken south Asia; it has had but one local point-independence for Sindh. All that which I will now state about my political endeavors should be seen in the light of the submissions I have just made and so starts hereafter his case addressed to the court with ‘your honor!’ The 301 pages in this book are bitter with reproach and a unjustified lament, One would have given Mr. G.M Syed credit for his contribution in the making of Pakistan but his utterance on P-33 shows his true self, ‘I was aware even then (1940) that Muslim League was not an end in itself for me, but, a means to an end’ (P-33).

Keeping in view his venom, one tries to find the roots of the malady. The Crux, is, he is against Punjabi Bureaucracy its soldiery and the mind of U.P (P-46),but he never bothered to read how the geographic term Punjab was thrust upon upper Sindh by clever British in Cahoots with Hindu Bengali Babu’s in 1849 AD, after annexation of Sikh Kingdom, and that Punjabi as such was and is not our language, but a dialect created, by clash of two, Lhandha of west and Hindi of Par’ab, Vulg. Purbi [across the River/east]  over a long period of time the actual  historical/geographic Punjab, is now called East Punjab. It must be kept in mind here that, two alien languages, Urdu and English were likewise thrust upon us firstly in our Courts as they replaced our old laws by the Anglo-Saxon, 1850-1854.

The True ambition of Mr. G.M Syed and so his ends, was to remain within oneness of India. ‘I was for an independent India with complete autonomy for the provinces. It meant that there should be two federations, one for the provinces with Hindu Majority and other Muslim majority provinces and which two should for specific purposes act as a confederation on the bases of equality of members and ministers’ (P-81/82). In other words he wanted one federating part named as India and the other Pakistan. Which only shows how shallow his convictions for his version of Sindh were, Had he studied our past he would have understood that, when old historian referred to Sindh Va Hindh, The Sindh was the whole Indus Basin, and Hindh all those East of the line of Jumana [purbi].

G.M Syed was much impressed by a Hindu writer, Dwarka Parshad Sharma who wrote a book Sindh Ka Prachin Ittehas (part II) in which the author brings out a fallacious map of Vedic Era, and states that while Gandhara and Kekeya were indeed Sindh yet Sindhu Desh was an entity by itself. G.M Syed quotes sharma, in his book on P-215-217 and builds his case around it.

And so the concept of Sindhu Desh not realizing, that the word ‘desh’ is not found in any of the Dialects of Sindh Language. Here We find a repeat of what one saw later in East Pakistan, Hindu Sanskrit drunk intellectual of later half of 19the Century, had convinced the British that only recourse to have a stable Bengal devoid of Islam was to expunge its old Muslim Literature, leaving aside the deadly works of Tagore typical Hindu style outwardly sweet and inwardly poisoned, in 1880 the Bengal Government ordered that henceforth the perso-arabic Bengali script used in the Courts/offices was to be abolished, and Deva-nagri script was to be used in Print, and Kaithi script was to be used in all petitions or hand written. With no references left, for anybody to recheck from, so the field was cleared for likes of Tagore, who changed the literature of Bengal by infusing in the Hinduism to hilt not bothering that historically it had been Buddhist and later Muslim.

So British in cahoots with Hindu merchant wealthy classes who wanted to create a new language of  their Gold mine- Sindh and which they termed as lower and upper Sindh of Bombay Presidency hired the services of a Christian missionary, a German Rev. Dr. Ernst Trumpp who had been earlier entrusted with translating the Bible in local dialects of Sindh valley. This job of creating a new Grammar of new Sindhi, he completed in 1872 and dedicated the work to Sir Bartle Frere [who came from a staunch Christian clergy family] and was Chief- Commisioner of Upper and Lower Sindh Province, and later Governor of Bombay Presidency and remained much under influence of a Fanatic Hindu, Seth Naomul Hotchand who ensured, that the humble servant Ernst Trumpp should interpolate in a theory that Sindhi was indeed from Sanskrit Family and so the infusion of Kanuji Hindi Dialect Loan words in it ‘o’ ending and ‘jo’.Whereas the reality was pointed out by Prof. Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana of Institute of Sindhology publication number 176 [2002],on pages 68/69,clearly states that, The Language of Indus valley from pre-historic to present is the same as found in Lhandha-sindhi Group, After comparing morphological and syntactical patterns of Sindhi/saraiki/Lhandha, it has been proved that there is No relationship whatsoever, between them and Sanskrit !

This new artificial language of Ernst Trumpp was based on Vichla sub-dialect of Lar,The Lower Sindh had been the region which was gradually re-claimed from the sea and so ‘lar’ means the sloping grounds. The massive  flow of united waters of sindh river after Josh e Ab, as it enters Lar region becomes known as Mehran [great river] and ceases to be called Sindh, which had brought in silt from upper Sindh basin since ages and caused due to heavy silting this sloping Land and receding back of the Sea. The very Grammarian of this new language Ernst Trumpp states in the opening Page 2/3 of his book ‘Grammar of Sindhi Language (1872).The Northern or Saraiki Dialect has remained far more original has preserved the purity of pronunciation with more tenaciousness than southern one (Lar -Vichla)His humor is ironic as he further elucidates this point by giving a famous saying said in Sariki/sindhi- English translated as.

”The learned of ‘Lar’ is an ox in Upper Sindh”.

G.M Syed being from ‘Lar’ one need not add here more. G.M Syed declares Arabs as Barbarians who destroyed his mythical Raja Dahir and so ended his loved Hindu Rule in Sindh. Yet what he fails to comprehend is he himself in his book while narrating his background stresses forcibly that he belongs to an old saint family of Sindh which has lived here for 20 generations, which ironically is an Arab Family. Syeds, being pure Arabs from the Line of the Prophet. For a confused man like GM Syed who ends his-case of Sindh with a slogan, Jai- Sindh’. One cannot help be reminded of a letter written to GM Syed by his friend Pir Ali Mohammad Rashdi-in a jest that if he kept his rant of Sindhu-Desh his epitaph would be:

“Here lies a man who tried , who wanted good of evil. He started off as a revolutionary but ended up as an extreme reactionary’. And whose struggle in national affairs created confusion rather than improvement”.

Naveed Tajammal is a historical investigative journalist with over 30 years of research experience.

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  • Khan Zia  On August 4, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    There has been much myth making about nationalities in Pakistan by vested interests. Mostly it is aimed at creating mistrust and divisions in the country. It has succeeded to some extent largely because of compromised captive media and some educational institutions that have conspired to prevent the reality from becoming known, especially by the gullible and emotional youth. Lies, when repeated often enough tend to become the truth in the minds of the unwary.

    The areas that now comprise Pakistan have been culturally and economically interlinked since times immemorial as evident from the remains of Indus Valley Civilisation found not only in Sind but in Punjab and further north as well. It was River Indus and its tributaries that connected and unified the region as indeed they still do today. Contrary to popular misconception, Indus Valley Civilisation did not extend beyond Thar Desert into what is now India which was inhabited by entirely different people. Archaeological evidence indicates that whereas it had contacts and interactions with the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations in the west, its influence did not extend beyond Thar in the east.

    The name ‘Sind’ was given to the river by the Persians much later. It was originally called ‘Sir Hind’, meaning the start of Hind that later became shortened to Sind. Over time it came to include some areas bordering the river as well. There is no indigenous or ethnic basis to the name nor did it signify a well defined area with fixed boundaries. When the Arabs arrived in 711 AD they found a number of Hindu rajas ruling in different parts. These were later loosely governed by the Turks and Mughals until Ahmed Shah Abdali annexed these to his Afghan empire.

    The population of the area is neither unique nor exclusive. In present-day Sind, for instance, it includes the tribes of Shar, Magassi, Kulachi, Dodai, Chandio, Kaisarani, Jaskani, Gurchani, Shambani, Leghari, Bhutto, Nutkani, Khoso, Mahr, Gopang, Khoro, Quraishi, Punwar, Buladhi, Hasani, Lund, Lashari, Korai, Bhatti, Mirrani, Parihar, Almani, Umarani, Gabol, Jakhrani, Rind, Pitafi, Talpur, Jatoi, Bozdar, Mazari, Bijarani, to name a few that originated from Punjab and their parent tribes can still be found there (please see the three volumes of Sir Denzil Ibbetson’s and the Honourable Mr. E. D Maclegan’s census reports of 1883 and 1892 entitled ‘Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province’). The official language in Sind was Persian and not Sindhi until it was annexed by the British.

    Under the British Sind formed part of Bombay Presidency until 1935 when it was made a separate province. In the limited self-government that came with it Hindus dominated local and provincial politics. In Shikarpur, for instance, with more than ninety per cent Muslim population, only two of them could find seats on the district board as against fifteen Hindus. The following account mostly based on Sherbaz Khan Mazari’s excellent book A Journey to Disillusionment may make it easier for the reader to understand the nature of politics and political leaders in Sind.

    Muslim leadership in Sind was divided into three separate political factions. The two dominant among these were the Mirs who could count on the Baloch vote, by far the largest ethnic block in rural Sind. Opposed to them were the Syeds (Pirs) who relied on their religious following. The third faction consisted of the urban elite that lost most of its influence after the electorate was expanded many-fold under the 1937 India Act to include more rural population.

    The first government in Sind was formed by leader of the Sind Muslim Party Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, a lawyer from Hyderabad, with the help of the Mirs and their Baloch faction. Under his leadership Sind Assembly passed the resolution in 1938 demanding a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. It was the first and only provincial assembly to do so at the time and did it before the Lahore Resolution was adopted by the Muslim League. However this clarity of vision and unity of purpose did not extend to the floor of the house.

    Members of the Assembly crossed the floor back and forth at the slightest incentive or pretext. In March 1938 Hidayaullah was voted out of office and was replaced by Allah Bakhsh Soomro. This was the time when Congress had gone back on its promise made at the Round Table Conference to include representatives of minorities in the provincial cabinets it had formed and Jinnah travelled all over India to garner support for Muslim cause and the League.

    A provincial conference was held in Karachi in which Allah Bakhsh Soomro was expected to announce his decision to join the League along with members of his party but changed his mind at the last minute because of a more appealing offer from Congress. However, others including Abdullah Haroon, Hidayatullah, Banday Ali Talpur and G. M Syed went over to Muslim League, many of them for reasons of factional politics than anything else. Within a year Hidayatullah had deserted the League to become a member of the Allah Bakhsh Soomro’s cabinet and took the Mirs with him.

    The Soomro government collapsed in March 1940 and was replaced by a coalition formed with the help of Muslim League with Banday Ali Talpur as the chief minister. Both Jinnah and Abdullah Haroon, who was president of Sind Muslim League, were opposed to the idea but were prevailed upon by Ayub Khuro to go along. It was not a happy arrangement. The ministers were in it only for themselves and flagrantly disregarded All India Muslim League directives. Jinnah was left with little option but to call for the ministers’ resignations a year later.

    Once again Allah Bakhsh Soomro took over. He was asked by the Congress to give up the titles of OBE and Khan Bahadur bestowed by the British to comply with the Quit India Movement policy. When he did that the governor forced him to resign.

    In the meantime Abdullah Haroon had passed away and seeing an opportunity for himself Hidayaullah came back to the League fold and became the premier with the backing of the Mirs. This did not sit well with G. M Syed who was now the party president in the province and liked to champion the cause of the ethnic Sindhis against the Baloch Mirs. He consolidated his hold on Sind Muslim League by disqualifying all of its local branches that backed the Mirs, effectively splitting the party into two blocks.

    A bizarre situation arose with the murder of Allah Bakhsh Soomro in 1944 in which Ayub Khuro was alleged to have been involved. Hidayatullah and G. M Syed supported separate candidates in the by-election for the vacant seat in Shikarpur with the result that an outsider, Maula Bakhsh Soomro won. Soon, G. M Syed started to intrigue with Maula Bakhsh Soomro to bring down Hidayatullah’s government. When it became known to the latter he won over Soomro by making him a cabinet minister even though he was not a member of Muslim League. It was too much for Jinnah and he told Hidayatullah to sack Soomro unless he joined the League.

    This is when the British governor of Sind famously reported to the Viceroy, ‘Jinnah dislikes them all. He once told me he could buy the lot for five lakh rupees, to which I replied I could do it a lot cheaper.’

    Jinnah had set up a provincial board to allocate League tickets for the 1946 elections. Not finding its composition to his liking, G. M Syed adjourned its meeting. Jinnah referred the dispute to the League’s Central Parliamentary Committee led by Liaquat Ali Khan that ruled G. M Syed’s adjournment unconstitutional. In retaliation the latter called a meeting of the Provincial League Council to pass a motion of no confidence against Liaquat Ali Khan’s findings.

    In the circumstances it was decided that the election of candidates for the League tickets should be made by the Central Parliamentary Board. It angered G. M Syed who then proceeded to nominate his own candidates to oppose the Muslim League. This was an intolerable situation and G. M Syed was asked to leave which he did under a cloud of suspicion and accusations. Muslim League being the largest party in the assembly formed the government but its position became tenuous when G. M Syed joined hands with the Congress and other Hindu members.

    In September 1946 the governor finding it unworkable dissolved the Assembly and ordered fresh elections. This time G. M Syed was crushed by the Muslim League, winning only one seat in the entire house. He had shot himself in the foot by his anti Pakistan stance. The frustration and humiliation caused by his defeat turned into visceral hatred for both Jinnah and Pakistan —- hardly an exalted motive or an auspicious basis for a claim to nationhood.

    The writer is author of ‘Pakistan: Roots, Perspective and Genesis’ and ‘Muslims and the West: A Muslim Perspective’.

  • naveed tajammal  On August 5, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Thankyou for your comment Khanzia Sahib.The context of the article is a review on what Mr.G.M.Syed’s,Thinking/guide line given or his omission & commissions were,And how the Linguists classify the Lhandha/Sindhi group,as One,and that we have nothing in common with Sanskrit,nor is the word ‘Desh’ found in any of the dialects of Lhandha the Mother Language of Sindh valley Basin,And that Saraiki still remains unpolluted,and how the new sindhi Grammar was made and on whose behest and why so.And to clarify that Punjab geographic term was thrust upon us,only in 1849 AD,and old Thatta sarkar part of our very old Administrative unit Multan Suba[province] made into Upper/lower Sindh.
    Lastly do study if you can access the Zoological Survey of India Covering late 19th/early 20th century,which covers the skeletal remains found in old sites inclusive of mohen jo daro and likewise older sites,the survey was done by various surgeons[western] and local, they measured head & nasal cavities.And found that they were still the same of our local native tribes and differed with those in East,Immigration from East in our 9 canal colonies is recent and that from west or south west a little older.Our mother language had its own script,which Buddhist Monks used called Jataki,later termed as Lhandha script,If you can likewise access the 2007 Zakria university Multan Saraiki Dictionary by Sadullah khan,do read it for further enlightenment on the subject of languages and dialects that being the core issue discussed Here . Mazari’s book well he gives a impression that his lot were rulers of antiquity,pity he never read the old record of revenue much in detail and covers his tribes entry as Bond servants to old Nahar family of Sitpur,This family since days of Bahlol lodhi had been assigned the old trade route between multan and till Duki,now in loralia as well till Kashmore in the south Do keep in mind,if you study historical geography that River indus Till 1794 met the united waters of Chinab/Jhelum/ravi/trickle of beas at shahr sultan above present Alipur tehsil of district muzzafargarh.and sitpur had indus and its united waters flowing on its back.

  • Hassan Mahmood  On August 5, 2013 at 6:10 am

    It’s long debte need a samenar and speeches of Histrolecal Designates persons.about this topic.

    • naveed tajammal  On August 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      well said Hassan Mahmood sahib,however we also need to get out of this partition mindset as well re-birth of our sindh valley civilization was due,and a matter of Time.Partition is of a single entity,Not of two known in history.Sindh Va Hindh.

  • Rehan Rasheed  On August 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Yet another cogent analysis by Sir Naveed Tajammal. A very good narration of the facts. He has unzipped and exposed the wickedness in the personality of G.M. Syed, who had sown the seeds of hatred in Pakistan. The most unfortunate thing that happened to Pakistan is the bulk of traitors always trying to defame the very existence of Pakistan. The government should take stern actions against all these separatist movements including Balawaristan, Pashtunistan, Sindhu Desh and the Greater Balochistan concept to prevent clashes and conflict. But unfortunately our establishment has learnt nothing from the past and continue to tread the path which led to the separation of East Pakistan.

    • naveed tajammal  On August 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Thankyou Rehan Rasheed for the kind words.Indeed we should pinpoint the Tarred &Tainted lot.

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