The Sindhian World magazine mostly published articles and excerpts about history and Culture of Sindh
By Muhammad Habib Sanai
Few months back, when I shared the link of my write-up on renowned historian A.B. Advani published on Sindh Courier website, a well-known researcher and author Mr. Mukhtiar Ahmed Mallah immediately pointed out some omissions and errors in my article. He further informed me that Mr. Advani also used to contribute in other magazines published during pre-partition era in Sindh and particularly from Karachi, such as The Sindhian World and Meeran.
I requested Hafiz Ahmeduddin Indar Sahib to locate these magazines and if possible scan the articles of Advani in the issues of the magazines available in the research library of Institute of Sindhiology, Jamshoro. Hafiz sahib obliged and was fortunate to find and scan some issues of the bi-monthly magazine The Sindhian World, pertaining to its first volume.
This magazine in English was published from Saddar, Karachi and its editor as well publisher was Mr. J. A. Jagtiani, whose further details are still unknown to me. Mr. Jagtiani in the editorial of the first issue informs that the first book “The Memoirs of Seth Naoomal”, he read, was not for interest in history but “Out of curiosity, because the book contained information about my mother’s great grandfather.” However, this book stimulated his interest in history of Sindh, so since then for reading, he searched history books, which were difficult to procure or not easily available in public libraries. He concludes his editorial with the words: “It is necessary, for the correct understanding of nation, not only to read its history, but is also essential to read and understand its folklore, proverbs, poetry and traditions and study the climate, geology, archaeology, ethnology, epigraphy, fauna and flora of the country inhabited, for it is all these things taken together that portray the special characteristics of a nation and its country.”
As there is no mention of month and year on the title of the first issue, therefore it is assumed that it might have been published in the year 1939. Second issue is unavailable, however third issue was published in February, 1940, the fifth in December, 1940 and sixth and last issue of first Volume in July, 1941.
In the editorial of sixth issue, Mr. Jagtiani writes: “Under the circumstances, after careful consideration, I have decided to publish the Sindhian World as a quarterly in future. Ten pages, however will be added to each issue to the usual 60 pages … This journal is only publication in Sind which reveals Sind’s thoughts, culture, history, manners and customs to the world.”
This magazine mostly published articles and excerpts about history and Culture of Sindh. Mr. Jagtiani also used to abridge and glean the excerpts about Sindh from rare books, such as autobiography of Lutufullah, Cock fight by Richard Burton, rough notes on campaign of Sind and Afghanistan by Major J. Outram etc.
In the five issues of first volume, six articles of A B Advani, three essays by Dingu K. Thadhani, two each by C.L. Mariwala and Bherumal Mahirchand, second installment of article about history of Cricket in Karachi by J. Naoomal, and one write- up each by M. B. Pithawala, Jethmal Parsram, Asanand Mamturai, Dr. Adrian Duart, N. M. Billimoria and H.T Lambrick, and others and one poem by Mrs. Elsa Kazi have been included.
Pictures of the titles, lists of contents and editorials of some issues are shared here with the hope that other researchers will try to locate further issues of this magazine, which indeed has played an important role in the history and culture studies of Sindh.
Muhammad Habib Sanai, based in Hala town of Sindh, is a researcher and freelance writer.