By Prof. Dr. Satish Rohra
Many of us, especially the younger generation, experience a feeling of shame on being called a 'Sindhi', and, therefore, try to hide our identity. What is the reason that makes us ashamed of being called Sindhis ? Actually, one feels ashamed of an act which is socially unacceptable. When any of our close relatives commits a disgraceful act, we try to keep him at a distance. If someone asks, is he related to you, we try to pretend that we know him not. But when our distant relative performs a praise worthy deed, we immediately announce that he is our most near and dear one and take pride in his achievement.
Same is true for the communities as well. If a person can give the reference of good acts and deeds of his community, he would try to connect himself with it willingly and share its credit. But if his community is notorious for its misdeeds, the person would not share its descredit and try to disconnect from it.
No Bengali would like to run away from his community as he has many splendid references like Vivekananda, Tagore, Subhash Chandra Bose, National Anthem, etc. of which he rightly feels proud.
No Maharashtrian would like to disengage from his community as he has excellent references like Shivaji, Tilak, Ranade, Sawarkar and today's superstar of cricket Tendulkar. Gujaratis too have Dayananda, Gandhi, Patel and many more references not to feel ashamed of or hide their identity. But a Sindhi ....... ? He feels confused. He wonders what has he to show to the world. No doubt, many Sindhis have earned plenty of money and some of them make a vulgar display of it, but this will not give any feeling of pride to the youngsters, instead they would definitely feel ashamed to call themselves Sindhi!! I am reminded of an incident. I was in Delhi then. Narendra Hirwani took sixteen wickets of West Indies in a Madras Test Match. All the Sindhi youngesters of Karol Bagh were jumping with joy and yelling from the roof tops of their houses. They were proudly declaring to the world that "Narendra is our own Sindhi boy". Just one Sindhi boy, by playing a splendid game, made his community proud. On the same lines, if Lal Krishna Advani becomes the Prime Minister of the country, every Sindhi, irrespective of the party he belongs to, shall definitely feel proud to call himself a Sindhi.
The dire need of our community is to let new generation know the credit worthy aspects of our community, make them aware of our rich heritage and history, the great saints and poets of the land and the excellent language and literature. Let us provide them with these references which would give them an opportunity to feel proud of calling themselves Sindhis.
We should remember and tell our children as well, that if the Sindhi community is not superior to other communities, it is not inferior either. There are both good and bad elements present in every community. Therefore, we are equal among the equals. If it is not shameful to call oneself a Bengali or a Gujarati, why then should it become shameful to call oneself a Sindhi?