In a journal issue dealing with the relations between cities and rivers in South Asia (2014, republished in 2016), Rémy Delage and Delphine Ortis published an article (in French) dealing with the case study of Sehwan Sharif and the Indus:
“Relations between Sehwan Sharif and the Indus in Sind. Genealogy of a separation.” pp. 67-90.
“Up to the nineteenth century, the Indus made the fortune of the small town of Sehwan Sharif, located in central Sindh, in southern Pakistan. Today, the river is no longer the characterizing feature of this locality. This contribution traces the history of the fluctuating relationship between the town and the river up to the present day, where any direct references to the Indus in the local society have vanished. It is therefore a narrative of detachment, both physical and economical as well as ritual, which is considered here. We address specifically how the cult of the Indus, through its divine manifestation Udero Lāl, changed with the departure of the Hindu Sindhi community to India. Through the relationship to the holy figure which currently dominates in Sehwan, the Sufi saint La`l Shahbāz Qalandar, we will also show how the latter has come to encompass the deity of the river.”
Laurent Gayer is a Research Fellow at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), currently posted at the Centre de sciences humaines (CSH), Delhi. He is also Research Associate at the Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud, Paris.
“With an official population approaching fifteen million, Karachi is one of the largest cities in the world. It is also the most violent. Since the mid-1980s, it has endured endemic political conflict and criminal violence, which revolve around control of the city and its resources (votes, land and bhatta—‘protection’ money). These struggles for the city have become ethnicised. Karachi, often referred to as a ‘Pakistan in miniature,’ has become increasingly fragmented, socially as well as territorially. Continue reading Book: Karachi. Order Disorder and the Struggle for the City by Laurent Gayer
Dr Christophe Jaffrelot is Research Director at CNRS and teaches South Asian politics and history at Sciences Po (Paris).
“Pakistan was born as the creation of elite Urdu-speaking Muslims who sought to govern a state that would maintain their dominance. After rallying non-Urdu speaking leaders around him, Jinnah imposed a unitary definition of the new nation state that obliterated linguistic diversity. This centralisation — ‘justified’ by the Indian threat — fostered centrifugal forces that resulted in Bengali secessionism in 1971 and Baloch, as well as Mohajir, separatisms today. Continue reading Book: The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience by Christophe Jaffrelot
“The Balochistan Archives has an impressive collection of the official records, rare books, and rare photographs of the British period. The Directorate has catalogued 27,000 files for research purposes in addition to 29,000 files of defunct Commissioners’ Office. Our collections include the Agent to the Governor General (AGG) Balochistan’s Records (1831-1947), Revenue Commissioner’s Records (1855-1955), Chief Commissioner’s Records (1910-1937), and Balochistan Secretariat Records (1903-1954).” Continue reading Balochistan Archives now online
Sindhi is a language spoken as a mother tongue by 23.4 million people in Pakistan, where it is the official language of the province of Sindh, and 2.8 million people in India, where it enjoys official status since its inclusion in 1967 in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. Sindhi’s official recognition has given the language institutional support: the Sindhi Adabi Board and the Institute of Sindhology in Pakistan and the Sahitya Akademi in India which promote the publication of literature and research in Sindhi. Continue reading Learning Sindhi language in India
Second International Seminar on
“Sindh through the centuries”
Karachi, December 2013
“Sindh Madressatul Islam University is organizing Second International Seminar on “Sindh Through the Centuries” at Karachi in December 2013. The seminar will focus on history, culture, language, archeology, anthropology, cuisine, arts and crafts of Sindh, which has the distinction of being the seat of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Continue reading Call for papers: “Sindh through the centuries”, December 2013
This Workshop, whose proceedings will be conducted in English, aims to focus attention on the adaptation of the institutions and languages of Sufism to the political economy of different regions of Pakistan and to explore the potential of Sufism to negotiate the impact of radical Islam on the Pakistani state. Bringing together established and early career scholars working across a range of disciplines, including history, anthropology and political science, the Workshop is intended to deepen our understanding of Sufism in Pakistan not as a ‘degraded’ form of Islamic mysticism but as a living tradition ever responsive to wider social and political changes at the local and national levels. By doing so, it hopes to shed light on the resilience of Sufism to survive the challenge of more ‘modern’ forms of reformist Islam sweeping Pakistan as well as Sufism’s capacity to withstand the historical pressures brought to bear on it by the state’s own ‘modernist’ agenda. Continue reading Workshop: Pilgrims and Politics in Pakistan, 21 May 2013 (Paris)