Monday, 23 September 2013

The History of Seraiki Wasaib

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."
George Orwell

Nothing more would have explained importance of History of Seraiki Wasaib for Seraikis as explain these two sagacious lines of George Orwell. It is must for all Seraikis to read History of Seraiki Wasaib and analyze those factors which led to dismal and deplorable condition of 50 million Seraikis living in Pakistan. Unfortunately, Seraikis today are not master of their destiny, they cannot make any decision effecting their collective lives . Due to lack of control over decision making process, along with anything else they do not have any history of their own. Intentional efforts are being made to deface this 50 million strong true Pakistani nation and give it a false label of a Punjabi. History being a memory of nations is a major source for all nations , which reminds them of their past , it explains them lot of things and provides justification for whole range of issues . History only is the mechanism by which nations could understand their present and formulate their future line of action. Thus in order to deface any group and deny its existence it becomes imperative for a dominant group to corrupt and to send to oblivion the history of depressed group. That is what Punjabis have done with Seraikis. Seraikis are not aware of what happened to their land in past , they are not alive to the fact that for centuries theirƒ areas are served as battle grounds and they were denied rights in their own home. If Seraiki do not look back into history, it is impossible for them to understand reasons for their current miserable plight. If History of Seraiki Wasaib was written and all the Seraikis had access to it , Punjabis definitely would have find it difficult to keep this nation enslaved and Seraiki province would have appeared on the political map of the world quite a long ago.

Multan is mother of all Seraiki areas, because in past they all were part of it and parted from it during long course of history. Today we find some Seraiki areas incorporated in Punjab, while others are part of NWFP, Baluchistan and Sindh. In past they were part of one single administrative entity called Multan. Multan in history existed as an independent state, a province, a division and now as a district. It is one of the few living cities of the world which have their origin in pre-historic times. There are countless references about Multan in ancient and medieval history. Medieval historian describe Multan as province of Sindh, during Ghaznavid period it was a separate province, it existed as independent state under Nasir-u-Din Qabacha. Then during Sultnate era it was a province which owed its allegiance to Dehli. It became independent state under Langhas, later on it became province of Mughal era. Although Multan was biggest and hence most important province of Mughal empire, but it is the period when question was put on its territorial integration. It lost it significance to great extent when Lahore gained importance. During the centuries which followed Multan kept losing its territories and its grip on its peripheral areas became weak. It lost lot of area in south to Daudaputras when they established State of Bahawalpur. In west and north-west Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan came into existence and at a times remained independent of influence from Multan. Finally, the Sikh Invasions of 19th century snatched identity of Seraiki wasaib from it and labeled the whole wasaib as Punjab . However it is interesting to note that Multan remained a separate province in Mahara Ranjeet Singh's Punjab.

Seraiki Areas,
excluding those in
and Sindh.

Punjab is phenomenon of yesterday . Although punjabi speakers existed from time unknown but there was no Punjab, as there is no Seraiki Wasaib today , but that does not mean Seraikis never existed. It has its origin in early part of 19th century when short lived Sikh rule was established as a result of rise of Sikh Religious Nationalism and conquests made thereafter. The areas what now are called Pakistani Punjab and Indian Punjab were brought under Sikh dominion (there were some other territories which now are separate provinces of Hariana, Himachal, Some areas were incorporated into N-W.F.P in 1901). However Sikh rule proved to be short lived and after British takeover the Sikh dominion became part of British Empire. This is the point where Multan's separate identity as an administrative unit was merged with that area of rest-while unknown Punjab. Before British take over Punjab was an independent state and Multan was it's province. When Punjab became province of British empire, status of Multan was reduced to that of a division. The British Bureaucrats and Civil servants , who although did great a job of writing extensively about history , culture, geography , geology etc. of the areas under their control. But they overlooked some facts and considered Seraiki as a dialect of Punjabi. Although some Punjabi intellectuals of that time who wrote about Punjabi labguage, considered Seraiki as a separate language. Similarly, today even, Sikhs do not include Seraiki areas in the definition of Punjab.

When both India and Pakistan gained independence, Indians keeping in mind the ground realities and in order to provide sound foundations to the newly created country carved two states out of the over stretched East-Punjab in 1967. Whereas Pakistan fell in the hands of naive politicians, who grossly failed in managing the affairs of the state and could not draft a constitution for quite a long time. They lacked political accumen, sagacity and foresightedness. So not only the failed to realize ground realities , but took actions which proved fatal for Pakistan , one such action was declaring Urdu as a national language (India declared 14 languages as it national languages) , the second blunder was keeping over stretched Punjab intact , not only this they also merged State of Bahawalpur in it . Today all smaller provinces seem fed up with the politics of this big brother. Which in fact is not big, it derives its powers from Seraiki land and people included in it. If we listen to history and act according to what it tells us , we can get rid of lot of ominous political tensions , which are eroding very basis of federation of Pakistan.

Today Seraikis are in control of Punjabis and reading history written either by Punjabis or by the people who don’t belong to this area. So we are told that we always were part of Punjab and Seraiki is just a dialect of Punjabi. It in fact is a political wickedness, by doing so they are user pingour economic and political rights. They want to deprive us of our history and identity, because only in this way they will be able to maintain their unholy dominance on us. Because who controls the past, controls the future.

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