Cross-cultural devotional cult deeply rooted in Sindhi culture

March 25, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Dr. Thomas Darnhardt from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice on Tuesday pointed out the presence of a cross-cultural devotional cult, deeply rooted in the imagination of popular Sindhi culture in which both Hindu and Muslim devotees join in some places in Hyderabad, Thatta and Sukkur provinces of the Sindh.

He was presenting his paper ‘Multi-Cultural Perspective’ on second day of International Seminar ‘Sindh through Centuries’ organized by Sindh Madressatul Islam University at a local hotel in Karachi .

He analyzed figure and cult of Amarlal, the ‘immortal’ saint, also known as Jhulelal, the ‘swinging child’, as it is known among Hindus and the parallel cult of Khwaja Khizar, the mysterious guide of those endowed with spiritual insight dear to both trans-regional Sufis and local communities.

Mukhtar Ali Durrani, an Associate Professor at the Institute of Chemical Sciences, University of Peshawar presented his paper on ‘Tomb of Hamshera (sister) of Jam Fateh Khan at Makli Hill, Thatta, Sindh: History and Architecture’.

He said that the tomb of Hamsheera (sister) of Jam Fateh Khan was constructed in AD 1465. Her name is shrouded in mystery however the only one recognition as an important personality to be known in the historical and epigraphic sources is mentioned as Hamsheera Jam Fateh Khan, who remained the ruler of Sindh from AD 1413 to 1428.

Durrani stated that the tomb under study was constructed during the second half of the 15thcentury AD. This tomb as a whole reflects the beginning of a new style at Makli Hill necropolis that is the initiation of a perfect three-tier building architecture. In the present work, besides the historical significance and the architectural glory, the epigraphic evidences shall also be discussed at length in order to reach the conclusion.

Dr. Kamal Jamro, Chairman of the Department of Sindhi, Federal Urdu University, Karachi in his paper ‘An analysis of research on Sindhi folklore (1970-2013)’ said that folk literature is a real picture of the society. “It presents the portrait of any nation’s culture, traditions, rituals and rhythms of life. Folk poetry in particular can be thought of as a beautiful flower in a desert, which not only has an aesthetic charm but also an inimitable fragrance”, he said. According to him like other enlightened nations, Sindhi folk poetry is also very rich in thought and tune. Sindhi folk poetry has a huge impact on Sindhi society.

Zulfiqar Ali Qureshi, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Media Studies, University of Jamshoro presented his paper on ‘Peculiarity of vowels in Sindhi music communication’. According to him Sindhi music, basically, in its very nature is folk-oriented culture, therefore it has the distinct quality of having a huge number of vowels.

Dr Ahmad Hussain from University Of Haripur presented his paper on ‘Unfolding Nature, Vivacity and Life in Sind Culture through the accounted Behaviour among the Elites’. He said that the recognition of fundamental importance of greenery suggested a probe to be served in Sindh culture to know the deep roots it carried not only on common masses but also on privileged groups.

He stated that the human society and civilization in Sindh was greatly inspired and influenced by nature including rivers, plants and animal life. This was depicted by the agricultural practices along the Indus and forests of Indus, shrines of priests on scenic sites and the historical, fossil and archaeological record of civilizations and animal species.

Former Secretary Culture, Sindh Abdul Hamid Akhund in his presidential remarks said that culture of Sindh was not stagnant and resembled it with flowing water of Indus River. According to him archaeological sites of Gandhara and Mehr Garh were also part of Indus civilization.

Recalling first International Seminar ‘Sindh through Centuries’ held in 1975, Akhund told the audience that the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had viewed that Establishment would not tolerate such an event. Then Sindh minister Piyar Ali Allana was also called to Islamabad on that issue.