[Author’s Note: Will and Ariel Durant’s book – The Story of Civilization’s first volume appeared in 1935 and a complete set of eleven volumes was published in 1975. The authors took more than four decades to complete the manuscript. The readers well received the book. Therefore, their presence was sought in radio shows and press briefings. Will Durant has mentioned in one of his interviews that most common question around the globe was: ‘what is most important in human civilization, Intelligence, health or character? Will Durant responded the question that first comes the character, then health, and in the last – intelligence. I believe so, and it is still relevant in all walks of life.
I am of the view that in Sindh’s politics Mr. GM Syed, the nationalist leader and founder of Jeay Sindh Movement, was the powerhouse of ideas, and torchbearer of morality. Let me not shy, and state that he was the only politician, who practiced his ethos across the board, irrespective of political differences, power, age, class, and gender. I had been pondering over to document Jeay Sindh workers’ personal encounters with GM Syed. I would like to share an incident of 1987, narrated by Mr. Moula Bux Buriro, who was senior member of Jeay Sindh Mahaz. Now onwards, such accounts would be the regular feature.]
Dr. Zaffar Junejo
GM Syed: A Portrayal of Forgiveness
It is the story of those days, when nationalism was a high-valued currency in Pakistani politics. At that time Sindh’s role in MRD Movement was a favorite topic among intelligentsia. On the other hand, the Martial Law of General Zia was losing its grip, and newspapers after a long silence had started publishing stories on politics. Meanwhile, Sindhi nationalists formed Sindh National Alliance (SNA). It was a mixed group of different ideologies. However, few of them were aspirant to take part in upcoming elections. The SNA’s strategy was to mobilize the masses. A series of public gatherings were planned. In most of the cases the active workers invited leaders to hold gatherings in their town or village. One of such event was held in Hala town. On the scheduled day, the event happened, but it started a bit late. The stage secretary through poetry and songs infused the spirit among the participants, but delay was irritating those who had travelled from distant places. For that reason, the speakers from the second tier of leadership were invited to deliver speeches. Finally, leaders were called, and Jeay Sindh Mahaz Chairman Abdul Wahid Arisar’s turn also came. The crowd gave him standing ovation. But after making a brief speech, he was seen bowing to one of the other leaders sitting at the stage. Perhaps it was his humbleness or something else, however the sensitive workers of Jeay Sindh Mahaz took his posture as an insult. Immediately, conspiracy theories came in.
Shortly, Abdul Wahid Arisar’s behavior was reported to Saeen GM Syed. Some people presented it with grudge, and a few reported it with a hope that there might be change in Arisar’s personality. Saeen GM Syed too was unhappy on such a behavior. These stories also reached to Abdul Wahid Arisar, who avoided visiting Sann. Almost all active workers of Jeay Sindh Mahaz noticed the strained situation. Now question was how to settle the issue. It was neither political issue nor it was strategic confusion. Arisar’s absence created a void, and opponent faction of Jeay Sindh Mahaz became active to fill the gap. Finally, some senior leaders of Jeay Sindh Mahaz – Mir Muhammad Pirzado, Mithal Mallah, Laong Khan Channo, and Moula Bux Boriro took Arisar along with them and went to Sann. They reached there before lunch time. They had lunch with Saeen GM Syed and conversed in detail. However, none of them raised Halla event.
At evening, the group begged to leave. At that time, Saeen GM Syed grasped Arisar’s hand, and said to him, ‘let me see you off at the gate.’ Moula Bux Buriro narrates that ‘Saeen GM Syed accompanied us; we crossed the gate, and when we approached the car, Saeen lumped to open the car’s door, we halted him in doing so. But then and there, he looked at Arisar, and said to him “you are head of the party, and being our leader, your respect is defined and due”. Moula Bux Buriro recalls that ‘it was too emotional scene for us, and our eyes became wet’. He ended the narration, ‘we sat in the car, and we all were silent.’
[author title=”Dr. Zaffar Junejo” image=”https://sindhcourier.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Dr.-Zaffar-Junejo-Sindh-Courier.jpg”]Dr. Zaffar Junejo has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Malaya. He is freelance writer and his areas of interest are post-colonial history, social history and peasants’ history.[/author]