“The Parso Gidwani Centre of Sindhi Studies (PGCSS) was created in 2011 in memory of the Ethnolinguist Parso J. Gidwani (1937-2004) who was a pioneer in the field of Ethnology and Linguistics related to the Sindhi world. Born in Dadu, now Pakistan, Parso Gidwani migrated over to the newly framed borders of India as a boy and after completing a Ph. D. on Hindi and Sindhi Sufi poets, he joined the Deccan College in Poona as research assistant in the Department of Sindhi Linguistics. Dr Parso Gidwani discovered unknown Sindhi literature and dialects in India. Dr Parso Gidwani was aware of the ignorance regarding the culture of Sindh, in comparison to that of Punjab or Gujarat. He thus strived all his life to give evidence of the diversity and the prolificacy of his native culture. Moreover, he highlighted the common strands of culture among Sindhi Hindus and Muslims, outcastes and higher castes. The PGCSS results from the same wish to display Sindhi culture, history and society to a large audience, mainly academic but also to all those interested in Sindhi studies.
Sindh comes from Sindhu, the name given to the Indus River in the Rig Veda, the oldest Hindu scriptures probably written about the Second millennium B. C. The Indus Valley had already flourished on the banks of the river as the ancient city of Mohan jo Daro attests. After being visited by Alexander the Great in the 4th Century B. C., Sindh was a cradle for the development of a number of artistic and architectural traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Until the advent of the Europeans in South Asia, Sindh encompassed the South of present Pakistani Punjab, usually known as “Siraiki belt”. Soon after Sindh was conquered by the Arabs in the 8th Century, Sufism pervaded local societies. The main tariqas settled in the area, but moreover local Sufi persuasions also grew up as well as local panths like the Daryapanth and Nankpanth. Nowadays, Sindhi dialects are spoken in Sindh proper, as well as in other parts of Pakistan and India. For example, Jatki of the Jats in Banni, Kutch is a dialect of Sindhi. Last but not least, Sindhi is spoken in the diaspora through the networks built by Sindhi merchants over the centuries.
The main purposes of the PGCSS are:
1. To circulate Parso Gidwani’s works.
2. To connect scholars, students and those interested in Sindh related topics.
3. To collect data related to Sindh, in the fields of visual arts, literature or other artifacts.
4. To inform about academic events related to Sindhi studies.
5. To launch research programs on topics related to Sindhi world, especially in the fields of literature, culture, society and history.
6. To arrange academic conferences, meetings, workshops and talks.
7. To publish academic works.”