“This book is about Pakistan’s most popular Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar whose shrine in Sehwan Sharif is one of the most fascinating sanctuaries in the Muslim world. At the time of pilgrimage, this flourishing cult centre becomes a vibrant place of ecstatic religiosity marked by intense forms of devotion. The present ethnographic study is organized around three themes: piety, pilgrimage, and ritual. Thus, its focus is first on visual culture and ‘material religion’ as well as various aspects of religious aesthetics which highlight how sacred spaces are constructed and shaped. Secondly, it deals with the year-round pilgrimage, mainly investigating pilgrims from Punjab (including a unique life history of a female ‘Sufi lineage’ from Lahore), but also discussing remarkable ritual agents in the cult. The third theme is the spectacular trance dance known as dhamāl. On February 16, 2017, a suicide bomber executed a horrible massacre among the dancing devotees.”
Kunbher, Khalid, Khana Badosh Qabeela (Nomadic Tribes), Sukkur, My Publication, 2020, 175 p.
Book review by Saba Sindhri (CEIAS-EHESS)
The book Khana Badosh Qabeela (Nomadic Tribes) ny Khalid Kunbher is a primary book in the studies of nomadic tribes in Sindh, published by My Publication, Sukkur, in 2020. Earlier texts on the subject include those by Khursheed Qaemkhani including, Bhatakti Naslen: Sindh ke khana badoshon ka Samaji Manzarnama (Wandering People: The Social Scenario of Nomads of Sindh) published by Rohtas books, Lahore, in 1999 and Jogi Basti (Jogi Settlement) published by Roshni Publication, Kandiaro, in 2015. Continue reading Book review: Khana Badosh Qabeela (Nomadic Tribes), Sukkur
Saaz Aggarwal (edited and curated by), Sindhi Tapestry. Reflections on the Sindhi Identities: An Anthology, Pune, Black and White Fountain, 2020, 432 p.
Book review by Jonathan Varghese (EHESS-CEIAS)
Curated by Saaz Aggarwal, Sindhi Tapestry represents the coming together of an ambitious assortment of personal memories and historical research about the Sindhi community within and outside of India. Each contribution can be individuated by the personal imprints of the respective writer. Continue reading Book Review: Sindhi Tapestry. Reflections on the Sindhi Identities: An Anthology
Jiskani, Lal Baksh, Sindhi Studies Culture and History, Karachi, Peacock Publishers, 2020, 264 pages.
Book review by Saba Sindhri (CEIAS-EHES)
Sindh Studies Culture and History is a recent publication (2020) by Peacock Publishers, Karachi authored by Sindhi historian, Lal Baksh Jiskani. He has worked with other Sindhi scholars like Dr. Hamida Khuro and Dr. N. A. Baloch and started the academic journal Grassroots, published from the Pakistani Study Center at the University of Sindh. He is associated with the Pakistan Study Centre as a professor.There have been many national and international scholarly works produced in the field of Sindhi Studies to which the current book by Jiskani attempts to contribute as well. The book is a careful effort to compile useful sources and includes a general introduction to a few personalities, movements, customs, and books on Sindh. Continue reading Book review: Sindhi Studies Culture and History
Murli Melwani, Beyond the Rainbow, Pune, Black-and-white Fountain, Pune, 2020, 232 pages.
Book review by Saaz Aggarwal
One of the most interesting aspects of the Sindhi diaspora are its many communities scattered in ports around the world, and this collection of fine short stories is an intimate glimpse into its realities by one of its members, Murli Melwani, professor at Sankerdev College, Shillong, Meghalaya (India). In the 1980s, political events in Shillong caused Murli to leave the home in which his family had settled after Partition. In his forties, he became a businessman, lived briefly in Hong Kong, then in Taiwan for twenty-five years, and eventually in 2005 moved to the US, where he now lives. Continue reading Book review: Beyond the Rainbow