Book: Historical Dictionary of the Sufi Culture of Sindh in Pakistan and India by Michel Boivin

Michel Boivin, Historical Dictionary of the Sufi Culture of Sindh in Pakistan and India, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Michel Boivin is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for South Asian Studies, CNRS-EHESS, in Paris.

“This book tackles the issue of delimiting Sufism: where does it start and where does it end? Speaking about Sufism does not typically account for its wide range of influence on societies and cultures. Thus this Dictionary aims to highlight the extent of Sufism’s reach, specifically in the context of Sindh. Various forms and Continue reading Book: Historical Dictionary of the Sufi Culture of Sindh in Pakistan and India by Michel Boivin

Article: Relations between Sehwan Sharif and the Indus in Sindh. Genealogy of a separation, by Delage and Ortis

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.”

Book: Karachi. Order Disorder and the Struggle for the City by Laurent Gayer

Laurent Gayer, Karachi: Order Disorder and the Struggle for the City, London: Hurst, 2014.

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

Book: The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience by Christophe Jaffrelot

Jaffrelot, C., 2014, The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience, Hurst Publishers.

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

Balochistan Archives now online

“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

Learning Sindhi language in India

Learning Sindhi

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

Society, Culture and Territory