Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region and is spoken by the Sindhi people world over.
In India, Sindhi was recognised in the Eighth schedule on 10th April 1967 of the Indian Constitution and is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages.
Sindhi's history dates back to the era of Mohenjo-daro, but unfortunately linguists have failed to unite on the opinion on origin of Sindhi langauge.
Scholars have different opinions. Some opinions are:
The Sindhi is a pure Sanskritical language, more free from foreign elements than any of the North Indian vernaculars
- Professor E. Trumpp
The oldest book written in Sind was in Prakrit. It dates back to three centuries B.C.
- Dr Suniti Kumar Chatterji
Politically, Mohammed Bin Quasim's conquest of Sindh in 711 AD started the influence of Arabic language on Sindhi.
Since then Sindh was rules by many empires, followed by British.
Britisher wanting to administer the country properly, had to understand the language of the land so they started standardizing the script, and promoting the language.
Sir Bartle Frere, Commissioner in Sind, 1851, issueed an order and made the study of Sindhi Language compulsory for the British officers.
Capt. George Stack and Capt. Richard Burton differed in their opinion on what script to use for Sindhi. Capt. Stack argued in favor of a modified form of Devnagari script while Capt. Burton advised modified form of Perso-Arabic script.
In 1853, East India Company decided to use Perso-Arabic on a trial basis and soon it became the official language of Sindh.
In India, still Perso-Arabic and Devnagari both are recognized. Even UPSC accepts both the scripts for its examination.
Sindhi became the medium of instruction in Schools.
It was this time that many British scholars like Dr. Earnest Trumpp and Captain Stack and many more have started working on the Sindhi language and came up with many books, dictionaries and other literature in Sindhi.
Dr Earnest Trumpp published his books Shah-jo-Risalo ( compiled verses of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai ) and Sindhi Grammar from Germany.
Four Category of words
Various scripts have been used in Sindh since the time of Mohenjo-daro. Prominent among them are:
(Reference : "Glimpses of Sindhi Language" By Dr Parso Jessaram Gidwani)
- Consist of two elements
First Name - First element
can be one of the following:
|Days and months of Hindu Sindhi Calender||Mangaldas||Mangal + Das ( Tuesday )|
|Nature||Surajmal||Suraj + mal ( Sun )|
|Stars||Taromal||Taro + mal|
|River||Gangaram||Ganga + Ram|
|Flowers, Trees, Vegetables, Fruit and Grain||Basarmal||Basar(onion) + Mal|
|Bhugromal||Bhugro ( Puffed Gram ) + Mal|
|Gems||Motilal||Moti + lal|
|Precious Metals||Kundandas||Kundan + Das|
|Epithets/Concepts||Sundarmal||Sundar + Mal|
|Bhagchand||Bhagu ( Fortune ) + Chand|
|Mythological names||Shiv, Vishnu, Indra|
First Name - Second Element:
|Male Second Element||Meaning||Example|
|mal||from Malhu - Wrestler||Motimal, Kimatmal|
|Nand||Sanskrit word meaning happiness||Jethanand|
|Female Second Element||Meaning||Example|
Sindhi surname is derived from place of origin, birth, occupation, caste, title among others
1) ANI ending surname:
Many Sindhis have their surnames ending with -ANI, for example Advani, Lalwani, Gidwani etc
Famous Sindhi scholar Professor Bherumal Advani even claimed that -ANI surname dates back to Rigveda, According to him, pronunciation of Sanskrit suffix ayan and ayani have changed to -ANI in Sindhi and its meaning is "a descendant of".
This means a surname "Advani" will mean descendants of Adumal.
Most of the -ANI surnames are made with adding -ANI to a personal name
|Personal Name||First Element of personal Name||Surname|
In most of the cases, -ANI is added to grandfather's name or some prominent ancester's name.
For example, in Gidwani surname, the first name is taken from Dewan Gidumal who was the Prime Minister of Three rulers of Sindh.
2) Sindhi surnames based on Place Names
Sometimes a surname is based on the place name also, as in the following:
|Town/Village in Sindh||Sindhi Surname|
3) Sindhi surnames based on professions:
Some surnames are even based on the profession:
4) Surname based on caste:
Thakur, Bhatia, Khatri
5) Surname based on title:
Mukhi(head of the panchayat), Chodhary(head of a village)
6) Nukha (totems) as surname:
eg Ahuja, Chawla, Kukreja,
6) Surnames with -Ja suffix
-Ja a purely Sindhi suffix means belonging to or 'of'
eg Ahuja, Raheja, Makhija etc
It also means a descendant or offspring
eg Jasuja is offspring/descendant of Jasu
7) Surnames with pal suffix
eg rajpal, setpal, nagpal etc
pal means "protector"
"Glimpses of Sindhi Language" By Dr Parso Jessaram Gidwani
"History of Sindhi Literature" By Popati R. Hiranandani
"Sindhi Culture" By Dr U. T. Thakur