On January 17th, the Sindhi nation celebrated the 117th birth anniversary of Ghulam Murtaza Syed, a prominent politician and founder of the Sindhudesh movement who is also considered by many as the founder of the modern Sindhi nationalism.
Syed was born on January 17th, 1904, in Sann – then a town in Bombay Presidency of British-controlled India. He started his political career by participating in the Khilafat Movement during his teenage years. He also founded the Sindh Awami Mahaz, a political party. Like several other Sindhi nationalists of his time, Syed blended nationalism with Sufism and Communism through the ideas of Gandhi and Marx.
GM Syed passed the only constitutional resolution in favour of the establishment of Pakistan in British India’s Sindh Assembly in 1943. But he later laid the ideological groundwork for a separate Sindhi identity and founded the Sindhudesh movement, a pro-independence movement that advocates for independence from Pakistan. Many consider Syed to be the first politician to call for a separate state in Pakistan.
Syed was also a prolific political writer and a scholar whose writings continue to inspire and educate people to this day. His stubborn political beliefs landed him in jail several times throughout his life, but he was never convicted. He spent 28 years of his life in incarceration.
Admirers celebrated Syed’s 117th birthday with fervour and enthusiasm and paid tribute to his services to the Sindhi nation.
The Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA), a pro-independence group, paid a “national tribute” to GM Syed on his birth anniversary, saying that he was a “great leader” who bestowed on the Sindhi nation the idea of a separate, independent state.
In a media statement, the spokesperson for SRA appealed to the Sindhi nation to unite and initiate an armed struggle against the Pakistani “occupation” and bring Syed’s mission of an independent state to completion.
Baloch Raj Aajoi Sangar (BRAS), the umbrella organization of Baloch pro-independence groups, also conveyed a message to the Sindhi nation on Syed’s birth anniversary. Baloch Khan, the spokesperson of BRAS, said in a media statement that Baloch and Sindhi are historically brotherly nations.
“For thousands of years our pain, joy, friends and enemies have been common. Even today, there are millions of Baloch people are living in Sindh and they are a peaceful part of this land and culture. But the Sindhis, the heirs of the historic Indus Civilization, and the Balochs, inheritors of the Mehrgarh Civilization today face a common occupation of the nascent, satanic and unnatural state of Pakistan”, the spokesperson said, adding that the time has come for the Baloch and Sindhi nation to unite and “drive out the Punjabi occupier from their lands and restore their historic independent status.”
Communicating a message to the Sindhi nation, BRAS said that the Sindhi nation should step up for the independence of Sindh by following the philosophy of GM Syed. It also called on the Sindhi nation to strengthen their pro-independence organizations so that “Baloch and Sindhis can fight together for the freedom of their lands.”
The Baloch Warna Movement paid homage to GM Syed in a media statement, saying that the Baloch and Sindhi nation are chained in servitude, and these nations can only break these chains by following the ideologies of their leaders like Nawab Khair Baksh Marri and GM Syed.
The statement said that Syed persevered in the face of all the hardships and weathered for years in prison, but he did not give up his ideology. The Sindhi nation can rid itself from the “occupation” and “servitude” of the Pakistani state by following the path laid for them by GM Syed, it said.
The Baloch Warna Movement said that it is the need of the time for the “oppressed nations” – Baloch, Sindhi, Pashtoon and Siraiki – to unite on a common front and play their part in the pro-independence movement so that they can ensure a prosperous and free future for their posterity.