By Shujauddin Qureshi
KARACHI, May 9: Due to coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the Sindh government did not officially observe the 199th annual Urs of Sufi poet Hazrat Sachal Sarmast in Daraza Sharif, Khairpur district this year. A group of Sachal’s followers and social activists, however, celebrated the Urs on cyberspace in which participants from Pakistan, England, Hungary, Canada, Bahrain, Oman, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Finland and other countries of the world participated online.
On Friday evening an online lecture was simultaneously organized at the Zoom platform of cyberspace as well as the social media site Facebook, in which noted scholar and writer Jami Chandio delivered his talk on the life and poetry work of Sachal Sarmast, who is a great Sufi of sub-continent and a resistance poet of Sindhi and Siraiki languages. Jami said Sachal also recited poetry in Persian and Urdu languages. “It is incorrect to say that Sachal had recited his poetry in seven languages,” Chandio revealed.
On Saturday a live coverage of the recital of poetry by traditional singers’ groups at the Mazar of Sachal Sarmast was live telecasted on social media. An online Mushaira was also held on Saturday evening.
In his keynote address, scholar Jami Chandio said that Sachal himself destroyed all his poetry during his lifetime and whatever poetry is available to us was in fact the poetry of Sachal, which was remembered by his followers. Two collections of Sachal’s Sindhi and Seraiki poetry in book forms are printed by the Sindhi Adabi Board. However a lot of poetry in Persian and Urdu languages is still unpublished but available to his followers. To a question, Chandio said the translation of the Persian poetry of Sachal is also available.
Jami Chandio said like other poets of Sindh, Sachal Sarmast also gave a message of religious harmony and social cohesion. Sachal condemned the clerics, who were spreading religious hatred in the society. “His poetry is full of messages of Wahdatul Wujood (oneness of being or unity of existence) initiated by Mansour Al-Hallaj.
Chandio expressed his disappointment that there is little research on the poetry of Sachal Sarmast available. Even in Urdu literature and poetry circles, there is no mention of the poetry of Sachal Sarmast, he remarked.
Jami said whatever intellectual and research work on Sachal is available is in fact an effort by individual scholars. A little research work has been done by the official Sachal Chair at Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai University Khairpure. It publishes a Journal annually, but currently, it is not doing any worth-mentioning research on Sachal.
Jami admitted that he himself has not written any book on the poetry of Sachal as his books on the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif are available. He said, however, he has written some research papers on various aspects of Sachal’s poetry.
The participants, which exceeded 150 also asked questions from Jami Chandio. Ramesh Raja and Manzoor Ujjan were the hosts of the programme.
Prominent among those who participated in the Zoom session from abroad included Jaswant Mehraj from Canada, Badaruddin Khuhro and Nandan Kumar; Rohit Kumar from London, Nisar Shaikh and Inam Jamali, Manzoor Sethar from Bahrain, Dr. Ahmed Nawaz Hakro from Oman, Abdullah Morai and Gada Hussein from Sweden, Hamid Soomro from Italy, Aslam Arain from Nederland, Jawad Haider from Hungary, Rukhsana Ali from Finland, Ganesh Chand from Denmark, Kaka Singh from Germany, Dr. Zeeshan Jatoi from Russia, Manawar Phull from Saudi Arabia, Saqib Shaikh and Dudo Katiyan from Dubai.
From different cities of Pakistan the participants included Hubdar Jagirani, Uroosa Khatty, Mahesh Kumar, Sameena Solangi, Rahima Panhwar, Nazir Sarohi, Yasmin Chandio, Aslam Bhatti, Pushpa Kumari Basharat Narejo, Khan Abbasi, Anis Noor Memon, Owais Soomro, Sarmad Soomro, Pervez Soomro, Gul Mohammad Qanbrani, Basharat Narejo, Hussain Korai, Khushal Kalani, Aamir Durazi, Abdullah Solangi, Arshad Jamali, Ishtiaq Shah, Sattar Sarohi, Ehsas Meeral Saheto , Shahzad Lashari, Haq Nawaz Shiraz Chandio, Ramazan Buriro, Mithal Jiskani, Chandio Anwar Aziz, Prof. K S Nagpal, Adnan, Chela Ram Premi, Taj Sarohi, Amanullah Drig, Irshad Markhand, Intizar Aamir Kalhoro, Munir Panhyar, Junaid Anwar Leghari, Dr. Suresh Jasrani, Manzoor Gilal, Ayub Larik, Shujauddin Qureshi, Syed Akhlaq Shah, Zahid Dahot, Khadim Hussein Dahot, Babu Hardas, Hamdard Habib Bhatti, Sanaullah Atiq, Sanaullah Drig, Ahmad Naveed, Om Prakash Patiya, Dr. Shehzad Shaikh, Raheel Burdi, Asif Abro, Abu Eliya, Dil Murad Jamro, Aijaz Abro, Riaz Dayo, Abdullah Dayo, Zamir Ujjan, Ehsan Hasnian Abbasi, Darya Khan Shaikh, Wasim Nizmani, Hussain Saheto, Amjad Durrani, Ehsan Sahito, Ejaz Mahal and others.