Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jhulelal/ Zinda-pir/ Damadam Mast Kalandar

This is in continuation of my previous post on the oneness of God. This isn't exactly my forte so am using religious texts, references from all over to compose these posts.

This is about Jhulelal, the reverend Sindhi God from the Sindhu (Indus). His single most important contribution to the Hindus of Sindh was to let them be Hindus under a tyrant Muslim ruler bent upon converting them to Islam. Also known as Uderolal, he was born out of a prophecy by the Water god. Interestingly, in the pre-partition days of Sindh (and often even now), it was not uncommon for Muslims to pay homage to Hindu Gods and vice-versa. Jhulelal was foremost amongst these Gods, he is claimed by both the sects - as God himself by the Hindus and a Pir by the Muslims. The more common name for the Muslims is Zinda Pir.

An exceptionally beautiful example of this is the song 'dama dam mast kalandar'. You never really know if its a tribute to a Hindu God or a Muslim. God becomes one here for everyone. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sang it beautifully, and so did Runa Laila from the then East Pakistan. Here is a version by Abeeda Parveen.



Researching for just these few lines here, made me feel so low about the Sindhi Hindus who were forced to vacate their land in the modern day Pakistan. The exodus was more peaceful than Punjab, but involved a huge displacement of population. I wonder if its the right time to ponder over this, but the man-made boundaries divided people who had learnt to live together in harmony and even believe in the same God. Half the Sindhis are away from what made them Sindhis, Sindh and Sindhu. But life goes on. We survive.

p.s. this post is derived from a various sources, there might be some errors, would love to know about them, if any.

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