سيال ٽريول
Sial Travel
A website  by well-known writer
Mohammad Khan Sial on Travel & Tourism

http://sialtravel.webs.com

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'Sial Travel Online': Mohammad Khan Sial: One-man institution
 
My Life - My struggle:


PART - 01

  I originally belonged to a middle class family and we were living in a village near Bucheri
Railway station - about 12 kilometers away from city of Nawabshah (now Benazirabad district) in Sindh (Pakistan).

My father Mohammad Bux Sial (late) was doing his own business of wheat & cotton in Nawabshah. The name of our village's landlord was Syed Haji Asadullah Shah (late). He was not
a traditional "Wadera" (landlord) but was an enlightened person. Our landlord remained a
political activist in the past and remained head of Pakistan Muslim Guards in Nawabshah district
and took active part in Pakistan Movement. Later, in 1955, he vigorously opposed creation by
forcibly notorious "One Unit" in West Pakistan (now Pakistan) meant to eliminate provinces in Pakistan, administratively.

The primary school in our village was established around the year 1942. I born in the village
in April 1949 as per entry of School Register but my father used to tell us that it was mandatory
for a child to be at least five years of age at the time of getting first admission in the primary
school. Since I was not 5 years old by that time, therefore, my age was mentioned higher to
meet the criteria of admission. Consequently, I do not know my exact date of birth but trend of writing higher age for their children was common in Rural Areas in Sindh in the past. 

In our village, a three-day annual 'Mello' (Fair) in the names of founder of the village Syed
Haji Ibrahim Shah and his younger brother Syed Haji Noor Mohammad Shah used to be
organized for the last several years. It was colourful festival that was being visited by thousands
of people daily coming from far flung areas. It was really a great entertainment for the people
who lacked such facilities in and around the area.


 Two young dancers namely Ms Hameeda and Ms Billo (In Punjab Iqbal is called by short name as Billo) used to visit the 'Mello' annually. Both 'loved' me particularly Ms Hameeda. After lunch time, both used to take rest in a room of eastern part of the Bungalow (Ottaq - Guests House for men). I used to sleep with them as desired.
When they were in sound sleep, I quietly left them for my home as I was hardly 5/6 years old at that time. 
 



 We were all three brothers having no sister. My father had also no sister. My elder brother Mohammad Yaqoob Sial died in Nawabshah due to illness who was hardly 8/10 years old by that
time. My second brother was Anwaruddin Sial (generally known Anwar Sial). His name we
changed from original name of Ali Bux Sial (derived from name of my grand father) to
Anwaruddin Sial after his protracted illness as suggested by a female member of Syed landlord family of our landlord. My grandmother used to tell us that we originally belonged to Abad 
(Taluka Kandiaro, District Naushehro Feroze. Previously Naushehro Feroze was part of Nawabshah district but PPP Govt during its first tenure of Ms Benazir Bhutto, ex-Prime minister of Pakistan bifurcated Nawabshah District administratively i.e. Naushehro Feroze Districts & Nawabshah
District but again PPP Govt in the year 2008, changed the name of Nawabshah district as
Shaheed Benazirabad District whereas the name of the City remained as Nawabshah). Our ancestors along with our landlord migrated to this new village around 1925 (Village Syed Hajji Ibrahim Shah).

In our village school, there was facility of imparting education only upto primary level
(4 classes). Since my elder brother Anwar Sial had already passed 4th class (I passed three),
we had to shift to nearby city of Nawabshah in September, 1957. We settled in Gharibabad
locality. My name was inscribed outside the wall of our new house (above main door) as "Mohammad Khan Manzil". However, in 1960 we shifted to another new new house across the
road and it was surrounded by three roads. The name of the road was Dhobi Ghatt Road but we
& other people used to write on postal envelopes as Regal Cinema Road (previously Nigar
Cinema) but I noticed in the year 2007, it was turned into commercial shops. I have seen first
movie in the said cnema and it was some English movie (I do not remember the name) but its
Urdu was "Khak Aur Khun" but first Urdu movie I saw was "Sakhi Haatim" in the said cinema.

I still remember the two Indian Hindi movies shown for longer period locally, were; "Taaj"
and "Aab-i-ayyaat" shown in Regal Cinema and Nishat Cinema respectively whereas latter was situated beyond the railway track bifurcating the city, generally called as "Line Paarr" or "Old Nawabshah."
 


PART - 02

 I got admission in Gharibabad Primary School in 4th class in late 1957 where Mr Mohammad Jumman was Headmaster of the School. It was situated near a big pond where drainage water
of the city used to accumulate. The school was on walking distance of our house. However, my
brother got admission in 5th class in D. C. (District Council - previously it was called as Local
Board) High School.

A well known educationist Respected H M Khawaja was its Headmaster. Old people used to
tell us that around 1937, the school children were sitting on bricks instead of school desk or
chairs. Mr Khawaja made a miracle and brought school to high standard level. Here the education was imparted up to class X (Matriculation Level) whereas previously Matriculation was being done in total period of 11 years including four years of Primary Level.

D. C. High School had two branches; one was called 'Wills Branch' and another 'Main Branch.'.
The school had big Hall for functions being called as Lateef Hall whereas there were two Drawing Halls and Science Hall, Gymnasium etc., In Lateef Hall we attended several  cultural colourful programs which continued till morning.

 I also got education from 5th to 10th class in the said school (1959 - March 1965) and during
the period passed two Drawing Examinations (Elementary Grade & Intermediate Grade examinations), Sindhi Final Examination (After passing this examination, a person was eligible to
get job as Sindhi Teacher in Govt School) and also scholarship examination - all during the year 1962.

 I passed Matriculation in Science in First Division in 1965 & got admission in Govt College. But
due to some personal home difficulties, their was temporarily break in my education.

 As an external candidate, I appeared in Class XI & XII joint examination in Humanities group
in 1967 and got First Division. Again, I got admission in B.A. Part I in Sachal Sarmast Arts and Commerce College, Nawabshah (Liaqat Bazaar) and on the basis of my passing examination of
Class XII, I got two-year scholarship.

 First time, a general knowledge competition was organized on college level. I obtained first position and as reward, got Oxford Dictionary which is still with me despite its old edition was obsolete by
now.

 In the late 60s, a strong movement for the dissolution of notorious 'One Unit' and restoration
of provinces administratively in Pakistan besides movement for restoration of democracy already launched in the country. I took active part in the movement as student.

 In those days, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had left the Govt of army dictator Field  Marshall
Ayub Khan and joined masses to launch a vigorous & popular movement for restoration of democracy in the country (1967). He formed new political party entitled: "Pakistan Peoples Party"
on November 30, 1967 with "Islamic Socialism" as Economy of the country.

 




 The political struggle of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) revolutionized life of masses. People started to take active part in the politics as hitherto they were totally irreverent. I still remember whenever, elections was being held of "Basic Democracy" introduced by Army dictator Field
Marshal General Mohammad Ayub Khan, people did not take much interest to cast their votes as they were of views "vote" could not change their fate / life style.

 In the election of 1964, General Elections were held in which four candidate contested; They
were; President Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Ms Fatima Jinnah - sister of founder of Pakistan
(Mr Jinnah), Kamal & Bashir (the last two candidates were totally unknown). We took part in the election activities and as student supported Ms Fatima Jinnah who was symbol of
democracy.

 But it was generally understood that Ayub Khan made mass rigging in election and
consequently, he was declared as "victorious". In this connection, I attended my first public
meeting addressed by Maulana Abu-Aala Maudodi, chief of Jamat Islami - a
religious-cum-political party. It held at the cricket ground of D C High School, Nawabshah. Later I attended many public meetings including of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB), Maulana Abdul Hameed Bhashani, Khan Wali Khan, Shaikh Mujibur Rahman -Father of Bangladesh, Pir Pagaara, Mumtaz Daultana etc.,

 The notorious "One Unit" was forcibly made on 14th October 1955 in which all provinces were merged administratively into one province namely West Pakistan (now Pakistan) whereas East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) was another province. This was done by "Punjabi Establishment" with
male fide intentions to deprive 'majority' of people of East Pakistan which was 56 per cent of their rights.

 As the total population of West Pakistan was 44 per cent but surprisingly and shamelessly the unjustified "Parity Rule" was introduced and people of East Pakistan were deprived of
"internationally recognized "One Man, One Vote". Consequently, out of total 80,000 Basic
Democracy members, half were elected from East Pakistan and half from West Pakistan. All this
was done to benefit Punjab unduly.
 



 When I was in class VIII, my first brief article printed in Sindhi daily Mehran, Karachi in the
year 1962. Later Mehran and another Sindhi daily Nawa-i-Sindh shifted their offices to Hyderabad
in 1963 from Karachi. My article printed in children page which was about extra-ordinary memory
of Imam Bukhari. In 1959, we subscribed Sindhi daily daily Ibrat, Hyderabad and used to
read it at our home.

After School time, I used to go to the Municipal Library, Chakra Bazaar, Masjid Road, Near
Railway Station, Nawabshah. Newspapers and magazine of country wide and even some
magazines from abroad used to come. I have learnt a lot from this Library where I used to spend my most of the time after coming from D C High School Nawabshah and later from Sachal College.

One Urdu daily Kohistan also use to come. It had introduced a "Business Diary" but they were replying various queries of the readers. I got enthusiasm from the said column and try to utilized
in it with different way later on. Another popular Urdu magazine "Baisween Saddi" (20th Century) used to come from India in the library.

The library was surrounded by a circular park. Very sorry to say during the 1st. government
of Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan Peoples Party), the local PPP Leader Enayat Rind sold the the land of
the Park  illegally and commercially shops were built surrounded by the Library. Later, I visited the Library and was really shocked its on its dilapidated condition. About 30 shops were built illegally which were sold by the local PPP leaders in order to mint illegal money. Presently, the Library is
confined to one small room covered in darkness even during the day. On the dilapidated condition
of the Library I wrote a letter to the editor of leading English daily Dawn which printed on Nov 17, 2007.

There was another small library on Hospital Road which was being run by Kazi Faiz
Mohammad - a great Haari (peasants) leader who was also vice president of Pakistan Awami League headed by Shaikh Mujibur Rahman. When Shaheed Bhutto after leaving the Govt of Ayub Khan, came into public, he visited Nawabshah and stayed at the residence of Qazi Faiz
Mohammad (His residence was near to our house situated on Regal Cinema Road). Qazi also contested the election for MNA in Constituency No: 01 against Hakim Ali Zardari (father-in-law of Benazir Bhutto). In those day Zardari was not much known to public but since he was holding
ticket of PPP, he won the general election.

Whatever, pocket money, I used to spend on postage by writing letters to the Embassies for
getting their informative literature. The books were in large quantity as it was difficult to keep in
the house.

My mother was very simple lady. I used to read whatever the printed matter I get whether it
was old or new ones. When I used to by "Pakora" with chutney to eat and brought it to my home,
my mother after eating "Pakora", used to keep that piece of newspaper for me to read.

I was fond of listening Radio and always tried to keep Radio set near my pillow while sleeping. I
I still remember the news that I heard about landing the first man (Neil Armstrong) who landed
on the surface of earth (1969).
 

Note: To Be Added.