The Writing of History: Construction and Deconstruction of Myths of the Sindhis in Sindh, Pakistan
Keywords:British, colonial myths, constructions, deconstruction, Sindhis
Sindh was occupied by the British colonizers in 1843, and they ruled over it till 1947, year in which India and Pakistan were partitioned, and Sindh was made a province of Pakistan. Myths of the Sindhis had been created by the British to justify their rule over Sindh. This study describes these constructions and analyzes how Sindhis have resisted and deconstructed these colonial myths and constructed their own discourse of national consciousness. This deconstruction focusses on the creation of a collective consciousness of the struggles of local Sindhi heroes who resisted the colonizers. Primary and secondary data from interviews and historical sources are analyzed to demonstrate the deconstruction by using Eqbal Ahmad’s (2000) concept of power triangle, and Reisigl and Wodak’s Discourse Historical Model (2008). Findings showed that the British colonizers used negative terms, such as ‘barbarism’, ‘the Sick man of India’, ‘martial-less race’, ‘hemp drinker’ and other negative slurs to refer to Sindh and Sindhis, and how these misperceptions continue to influence the power elite and mass media in Sindh and Pakistan. Building upon indigenous historical sources and narratives, we counter such hermeneutic interpretations of Sindhis and argue how these misinterpretations are far from reality, and how these seek to preserve colonial/political and other interests.