Dr. Shamsuddin Ursani

Preliminary:

  1. Name: Shamsuddin Ursani
  2. Born: 2nd April 1937
  3. Died: 22nd August 2017
  4. Nick Name: Shaman
  5. Profession: Academician
  6. Nationality: Pakistani
  7. Practical Work: Establishment of 12 educational institutions
  8. Major Work: Establishment of Osar Foundation Trust for the progress of education, language and culture
  9. Spouse: Razia Ursani D/O Muhammad Ismail Ursani
  10. Children: Dr.MemoonaUrsani, Dr. Noor Muhammad Ursani, Dr. Ziauddin Ursani, Imtiaz Ahmed Ursani, Dr. Ahsan Ahmed Ursani, Sindhia Ursani

Introduction:

Dr. Professor Shamsuddin Ursani (1937 – 2017) was a prominent linguist of Sindh. He is considered as first critic of Sindhi literature. Dr. Ursani worked in the education department and retired as a Professor of Sindhi Language. He was a very popular writer, who wrote in all major forms of literature including fiction and nonfiction. Though his major attention was towards Sindhi Language, but he also wrote in Urdu. He authored several books which are still in demand. His contributions are in number of literary forms including short stories, children’s literature, poetry, literary criticism and science popularising literature etc. In addition to this he was an educationist and contributed to syllabus and various levels. He also touched upon poetry and drama. He has also translated literature from English to Sindhi. The most popular among his translations are “Rani Kot” and “Afaq”, which was translated from science populariser “Cosmos”. Dr. Ursani spent very active life. Alongside his contributions towards literature his service to promote education is also countable. He established Osar Foundation Trust in 2002 for the promotion of Sindhi Language, education and culture. At the moment, 10 Sindhi medium schools are running under the administration of this trust.

Childhood Losses

Dr. Shamsuddin Ursani was born on 2nd of April 1937 in Hala new. However, his parents moved to Hyderabad when he was only two years old. Unfortunately, his father Mr. Noor Muhammad Ursani died in Tuberculosis soon after. Therefore, Dr. Shamsuddin Ursani never had any memory of his father. His childhood spent in Ursani house Khahi Road Hyderabad, which was home of extended Ursani family including his uncles. Dr. Ursani missed his father very much as he found himself alone among all his cousins being loved by their fathers. He used to ask his mother (Naemat Jahan), to whom he should call Baba? His mother told him unfortunately there is no one he can call Baba. Dr. Ursani had one elder brother (Ziauddin) and one elder sister (Memoona). Memoona died when she was only 8 years old due to byte of Scorpion and Ziauddin died when he was only 15 years old in typhoid.

Recovery of childhood losses

Dr. Shamsuddin Ursani was married in 1959 with his cousin Razia d/o great educationist and literary figure Muhammad Ismail Ursani. In 1960, Razia gave birth to a baby daughter. Dr. Ursani gave her name of his late sister Memoona. In 1962, Razia gave birth to a son. Dr. Ursani gave him name of is late father Noor Muhammad. In 1965, Razia gave birth to another son. Dr. Ursani gave him name of his late brother Ziauddin.

 

Education

Professor Ursani received his primaryeducation from Hopeful School Hyderabad. He received high school education from Noor Muhammad High School Hyderabad, He received his college education from Sachal Arts College Hyderabad. He received his university education from Sindh University Jamshoro. He also did his doctorate from Sindh University Jamshoro in 1980. His PhD. thesis “Evolution of Sindhi Literature after partition” is very popular among literary circles. It is part of the degree course work across the border in Bombay University India.

Professional Career

Dr. Ursani started his career in a revenue department, but soon he changed his line of career and joined the education department. He was first posted as Assistant Master, in Government High School Hyderabad in 1961. He also taught at Sakrand Training College and Training College Hyderabad. In 1966, he got first position in Public Service Commission throughout West Pakistan and started his career as lecturer at Government College Latifabad. He also served as Lecturer at Government College Tando Muhammad Khan for seven years. He also served as Principal at Government College Matli for two years. He was retired as a Professor from Government College Karimori Hyderabad in 1999.

Literary Activities

Dr. Ursani was involved in number of literary activities. He established “BBaran ji BBari” for the promotion of Sindhi fiction and Sindhi authorship among the young generation. Many prominent figures were members of this club at their young age, such as Ex minister of Education Pir Mazrul Haq Siddiqui, Dr. Ursani was also among founding members of Sindhi Adabi Sangat. He also established Kitabi Duniya Publications, which later became part of his Osar Foundation Trust.

Life After Retirement:

He dedicated his life after retirement for promotion of Sindhi education for which he established Osar Foundation Trust. At the moment there are 12 educational institutions established under this Trust. These institutions are providing education in Sindhi medium of instruction. Total enrolment in these institutions is more than 2000.

Following is the list of these institutions.

  1. Gul Ursani High School Qasimabad, Hyderabad
  2. Shamsuddin Ursani Girls College Qasimabad, Hyderabad
  3. Muhmmad Ramzan Kalhoro Osar Girls High School Jhan Mori, Hyderabad
  4. Israr Ansari Osar School Matiari
  5. Jean Manzoor Memon Osar High School Miranpur, Hala
  6. BiBi Badarunissa Pir Gul Hassan Lawari Sharif Osar School Bbaroucho Bagh, Hala
  7. Muhammad Siddique Qureshi Bubakai Osar School, Ghulam Hussain Laghari, Hala
  8. Zohra Afzal Shaikh Osar School Malook Dahri, Hala
  9. Fatima Laghari Osar School Talho Khan Laghari, Hala
  10. Saima Qureshi London Osar School Sawan Khan Laghari, Tando Muhammad Khan
  11. Saira Afzal Shaikh Osar School Ali Muhammad Jat, Jati.
  12. Hafiz Muhmmad Sadique Teachers, Training, Education & Research Institute, Qasimabad, Hyderabad

 

 

 

Awards

Dr. Ursani received several awards from social and political organisations. He received Madr-e-Watan Award from Sindh Taraqi Pasan Party. He also received Dr. Muhobat Buriro Academy Award. He refused to receive award from Nain Zindagi in protest against marginalisation of Sindhi Language by Government of Sindh. He was also offered position of first General Secretary of Sindhi Language Authority. However, he refused to accept the offer in protest against not assigning proper powers to Authority as enshrined in the bill passed by the Sindh Assembly.

Literary Contributions of Professor Ursani

 

List of Books

  1. Ikhla-aen-Kirdar
  2. Sindhi Adab m Tanqeeda
  3. Azadi Kha Poi Sindhi Afsanvi Adab jee Osar
  4. Lakho Phulani
  5. Fun Shakhsiyat aen Andaz
  6. Azadi m Aseer
  7. Science Fasana
  8. Naun Chhatteha Lakhno
  9. Sindhi Varjasee Bboli
  10. Sindhi Adab Jee Irtiqaee Tareekh
  11. Sindhi Bboli Jee Sikhya
  12. Sindhi Bboli Jee Jahan jee Khojna
  13. Pahakati Lughat
  14. Saqafat aen Insani Muashra jee Osar
  15. Shakhs aen Aks
  16. Dil Jee Galeh
  17. Alif B Bbe Bbarana Bbola
  18. Acho Sindhi Parhoun

List of Dramas

  1. Paggal Paggal Duniya
  2. Sahi-q-Latifi
  3. Inspection

List of Documentaries:

  1. Hyderabad m Aashoro aen Azadari
  2. Khuwaban jee Shahadat
  3. Hyderabad Culture
  4. Suriyah Badshah and Makhdoom Nooh
  5. A Journey of Sindh with Saleem Ursani

Additional Work

Professor Ursani, wrote more than 1000 articles of literary, political, social and historical nature in many popular magazines and newspapers. Dr. Ursani also wrote columns for Roznama Jang in Urdu with the title “Saqafat ki Haqeeqat”. He also worked as editor for Osar Magazine, which is published by Kitabi Duniya Publications under the umbrella of Osar Foundation trust.

In 1993, when Peoples Party (opposition party) was trying to present the bill in Sindh Assembly for introducing Sindhi medium of instructions in Schools up to class 7. Professor Ursani rushed to Karachi Sindh Secretariat and informed the Chief Secretary that Sindhi Language medium of instruction is already in schools up to class 10 since last 120 years and Sindhi language is already been taught up to university level. Therefore, such a bill will only downgrade the status of Sindhi Language. He helped the secretary prepare rebuttal of the bill, The rebuttal caused opposition leader Nisar Khuhro retract back from his position.

 

Last years of his life:

Professor Ursani remained severely ill with Parkinson’s disease in last four years of his life. He was bed ridden but he never stopped writing. He produced Sindhi Pahakati Lughat during his illness, which is a dictionary of proverbs he collected throughout his life. He died on 22nd of August 2017 at 5.00 AM morning in Rajputana Hospital Hyderabad. He is buried in Gulistan-e-Sajjad graveyard. During his life he authored national anthem of Sindh, which is now written over his grave. This anthem is recited every morning in assembly of all Osar Foundation Schools.

This anthem is given below.

ســــنـــڌ وطـــن آ زنـــده بــاد

 

صـنعـت حرفـت ۾ برڪت

عــلــم ۾ ســچـي آ عظمت

ٻـــيـــو نــه ڪــو در نـــهــار

ســــنـــڌ وطـــن آ زنـــده بــاد

 

هـــر ڪـو هت آ سـرشـــار

ڪــيـڏو آ سـائـو ســڪــار

مـــحـنـت نـاهــي هـرگــذ بـار

ســــنـــڌ وطـــن آ زنـــده بــاد

 

مـذهـب انـسانــيــت آ جـت

مــان مـحنت لـهــڻـي هـــت

نـاهـي ڪوئـي ٻـيـو ويــچــار

ســــنـــڌ وطـــن آ زنـــده بــاد

 

ادب سائنس ســڀ پــرايــون

علم جو ڪو گوشو نه رهايون

سـنـڌي ٻـولي آ شـاهـوڪـار

ســــنـــڌ وطـــن آ زنـــده بــاد

 

جـنـگ جـدل کـان نـفرت يار

امـن صلــح سـان رکـان پـيـار

سـنـڌي آهـيـان سـنڌ جـو ٻار

ســــنـــڌ وطـــن آ زنـــده بــاد