reminiscingpartition

We had to watch our language too, because Sindhi Hindus use many expressions associated with Muslims. Even today, the exclamation “Ya Allah” slips out rather than “Hey Baghwan”. So you can imagine how many such expressions my parents’ generation would have had to be careful to avoid.
— 

Sindhi Hindu woman, in an interview to researcher Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan

Excerpt from Sindh: Stories from a Lost Homeland

Reminiscing Partition: meat, slippers & laundry in Sindh & Gujarat

…during the first two years after partition we got the impression that others considered us Sindhis unclean. Partly it was because we ate meat; we wore slippers inside the house; we only washed our clothes once a week. But this was not because we were used to wearing dirty clothes! In Sindh, nobody washed clothes at home. Laundry was given to the dhobi who came once a week. During those years, it was difficult for us to explain that we were indeed Hindus. But soon enough many Sindhis found roots, partly by assimilating local culture; partly through goodwill and enterprise.

- Aruna Jethwani, born in 1940 in Hyderabad, Sindh. 

From Sindh: Stories from a Lost Homeland

Memoirs of a Young Sindhi Hindu Woman - Reminiscing Partition

Sindhi Hindu women never wore bindis and this bothered Gujaratis. You see, in Gujarat, wearing a bindi on forehead indicated that a woman was Hindu; Gujarati Muslim women did not wear bindis. This is how you can tell women from the two communities apart. Sindhi Hindu women began to wear bindis so that they would not be mistaken for Muslims.

Sindh: Stories from a Lost Homeland

Reminiscing Partition: Stories from Sindh - Allah Dino lies to rioters and sings Kabir.

      Cities Ran Amuck

Streets roared: “Allah-o-Akber!”
“Har har Mahadev!”
In Karachi, on 6 January 1948,
Huddled in a store room,
we waited with bated breath.
The world, it seemed,
would come to a sudden end.
“Hand over the kafirs in your house,”
the rioters demanded.
God’s good man, God himself,
Allahdino lied to them:
“The people you are looking for
sailed to Bombay yesterday.”
Allahdino was an ordinary man,
Sindhi and Sanskrit dino in his Muslim name.
Allahdino lied once again:
“The poor creatures migrated to India,
leaving behind their precious belongings.
Do you want those instead?”
And we waited with bated breath…..

- Motilal Jotwani (translated by Anju Makhija and Menka Shivdasani)

- Motilal’s father was a teacher in Karachi. He, with his other family members was huddled in a small storeroom of the house that day. Allahdino let the rioters take what they wanted, and then spent the rest of the day singing songs of Kabir with Motilal’s father.

 

From Sindh: Stories from a Lost Homeland (978-0-19-906861-6)

The discrimination Sindhis faced was subtle but always present. However, in 1960, Bombay State was divided into Maharshtra and Gujarat. The Gujaratis were a business community and there were not many with education or administrative experience. As a result, the top government positions in Gujarat went to Sindhis
—  Sindh: Stories from a Lost Homeland (978-0-19-906861-6)