Were the Arabs Earliest Historians of Sindh?
Blogger Kaleem Butt : History is the most important discipline in human life, it is through history one comes to know what was done by his ancestors, how they lived, how much civilized they were, and how they used to defend their land from invasions. Dr. Allah Rakhio Butt in his book Sammaat (1984) writes that to solve the problems of past, present and future of a nation, it is vital to know and understand its history. It is history which gives us logical explanation of why and how events happened. The incline and decline of a nation, all is recorded in history. Early Historians of Sindh: Lambrick in his book Sindh: Before the Muslim Conquest (1973) mentions that the emergence of the great Indus civilization about the middle of third millennium before Christ may fairly be adopted as a starting point for the history of Sindh. It is considered that Chachnamo written by an unknown Arab is the earliest historic record about Sindh. However, the authenticity of that historic record is full of doubts. As Dr. N.A. Baloch, who translated the Chachnamo from Persian to Sindhi in its preface writes that: we cannot say for sure who wrote or compiled Chachnamo. Now the question arises that whether that record is earliest historic record of Sindh or not? By the critical analysis of history, we find references of Sindh, and its mighty river Indus in the most ancient religious text the Vedas, Rigved gives descriptions of river Indus, calling it mighty river, a goddess, and mother feeding earth. Further in various hymns it is mentioned that the land of Sindh is most fertile land. One hymn in Agni’s book reads: ‘....there live people who cultivate land, are rich and peaceful. So the earliest historians of Sindh were the compilers of Rigved, who are now known as the Aryans. Lambrick (1973) writes that traditions relating to Sind are recorded in Sanskrit, Persian and Pali literature and afford a few glimpses of the political state of the country prior to the first definite date in its history. Mahabharata is the most narrated epic of India, that great battle between Kuruvas and Pandavas took place in 400-200 BC. It is mentioned in Mahabharata that Jayadratha king of the Sindhus and Soviras played an important rule in the battle. While there is a discussion between Jayadratha, king of Sindhu and Draupadi which states: Art thou, as sole ruler, governing with justice the rich countries of Saivya, Sivi, Sindhus and others that thou hast brought under thy sway? It is also mention as Lambrick (1973) states that warriors of the Sivi, Sovira and Sindhu tribes are mentioned as fighting side by side in Jayadratha army in the battle which ensued when the Pandavas overtook him. Thus we find Jayadratha represented as a powerful king who had extended his realm by conquest. So we can say for sure that the compilers of Mahabharata are other earliest historians of Sindh. Dr. A R Butt mentions a scholar by the name of Manu (900 BC) who wrote Manushastar or Manu-Sumati (The laws of Manu), he was a the great law-maker and religious scholar of Aryans, who laid foundation of caste system dividing people of Sindh in four castes including: The Brahamins (priests), Rajyana (princes), Veshya (commoners), and Sodhars (untouchables). So another ancient historian who mentioned conditions and people belonging to Sindh was Manu (900 B.C). Historians and scholars like Burton, Sorely and others speak in their accounts about the langhas of Sindh. The langhas were wise-men of Sindh who used to memorize folklore, historic records and genealogies, they used to narrate such stories and tales which were long in nature. The langhas also transferred such knowledge (oral traditions) from one generation to another generation. During the Brahaman Dynasty in Sindh, Selaij and his brother Chandar are mentioned in various historic records, who served a temple at Alor, they were learned men and started to write down folklore. Another historic record where we can find mention of Sindh is, two books of Koku Pandit and those books are the Kok Shastar and the Kok Pandit. Koku real name was Pandit Kansinath alias Kaka, he was born in Kashmir the state of King Shant Diwali. Koku father was Pandit Deenanath. For five years of his life Koku Pandit travelled throughout lands of Northern India, Southern India, he went to Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Nepal and also visited Sindh. Both his books carry records of Sindh. The Kok Pandit deals with magical spells and charms, while Kok Shastar deals with sexual health of human beings. Koku Pandit gives names of the Sindhi rulers who ruled at that time, and writes a Sindhi prince was well pleased with his herbs. We just get an overview of who the earliest historians of Sindh were? Yet a lot of work is required to figure out the proper names and the era of historians of Sindh, who lived before the Arabs. However, it is nothing more than a myth that it were the Arabs, who came here and began to note down the history of Sindh. 02