IGNOU establishes Centre for Sindhi Language & Culture
The Indira Gandhi National Open University's (IGNOU's) Academic Council has recommended for starting a Centre of Sindhi Language & Culture in the University in response to the suggestions and special emphasis for the promotion of Sindhi language and culture by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Govt. of India. The centre will be functional from this academic year onwards.
The major objectives of the IGNOU centre for Sindhi Language and Culture are to promote and encourage Sindhi language especially among the younger people who are losing their mother tongue. It also aims to make them conscious of the Sindhi literary and cultural heritage and make them adequately articulate in Sindhi so that they can write in Sindhi and translate into Sindhi from Hindi/English. The center would also help to organiSe such activities to the expert meetings and seminars/workshops that would help the cause of Sindhi language.
“The University’s action plan for the establishment of the centre is to prepare and start a foundation course as part of the Bachelor Degree Programme (BDP) with various components like spoken language, literary language, morphology and grammar (For Sindhi knowing students). It also plans to start different levels of Appreciation Courses in Sindhi for beginners (For non-Sindhi knowing students),” said Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, VC, IGNOU.
“Towards a later stage, the University will also be developing P.G. Certificate and Diploma Programmes and Post Graduate Degree programmes followed by M.Phil. and Ph.D. Programme. It shall also launch translation courses in Hindi-Sindhi-Hindi and English-Sindhi-English and later between Sindhi and other major Indian languages,” he added.
Sindhi is one of the major literary languages of India, recognised in the eighth schedule of the Constitution of this country. It was included in the constitution on 10th April, 1967, after constant and justified demand of the Sindhi people, who migrated from Sindh due to partition of the country in 1947. In due course of time, Sindhis settled in different regions of India, mainly in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.
Among the modern Indian languages, Sindhi is the only language, which is not an official language of any particular state in India. The Sindh province, where the Sindhi language had its historical growth during the last twelve hundred years, was included in the newly created Islamic State of Pakistan, in 1947. Hence, Sindhi being a stateless language in India, special efforts are required for the preservation and development of its linguistic, literary and cultural heritage. Considering these facts, the Government of India (Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development) started various schemes for the development of Sindhi language and literature. In this direction, National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language was constituted in 1994.
Sindhi Academies were established by those State Governments where Sindhi Speaking people reside in significant number. In spite of these efforts at the Government level, the study of Sindhi language and literature in the field of formal education has decreased to a great extent. The number of secondary schools imparting education through Sindhi medium has been dwindling day by day. As regards Sindhi at graduate level, there is a provision in some colleges only, situated in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi. There are only two universities, viz. Mumbai University and Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer, where students can study Sindhi language and literature upto M.A. and Ph.D. levels. Full-time, part-time, distance education and on-line courses will be available to suit the requirements of different categories of learners.