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Monday, 27 June 2011

History

History

Extent and major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization in pre-modern Pakistan and India 3000 BC.
Sindh's first known village settlements date as far back as 7000 BCE. Permanent settlements at Mehrgarh to the west expanded into Sindh. This culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization rivaled the contemporary civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in both size and scope numbering nearly half a million inhabitants at its height with well-planned grid cities and sewer systems.
Sindh was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the sixth century BC. In the late 300s BC, Sindh was conquered by a mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great. The region remained under control of Greek satraps only for a few decades. After Alexander's death, there was a brief period of Seleucid rule, before Sindh was traded to the Mauryan Empire led by Chandragupta in 305 BC. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist religion spread to Sindh.
Mauryan rule ended in 185 BC with the overthrow of the last king by the Sunga Dynasty. In the disorders that followed, Greek rule returned when Demetrius I of Bactria led a Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of northwestern lands, including Sindh. Demetrius was later defeated and killed by a usurper, but his descendants continued to rule Sindh and other lands as the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Under the reign of Menander I many Indo-Greeks followed his example and converted to Buddhism.

Arrival of Islam

Arrival of Islam

A manuscript written during the Abbasid Era.
In 711 AD, Muhammad ibn Qasim led an Umayyad force of 20,000 cavalry and 5 catapults, aided by local leaders such as: Mokah Basayah, Thakore of Bhatta, Ibn Wasayo. Muhammad bin Qasim eventually defeated the Brahman Raja Dahir, and captured the cities of Alor, Multan and Debal. They built the grand city of Mansura, historically known as a vibrant Sindhi Muslim city.
Sindh became the easternmost province of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphate, referred to as "Al-Sindh" on Arab maps, with lands further east known as "Hind". Muhammad bin Qasim built the city of Mansura as his capital; the city then produced famous historical figures such as Abu Mashar Sindhi, Abu Ata Sindhi, Abu Raja Sindhi and Sind ibn Ali. At the port city of Debal most of the Bawarij embraced Islam and became known as Sindhi Sailors; they became famous due to their skills in: navigation, geography and languages. In fact, they inspired the One Thousand and One Nights character Sindbad the Sailor[11] ("And thence we fared on to the land of Sind, where also we bought and sold") and Sindbad-Nameh (Book of Sindbad). By the year 750 AD, Debal was second only to Basra; Sindhi sailors from the port city of Debal voyaged to Basra, Bushehr, Musqat, Aden, Kilwa, Zanzibar, Sofala, Malabar, Sri Lanka and Java, where Sindhi merchants were known as the Santri.
In the year 725, Junayad, the Abbasid Emir of Sindh, started an expedition from Nerun. He commanded a large army under the Abbasid flag, combining Arab-Sindhi cavalry. His army conquered the Temple of Somnath, and returned victorious.

Cultural heritage

Cultural heritage

The ruins of an ancient mosque at Bhambore
Sindhi women collecting water from a reservoir on the way to Mubarak Village
Sindh has a rich heritage of traditional handicraft that has evolved over the centuries. Perhaps the most professed exposition of Sindhi culture is in the handicrafts of Hala, a town some 30 kilometres from Hyderabad. Hala's artisans manufacture high-quality and impressively priced wooden handicrafts, textiles, paintings, handmade paper products, and blue pottery. Lacquered wood works known as Jandi, painting on wood, tiles, and pottery known as Kashi, hand woven textiles including khadi, susi, and ajraks are synonymous with Sindhi culture preserved in Hala's handicraft.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (SMEDA) is planning to set up an organization of artisans to empower the community. SMEDA is also publishing a directory of the artisans so that exporters can directly contact them. Hala is the home of a remarkable variety of traditional crafts and traditional handicrafts that carry with them centuries of skill that has woven magic into the motifs and designs used.[citation needed]
Sindh is known the world over for its various handicrafts and arts. The work of Sindhi artisans was sold in ancient markets of Armenia, Baghdad, Basra, Istanbul, Cairo and Samarkand. Referring to the lacquer work on wood locally known as Jandi, T. Posten (an English traveller who visited Sindh in the early 19th century) asserted that the articles of Hala could be compared with exquisite specimens of China.[citation needed] Technological improvements such as the spinning wheel (charkha) and treadle (pai-chah) in the weaver's loom were gradually introduced and the processes of designing, dyeing and printing by block were refined. The refined, lightweight, colourful, washable fabrics from Hala became a luxury for people used to the woolens and linens of the age.

Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly

Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, spoke five languages including Sindhi, Kutchi, Urdu, Gujarati, and English.
The Sindh assembly was the first British Indian legislature to pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan. Influential Sindhi activists and important leaders at the forefront of the provincial autonomy movement, joined the Muslim League in 1938 and presented the Pakistan resolution in the Sindh Assembly.
In 1890 Sindh acquired representation for the first time in the Bombay Legislative Assembly. Four members represented Sindh. Those leaders and many others from Sindh played an important role in ensuring the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency, which finally took place on 1 April 1936.
The newly created province, Sindh, secured a Legislative Assembly of its own, elected on the basis of communal and minorities' representation. Sir Lancelot Graham was appointed as the first Governor of Sindh by the British Government on 1 April 1936. He was also the Head of the Council, which comprised 25 Members, including two advisors from the Bombay Council to administer the affairs of Sindh until 1937. The British ruled the area for a century. According to Richard Burton, Sindh was one of the most restive provinces during the British Raj and was home to many prominent Muslim leaders such as Ubaidullah Sindhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah who strove for greater Muslim autonomy.

British period

British period

The British East India Company made its first contacts in the Sindhi port city of Thatta, which according to a report was: "a city as large as London containing 50,000 houses which were made of stone and mortar with large verandahs some three or four stories high the...the city has 3000 looms...the textiles of Sind were the flower of the whole produce of the East, the international commerce of Sind gave it a place among that of Nations, Thatta has 400 schools and 4,000 Dhows at its docks, the city is guarded by well armed Sepoys..."
British and Bengal Presidency forces under General Charles James Napier arrived in Sindh in the nineteenth century and conquered Sindh in 1843. The Sindhi coalition led by Talpurs and Kalhoras under Mir Nasir Khan Talpur were defeated in the Battle of Miani, during which 50,000 Sindhis were killed. Shortly afterward, Hoshu Sheedi commanded another army at the Battle of Dubbo, where 5,000 Sindhis were killed. The first Agha Khan helped the British in their conquest of Sindh, and as result he was granted a lifetime pension.
A British Journal[18] by Thomas Postans, mentions the captive Sindhi Amirs: "The Amirs as being the prisoners of "Her Majesty"... they are maintained in strict seclusion; they are described as Broken-Hearted and Miserable men, maintaining much of the dignity of fallen greatness, and without any querulous or angry complaining at this unlivable source of sorrow, refusing to be comforted"
Emir Hosh Muhammad Sheedi (Hoshu Sheedi) at Dubbo
Within weeks, Charles Napier and his forces occupied Sindh. After 1853, the British divided Sindh into districts. In each district they recognized a wadera or aristocrat. Sindh was made a part of the Bombay Presidency.

Mughal period

Mughal period

The Pacco Qillo was established by Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro and had become one of the largest military garrisons in the region.
In the year 1524, the few remaining Sindhi Amirs welcomed the Mughal Empire and helped Babur defeat his Arghun enemies. Sindh became a region fiercely loyal to the Mughals. A network of forts manned by cavalry and musketeers further extended Mughal power in Sindh.[13][14]
In 1540 a deadly mutiny by Sher Shah Suri forced the Mughal Emperor Humayun to withdraw to Sindh, where he joined the Sindhi Emir Hussein Umrani. In 1541 Humayun married Hamida Banu Begum. She gave birth to the infant Akbar at Umarkot in the year 1542.
In 1556 the Ottoman Admiral Seydi Ali Reis visited Humayun; various regions of the South Asia including Sindh (Makran coast and the Mehran delta) are mentioned in his book Mirat ul Memalik. The Portuguese navigator Fernão Mendes Pinto claims that Sindhi sailors joined the Ottoman Admiral Kurtoğlu Hızır Reis on his expedetion to Aceh in 1565.[13][15]
During the reign of Akbar, Sindh produced various scholars such as and others such as Mir Ahmed Nasrallah Thattvi, Tahir Muhammad Thattvi and Mir Ali Sir Thattvi and the Mughal chronicler Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak and his brother the poet Faizi was a descendant of a Sindhi Shaikh family from Rel, Siwistan in Sindh. Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak was the author of Akbarnama (an official biographical account of Akbar) and the Ain-i-Akbari (a detailed document recording the administration of the Mughal Empire). It was also during the Mughal period when Sindhi literature began to flourish and historical figures such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast became prominent throughout the land.