KARACHI: Due to coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the Sindh government did not officially observe the 199th annual Urs of Sufi poet Hazrat Sachal Sarmast in Daraza Sharif, Khairpur district this year. A group of Sachal’s followers and social activists, however, celebrated the Urs on cyber space in which participants from Pakistan, England, Hungary, Canada, Bahrain, Oman, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Finland and other countries of the world participated online.
On Friday evening an online lecture was simultaneously organized at Zoom platform of cyber space as well as social media site Facebook, in which noted scholar and writer Jami Chandio delivered his talk on the life and poetry work of Sachal Sarmast, who is a great Sufi of sub-continent and a resistance poet of Sindhi and Siraiki languages.
Jami said Sachal also recited poetry in Persian and Urdu languages. “It is incorrect to say that Sachal had recited his poetry in seven languages,” Chandio revealed.
On Saturday a live coverage of the recital of poetry by traditional singers’ groups at the Mazar of Sachal Sarmast was live telecasted on the social media. An online Mushaira was also held on Saturday evening.
In his key note address, scholar Jami Chandio it is said that Sachal himself destroyed all his poetry during his life time and whatever poetry is available with us was in fact that poetry of Sachal, which was remembered by his followers.
Two collection of Sachal’s Sindhi and Seraiki poetry in the book forms are printed by Sindhi Adabi Board. But a lot of poetry in Persian and Urdu languages is still unpublished but available with his followers. To a question Chandio said translation of Persian poetry of Sachal is also available.
Jami Chandio said like other poets of Sindh, Sachal Sarmast also gave a message of religious harmony and social cohesion. Sachal condemned the clerics, who were spreading religious hatred in the society. “His poetry is full of message of Wahdatul Wujood (oneness of being or unity of existence) initiated by Mansour Al-Hallaj.
Chandio expressed his disappointment that there is a little research on poetry of Sachal Sarmast available. Even in Urdu literature and poetry circles, there is no mention of poetry of Sachal Sarmast, he remarked.
Jami said whatever intellectual and research work on Sachal is available is in fact an effort by individual scholars. A little research work has been done by official Sachal Chair at Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai University Khairpure. It is publishing a Journal annually, but currently it is not doing any worth-mentioning research on Sachal.
Jami admitted that he himself has not written any book on poetry of Sachal as his books on poetry of Shah Abdul Latif are available. He said, however, he has written some research papers on various aspects of Sachal’s poetry.
The participants, which exceeded 150 also asked questions from Jami Chandio. Ramesh Raja and Manzoor Ujjan were the host of the programme.