The 93rd birthday of His Excellency G.M. Sayed was celebrated at Sindh House, Woking, U.K., on the auspices of the World Sindhi Congress, which was presided over by the Chair-person of the Birthday Committee, Ms Suraiya Makhdoom. The proceedings were conducted by Dr Halim Bhatti, Information Secretary, WSC.
The ceremony was attended by members of the WSC, many Sindhis, as well as the representatives of various international organisations, such as, United Kashmir International, Seraiki International, Human Rights International and South Asian Solidarity Forum.
First of all Dr M.A. Halepoto cut the birthday cake of Sain G.M. Sayed, which was home made by Suraiya Makhdoom.
Then Dr Bhatti started the speeches session by calling Dr Bhutto to recite the verses of Shah Abdul Latif. After that Dr Assad Sheikh read an extract from the last book of G.M. Sayed, "Sindh Speaks".
Dr Hidayat Bhutto then presented his paper on the life and work of Sain G.M. Sayed. He said that Sayed's struggle is the struggle of generations. He said that if we read carefully the philosophy of Sain, then we would sum it up in the four points:
1. Sindhis are a separate nation.
2. Sindh has been an independent and sovereign state since ten thousand years.
3. Independence is the basic and natural right of Sindhis.
4. Independence is possible.
Speaking about the literary contributions of Sayed, Dr Bhutto said that his two books, viz., "Jeean Ditho Aah Moon" (As I have seen it) and "Pegham Latif" are his great achievements. In the first one, he rejects the fundamentalist and false interpretaion of religion and gives the real one based on Sufi thought. In "Pegham-e-Latif" he rejects the orthodox view of Latif and presents him as a radical and a nationalist poet.
Speaking on the present situation in Sindh, Dr Bhutto said that since the Chief of the refugees has said that they have asked their people if they want a separate land, we too can ask our people if they want to have refugees in their land or not.
After this, Suraiya Makhdoom presented her paper. She said that as Plato thanked his stars for being born in the age of Socrates, so do we for being born in the age our great national hero, Sain G.M. Sayed lived (most of the time in prisons) and died.
She recalled her personal meetings with Sayed. She said that she always found him simple, welcoming, sympathetic, patient and open to others views. She said G.M. Sayed never developed a personality cult as most leaders do. Anyone could meet him any time. She said Sayed was deeply rooted in the culture of Sindh. He was a great traditionalist. He was a great family man too. She said Sayed's struggle for the cause of Sindh was immortal. He had, in the words of Milton, "th' unconquerable will,..... and courage, never to submit or yield" ("Paradise Lost", Book 1).
Ms Makhdoom then dwelt upon the literary contributions of Sayed. She said Sayed has written over 60 books on varied subjects, such as politics, history, biography, autobiography, as well as literary criticism.
She said, in his writings, Sayed demolishes whatever Pakistan stands for: two nation theory, the national poet, national leader--Jinnah, national language, the use of Islam for colonial and fascist purposes, and so forth. He is, therefore, a great idol breaker after Mahmud Ghaznavi, who did so to further his colonial rule; whereas Sayed did the same to uproot the principles of fascism and colonialism.
Dr Halepoto Secretary General, WSC said that the message of G.M. Sayed is for the whole of the mankind. He told the audience that when they started a signature campaign for the release of G.M. Sayed as a "Citizen of the World" in 1994, at the Human Rights Commission of the UN, nearly all the delegates signed the same. Most of them said that Sayed's picture resembled that of a prophet. One woman even went on the extent of saying that she felt as if she had known Sayed since her previous birth.
Mr Rashid Nutkani of the Seraiki International said that despite being brought up in a religious atmosphere in Sann, Sayed's thought crossed the boundaries of religious fundamentalism. His struggle was for the whole of the community. One day the world would realise the true worth of this great man.
Mr Afzal Tahir, Chairman, United Kashmir International, said that the common point between the freedom movement of Kashmiris and that of Sindh, as initiated by Sain G.M., is the struggle. He said our struggle has been inspired by the Sindhis and G.M. Sayed, since he has been fighting for the formation of countries on the nationalistic basis, and not on the religious ones.
Dr Arif of the South Asian Solidarity Forum and editor of the magazine "Inqilab", said that we should tolerate our political opponents, and therefore, the Punjabis should also learn from the message of Sain G.M. Sayed.
Ms Claire Galez of the HRI said that although she has been born in a Christian family, she has been greatly inspired by Sufism as well as by the message of G.M. Sayed, which have brought her closer to the Sindhis.
The final speaker of the ceremony, Mirza Farhad Ahmed, editor "Islamic Expositor", said that G.M. Sayed's struggle against the slavery of Sindhis is like that of Abraham Lincoln's for the Blacks in America. Sayed was in close contact with the revolutionaries of the Sub-Continent, who were struggling against tyranny. G.M. wanted a free Sindh for all the people of Sindh, not for a specific class.
This session was followed by dinner, hosted by Dr Halepoto.
Date: 20 January 1996.
Return to WSC - Activities Page
Return to WSC - Main Page