By Prof. Dr. Satish Rohra
'TO EVERY CLOUD THERE IS A SILVER LINING' holds true for the present struggle to keep our Sindhi identity intact. On one hand, where the exposure, education and awareness about the Sindhi language is on a fast decline, on the other hand it is also true that more and more number of Sindhis are feeling the urge to preserve their cultural identity. The up coming generation has also woken up to the thought of asserting themselves and their identity in the global context. Their inferiority complex has given way to their eagerness to know about their roots. All those Sindhi families who previously used to shy away from including their surnames, lest their identity be revealed to others, have now started taking pride in their community and thereby adding writing their full names, with the surname ending with the suffix "ani" to their fore father’s names in order to have a sense of belonging to their clan. So much so that national leaders having a Sindhi origin also do not shy way from being known as Sindhis. Not only this, many leaders have gone to the extent of taking oath, on their swearing in ceremony, in the Sindhi language, in the Parliament, to show their kinship with the community.
India is a cauldron which has held hundreds of communities for thousands of years without any of them losing their distinct identity. Sindhis, too, have learnt this hard fact of Indian living and thereby moulded themselves accordingly. Even in small villages, where they live in small number, they have formed their associations and celebrate their new year i.e. ‘Cheti Chand’ with great pomp and show, thereby proclaiming the distinct cultural richness, heritage and identity.
Therefore, saying that the future of the community is bleak would not be a true statement. On the contrary, looking at the present scenario, one can say with firm conviction that the rich Sindhi cultural identity can not only be protected but also re-affirmed and re-established on the global map. Indian Institute of Sindhology, established at Adipur, is a living example of this fact and is actively working towards achieving its goal.