Biographical Literature: Beginning, Definition & Importance

Abstract

Biographical literature can be directly linked to modern Sindhi Prose and the beginning of the Alphabet under the Ellis Committee (1853) imposition of Sindhi language in Sindh, paved the way for revolutionary success of Sindhi Prose. Learned scholars of Sindhi language place great importance on the contribution of biographical literature.
Biographical literature mainly divided into two categories. The first in which, one writes about the others, while the second in which, one writes about the life of his own. Seth Nayomal made one of the earliest contributions to Sindhi biographical literature, when he got written ‘Yaadgiryoon’ (Memories) in Sindhi, which got translated into English and then re-translated from English to Sindhi. The first ever complete biography in Sindhi, is that of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), written and published in 1911 by Lalchand Amar Dinomal Jagtiyani. Scholars and writers such as Mirza Qaleech Baig, Koromal Chandanmal Khilnani, Hakeem Fateh Muhammad are of the some names that made earliest contributions to biographical literature. After the great works of these men, biographical literature in Sindhi language has kept pulling up. Traces of biographical literature are found in religious books and even in ancient Egyptian graffiti. In recorded history, the first ever written biography is of St. Augustine. Along with having a ‘Aaytaraf’ (Confessions) historical significance, biographical form of literature has a cultural significance. It depicts and represents the culture, traditions and values of the times in which it was written. It also describes the political and social conditions, and provides lessons about ethics and morality. It is, hence, a combination of three things man, history and literature. The individuals experiences, events, moments, happiness, sorrows expressed in biographical form of literature no longer remain individual. They serve the purpose of enlightening the public at large about lessons from experiences of life.

Hameed Sabzoi