Friday, October 13, 2006

Political impotence of Sindhis

I am not trying to exaggerate. I am trying to choose my words carefully.

I sense political helplessness among Sindhis every day as I (a) go through various newspapers including Kawish, (b) read emails on several Sindhi related lists, and (c) talk to politically aware people.

Through newspapers, we discover new injustices inflicted upon Sindh and Sindhis. Sale of the two islands is the latest discovery. On email lists and in our discussion groups, we talk and talk. We have come to expect that nothing will come out of the discussions. Many of our bright people have stopped reading these emails knowing that nothing will come out of it.

Our political parties and their leaders have effectively become helpless too. Our largest party and logical spokesman is perpetually rumored to be in political negotiations. Accordingly, they choose to remain silent on many Sindh issues. I pray that some day, they will be in a position to address Sindh issues. Our second largest party has chosen to be a part of the government. For them, "power today" is important, no matter what happens or does not happen to sindh or Sindhi people. Most of our national parties are reportedly sold out. One brave soul appears to be speaking and agitating but he is largely ignored by all those who matter.

Support from overseas has failed to arrive.

The net result is that the new masters have become bolder and bolder. They know that the natives are no match in any sense of the word. Like in British Raj, some bright and cooperative natives will continue to do well. The rest will be available for manual labor if and when needed.

To say the least, the net result is that Sindhis have become politically helpless. Is it fair to coin the phrase "impotant"? I think, the phrase is justified. It is time to face it.

Wise Sindhis hav begun to focus on more specific and action oriented items. Our new list "EducateSindh" and various project proposals are a right move in that direction. We must indeed become more specific and more practical. This is a right move in micro development sense. We need to help on individual and project basis. We need much more of this. This approach has potential of helping thousands.

However, the micro approach cannot solve the big problems. Big issues must be solved in political sense in the halls of political powers. The projects can establish two or ten or a hundred schools. Political decision can revitalize ove 20,000 schools in one go. We cannot give up that option or right.

So who is going to bell the cat? I can share the pain. I can help in specific projects. I can contribute some money for groups who who will work for welfare of our people. I can nudge and try to persuade others to do more for our community. I can pray for welfare of thirty million of our community. May be we can eventually we can get some one like the latest Nobel prize winner Muhammad Yunus and a Grameen Bank for Sindhis.

I know that we need effective political party and leader. Do we need some one like Altaf? We may not like him, but he appears to have done a lot for his community at expense of our community.

I know that nothing will come out of this discussion. I know that we cannot find a leader. I know.... But, we cannot give up. Forgive me for reminding you.

Your input and help towards development of Sindh is always welcome.

Ali Nawaz Memon
Sindh Development Institute
7204 Antares Drive Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA 20879


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