‘Cheti Chand Joan, lakh lakh, Wadaiyoun, Athava’.
Cheti Chand is a day of feast, happiness and hope where people greet each other with lakhs and lakhs of good wishes. The divinity being Jhula Lal, the divinity of water. Water has played a key role for any civilization. So is the case with Sindhis also. They are called Sindhis, for, they live by the river Sindhu. In English language we now call this river, Indus. In the national anthem of India – Jana Gana Mana, the river is mentioned as Sindhu.
It is Sindhu, Sindhi from which the name Hindu is derived. The ancient Persians could not pronounce the letter ‘S’ correctly in their native language. They instead pronounced ‘S’ as ‘H’ in the word Sindhu. Thus the ancient Persians pronounced Sindhu as Hindu.
From the days of Harappa Mohenjo-Daro period, people living by the Sindhu River had travelled by boats along the Sindhu River and by large ocean going ships into the seas to the coast of South India, to the coast of Persia, Arabia and Africa.
What we called Arabian Sea today was earlier called Sindhu Sagar, for, Sindhu River drained into it. The whole Arabian Sea, Sindhu Sagar was the trading domain of the Sindhis.
The Sindhis were a navigational giant. With the arrival of the colonial powers, the Sindhu Sagar Sea was renamed as Arabian Sea. Not only was the name Sindhu Sagar confined to history and slowly removed from memory. The role of the Sindhis as master traders was continuously restricted over the last few hundred years.
The partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 dealt a severe blow to the Sindhi community, a community that had to migrate in mass to India and different parts of the world from their homeland to retain their identity.
With hope and trading skills ingrained in their DNA, the Sindhis have now reached worldwide, from Hong Kong in the East to California in the West and have excelled in trading and today lakhs and lakhs of Sindhis in the last 60 years since independence have climbed back to the levels of prominence in different fields of their choosing, not just in trading. A community that has withstood testing times.
Let us every Cheti Chand recognize the glorious days of the Sindhi community, their contributions to the development of Indian civilization by giving their name for this land of India and all such other contributions of the Sindhi people.