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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Notes From My Memory: Mir Thebo

Author, Mir Thebo
About me:

I was born in the undivided India, under the Birtish Raj, 6 months before the creation of God's country, Pakistan, in a little village, Ghari of Dadu district to a small landlord and a Sindhi writer Badam Natawan. I went to school in Shikarpur and did my masters from Sindh University in Political Science. I m not a writer but got this little gift from my mother and read lot of classic literature by authors like Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Franz Kafka, Victor Hugo, Rousseau, Balzac, Hermann Hesse, Sartre, Camus, Virginia Wolf, Hemingway and some others. Although these writers don’t make you a revolutionary, they can make you a humanist, romantic, aesthetic or someone who could be anti war or feels for the sufferings of fellow human beings. 
Renowned writer Ms Badam Natawan

It was my landlord father’s continuous fights with his writer wife who pushed me to the revolutionary ideas. I became a leftist with little bit nationalist feelings and joined the democratic left movement. I was sent behind the bars three times and punished by summary military courts. I started writing actually after dacoits kidnapped me for ransom. I wrote a graphic account about the life with them. It became popular and I started writing on other issues.

I left politics after that and became a free man. I like reading, writing, listening to music, having drinks with friends and indulge in some gossip. I like vagabond and bohemian way of life though here in America, I work just to live. But I like homeless and hippy people here. I love Sindh very much but not at the cost of my life. You may call me a pseudo lover of Sindh. I love this land, America too, a clean and beautiful country, which allowed me to live a better life.

The idea of writing these notes popped up when I wrote few lines on G. M. Syed on 15th January this year. There was a gathering in Houston, TX on 16th January to celebrate G. M. Syed’s birth anniversary. I was invited to attend but couldn’t go, as Saturdays are busy at my work and couldn’t take a day off.  When some friends read my note that day, they insisted that I write more on G. M. Syed. In the next few days, I wrote some more notes, which will be serialized here. Since I am at it, I’ll write on some more personalities and events in the coming days for Indus Herald.  
G. M. Syed, explaining a point

I like G. M. Syed but not his fanatic followers because if you differ with them even slightly, they will consider you an enemy of Syed and Sindh. I have few memories of G. M. SYED and his politics that I can share with you.

According to Wikipedia, G. M. Syed was a political leader who pioneered the Jeay Sindh movement for the freedom of Sindh from Pakistan. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern Sindhi nationalism. In 1930 he founded the Sindh Hari Committee, later led by Hyder Bux Jatoi.

In the days to come, I will share with you my memories of events and personalities, and sometimes my views of them, from the years 1960s to 1990s.

I must confess, I am neither a master of eloquence nor have the quality of expressiveness and really don’t know where to start. I’ll write down whatever comes to my mind of those years.
Gen. Ayub Khan, who took over in 1958

My memories go back to 1960s. During that whole decade, the country suffered under the dictatorship of Gen. Ayub Khan. All the political activities were banned and newspapers were censored. There was complete silence. The party (Communist Party) decided to break the political silence and approached G. M. Syed. At that time he was friend of the party. There was trust between the two.

G. M. Syed and the party decided to form Bazm-e-Sufiya-e-Sindh. It was apparently a non-political organization but it included mostly political activists. The first meeting of the organization was held at Besant hall in Hyderabad, Sindh. (See photo at the bottom). Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo and Shaikh Ayaz also participated. There were some other Syeds present at the meeting besides G. M. Syed. One party worker criticized G. M. Syed for that and accused him that he was again taking the people to Syeds and landlords. Syed is very famous for his anger but he was very cool at that time and very politely convinced the comrade that the “Bazm” was not a political platform. I found him a good tactician who could handle a difficult situation.

After some political relaxation came and fear from Ayub Khan subsided, many politicians from Sindh gathered around G. M. Syed and nationalism became a dominant trend. Syed called a big conference at his hometown, Sann. A large number of political workers, student activists, peasants, writers, poets and intellectuals like Shaikh Ayaz, Tanvir Abbasi and Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo and others participated. Many feudal lords were also present at the conference.

Continued …

Besant Hall, Hyderabad, Sindh
It was established in February 1901 by Theosophical Society. It was named after Ms. Annie Wood Besant who was a prominent Theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator.


  1. Dear Mir sahab:
    I like your candour and the open style with which you are approaching the subject. You could be a wonderful writer and narrator of this not so well known story of Pakistani left and its known and not so well-known players.
    Please keep it up!
    ijaz syed

  2. very interesting. Will be waiting for the next post.

  3. Waiting for the next post


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