KARACHI: Sindh has always been blessed with thousands of heroic characters at the time of independence and the sons of soil preferred death for the sake of safety and security of their motherland. One such heroic character is Hemu Kalami.
Hemu Kalani son of Pesumal Kalani and Jethi Bai was born in a Jain family of Sukkur, Sindh on March 23, 1923. His father Pesumal was a doctor by profession. Hemu completed his initial education from Tilak High School, Sukkur from where he passed his matriculation in 1942. Hemu was a nationalist since early age.
Hemu Kalani was greatly admired by the struggle and engagements of his uncle late Dr Mangh Ram Kalani who was a prominent congress leader. Hemu became member of ‘Swaraj Sena’ (a student organization) which was affiliated with the All-India Students Federation (AISF).
As a young boy, Hemu Kalani led the youth of his town and campaigned for boycott of foreign good and convinced people to use Swadeshi goods. Later, he started revolutionary activities and took part in protests aimed at kicking out the British. He started joining political gatherings, demonstrations, strikes, raising slogan of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.
In October 1942, the revolutionary group Swaraj Sena received secret information that a train was carrying weapons that would be used against freedom fighters in Sindh. Hemu and his friends decided not to allow/derail the train near Sukkur however, according to historians, Hemu was held by the British.
Later, the British authorities subjected Hemu Kalani to third degree torture to reveal names of his other companions but he never opened up his mouth and bravely bore the torture. He took the blame upon himself citing what he did was justified in retaliation what British were doing in crushing the freedom struggle with arms and ammunitions.
Sindh was under Martial Law and Hemu Kalani’s case was referred to Martial Law Court at Hyderabad/Sukkur where he was sentenced life imprisonment for treason against the British Empire.
Hemu’s lawyer Sattar Pirzada made an offer to Kalani’s uncle Dr Manga Ram “If Hemu could sign a written apology, the British would relax his death and he simply refused”. The people of Sindh filed a petition before Viceroy for Hemu Kalani’s mercy however the condition of mercy was to tell names of other co-conspirators which he refused to shared. Hence, Hemu Kalani was hanged on January 21, 1943.
Jalal Chandio – King of Yaktara, Chapri, Sindhi music
KARACHI: There are only few people especially those associated with the music industry who became so famous that their posters, art and songs are played even after their death. Jalal Chandio, king of yaktara, chapri (musical instruments) is one of them who is still alive in the hearts and minds of people of Pakistan particularly Sindh.
Jalal Chandio son of Haji Faiz Muhammad Chandio was born in 1944 in a small village namely Phul, Moro, district Naushehro Feroz. His father owned a cattle farm and wanted his son Jalal to get education.
With no interest towards education, Jalal Chandio was sent to New Jatoi (Nawan Jatoi), the hometown of former premier Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, to learn tailoring. However, he quit tailoring and started shepherding his cattle and croons.
With his interest in singing, Jalal’s parents sent him to Ghotki district to learn music under the supervision of Ustad Ali Gul Mahar where he learnt basics of music and started performing at shrines of various Sufis of the area. He had a loud voice which needed no loudspeakers to perform while his unique style of playing Yaktara and Chapri was liked very much.
Jalal Chandio also introduced the trend of Farmaish, a unique style of pronouncing names of his listeners in his singing that also gained too much fame.
In 1970, a private company – Paras Audio Cassette – released his first cassette album which included his song هل نه مٺو ايڏي لوڏ ڪري . The song gained popularity and made him singer of the Sindh province. After that he also made his entry in Radio Pakistan and Television and started performing live in the shows.
Before Jalal Chandio, the population of rural areas used to listen to Indian old songs and Pakistani Punjabi songs however Jalal Chandio’s songs replaced the music and made his way to almost every house, tractors and trucks. The love of his listeners reached at the extreme level that his posters could be seen on trucks and tractors till today.
In 1985, a famous film producer Shah Asad made a film – Jalal Chandio – on life of Mr Jalal Chandio in which he played a leading role. The film touched the highest peak of popularity and earned extraordinary revenue boosting Sindhi film industry.
Mr Jalal Chandio also influenced many singers following his unique style of singing that included Rubina Hyderi, Taj Mastani. He also has a number of music students (shagirds) in Siraiki districts of Punjab and Balochistan districts. He had released thousands of audio cassettes in his life.
Being the spiritual follower of Mahdi Shah, Jalal Chandio performed on Urs of almost all the Sufi saints including Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sachal Sarmat etc. He received many awards among which the prominent was Latif Award from Sindh’s culture department. Jalal Chadio died on January 10, 2001 following kidney failure. He is buried in his native town Phul, Naushehro Feroz.
Hoshu Sheedi – ‘Marsoon, Marsoon Sindh Na Deson
KARACHI: Pakistan has been blessed with hundreds of brave people who sacrificed their precious lives to ensure safety of the motherland. One such character is General Hosh Muhammad Sheedi commonly known as Hoshu Sheedi who raised the world-famous slogan and laid down his life while fighting with British.
The people of Sindh attaches emotional attachment with General Hosh Muhammad Sheedi Qambrani who chanted slogan ‘Marsoon, Marsoon Sindh Na Deson’ [We would die before giving up Sindh].
Even these days, if anyone talks against division of Sindh, the people get emotionally charged and become ready for any kind of sacrifice for their motherland.
Hosh Muhammad was born in 1801. He belonged to Sheedi family of African-origin while his father was an employee at the house of then ruler of Sindh – Mir Fateh Mohammad Talpur -. Before joining the army, Hosho also worked at the residence of Talpurs.
General Hosh Muhammad Sheedi, then, made supreme commander of Sindh’s Talpur army led by Mir Sher Muhammad Khan Talpur.
As the British army conquered the Khairpur Mirs fort, a number of people wanted to surrender before the British ruler however Hosh Muhammad Sheedi was the only one who refused to do and decided to fight.
With smaller number of troops, Hoshu Sheedi vigorously fought with the British army with bravery during Talpur rule in Sindh in the battle of Miyani or Dubbo in 1843. In between the fighting, Hoshu Sheedi said that “Marsoon, Marsoon Sindh Na Deson” “Even though we will die but we won’t give you Sindh”. Hosho lost his life while fighting for Sindh on March 24, 1843.
British commanding offier Sir Charles James Napier was inspired by the bravery and his love for his motherland and buried him with full military honours in Dubee near Tando Jam Road, Hyderabad, Pakistan. Hosho is considered a Sindhi hero. The historical mausoleum of Hosho Sheedi is located in Dubee, a small village which is some 10 kilometers far from Hyderabad. The purpose of the mausoleum is to pay tribute to the war martyrs and it was declared as heritage site by the Sindh government.
Hakim Ali Zardari – ‘Man of Iron Will’..
KARACHI: Though, doing politics is a hard task for a leader despite the fact that he has each and everything, all luxuries of life, wealth etc, but there are few people who chooses to do it while putting everything on stake. Hakim Ali Zardari is one of them who served the masses despite many ups and downs in his political career.
While opening his eyes in the well-off, landlord and political family of British India, Hakim Ali Zardari son of Haji Muhammad Hussain Zardari was born on January 1, 1930 at a small village – Fatohal Zardari -, district Shaheed Benazirabad (formerly Nawabshah), Sindh – Pakistan (formerly British India). His father’s family originally belong to Zardari tribe of Balochistan however was assigned by the British authorities as Zamindars in Sindh.
Mr Hakim received his early education from Government Masjid School located in in his village while passed his matriculation from DC High School, Nawabshah.
Initially, in late 1950s, Hakim Ali Zardari focused on his agriculture lands, and also opted for showbiz by establishing city’s landmark Bambino cinema, the Scala and a film distribution center. However, he could not keep himself away from the politics and started his political career from the social movement launched by Allama Mashriqi as Khaksar Tehreek and was elected as Member District Council, Nawabshah in 1965. Later, he was elected as Mayor of Nawabshah.
In presidential elections against Ayub Khan in 1965, Mr Hakim Ali Zardari openly supported Fatima Jinnah, the sister of father of nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
In 1967, Hakim Zardari was largely attracted towards the most intelligent and dashing personality of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who founded the Pakistan People’s Party. His slogan of Roti – Kapra – Makaan attracted people of Pakistan. A number of political families of district Nawabshah joined Bhutto’s party and Hakim Ali Zardari was the first man who joined it as party’s founding member.
Mr Hakim Zardari won the National Assembly seat on PPP ticket in 1970 general elections. He served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee during Bhutto’s premiership. After General Ziaul Haq overtook the power in 1977, Hakim Zardari decided to manage his business and keep the PPP intact. He also looked after affairs of Bhutto family after execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and imprisonment and exile of Nusrat Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.
Mr Zardari ran for the National Assembly seat in 1985 general elections however he could not succeed. Later he won the NA seat in general elections of 1988 and 1990 and served the people of Pakistan with utmost dedication. In the meantime, Hakim Zardari’s son Asif Ali Zardari got married with Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1987.
In the first tenure of Benazir Bhutto as prime minister (December 1988 – August 1990), Hakim Zardari again served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. The Zardaris played a pivotal role in defeating the no-confidence motion put in place by the combined opposition against premier Benazir Bhutto on November 1, 1989.
The corruption watchdog – National Accountability Bureau – had filed a corruption reference against Mr Hakim Zardari of purchasing a house in Normandy, France at a cost of 724 million dollars with a contention that the amount must have come from hidden sources.
July 11, 2002 was the day when accountability court sentenced Hakim Zardari for five years of rigorous imprisonment, imposing him a fine worth Rs 18.5 million with disqualification for ten years from holding any elected office. Later, he was shifted to his house which was declared as sub-jail following his health conditions and then released on bail.
In 2007, the Sindh High Court overturned his conviction, upheld his plea that he had huge business in insurance and cinema to raise resources for purchase of any property in France.
Moreover, he also faced an identical case in which accountability court convicted him of suspicious transaction for establishing a tourist village at Rawalpindi National Park through Zardari Group Pvt Ltd.
In this case, Hakim Zardari was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20 million was also imposed. In 2002, the Lahore High Court appellate branch ordered to release him citing that the audit reports showed no negative remarks in transaction by the Zardari Group. Mr Hakim was also charged with the murder of Alam Baloch during the tenure of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Pervaiz Musharraf.
Hakim Ali Zardari married twice – Bilquees Sultana and Zareen Ara – and has four children including Asif Ali Zardari (former President of Pakistan), Faryal Talpur and Dr Azra Pechuho (politicians) and Fauzia Zardari. Hakim Zardari’s daughter-in-law Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. His grandson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also a Pakistani politician. He breathed his last on May 24, 2011 in Islamabad’s hospital.
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