Persian Historical Sources during the British Period in Sindh (An Introduction and Investigation)

Abstract

The current study is focused on to the introduction and evaluation of the Persian historical sources written during the British period in Sindh(18431947). Very little research or investigation has so far been done in this area. Since due to the foreign invasions and foreign rule throughout the centuries till the Mughal rule, the people of Sindh never had the opportunity to pursue or preserve their own language, literature, history and culture. This paper tries briefly to explore the traces of Persian language and its development as an official language of India generally and of Sindh particularly. Persian flourished in Sindh during the medieval period when Arab rule came to an end and the new ruling dynasties coming from Central Asia established their rule over Sindh. Persian supplanted one as the official language of the court and administration. However, Persian did not remain as the official language any more during the British rule but some of the historical records were produced in Persian besides English and Sindhi, the now official languages of Sindh mostly at the instance of the British officials. This paper tries to provide a comprehensive account of all these chronicles and the purpose of English officials’ instigation behind such an effort of making records of the progress and development taking place under their patronage. It particularly highlights the value and authenticity of this material as a source of the history of Sindh during this period. It briefly deals with the importance of this work as a reference to the secret missions in order to expand British power further North-West in the Sub-continent. Finally, it shows the reasons of deterioration in the status and standard of Persian in Sindh during this period.

Humera Naz