An interview with Comrade Sobho Gianchandani – by Salam Dharejo

Sobho Gianchandani  (born 1920) in Larkana), is a leading Pakistani Sindhi social scientist, and revolutionary writer. At age 91, Comrade Sobho Gianchandani is one of the oldest living communists in the subcontinent. He has seen it all, done it all – and still believes that communism will return to the world in a big way. In this wide-ranging interview (Newsline Magazine October 2008) conducted at his Larkana home, where he lives with his family, the “son of the soil,” as he refers to himself, takes us on a reflective journey into the past. From his days at Shantiniketan to his involvement in the politics of pre-Partition and post-Partition Pakistan, it’s been an action-packed life. Comrade Gayanchandani is currently admitted in a hospital in Larkana due to ill health. Our prayers and best wishes are with him.

Q: How did you start educational career? What was the objective of your life?
At the age of five I started study I was a good student of Sindhi. We used to have one little bag of clothe slating sided and one or two books. When I was in class first I used to study book of class second, I used to challenge my class fellows that see how smoothly I can read the second lesson from that time on wards I think I became so much addicted to books. Books have become more important than my food. They have been my source of knowledge. During my child hood I was very troublemaker, if had no other work I would have quarrel with my elder brother by kicking him. Because during boarding period we used to sleep on single bad together, I had lot of vitality, my elder brother was sort of social, he often used to spare time with friends, where as I used to stuck with books. I became the good student of Gurmukhi.My objective was to become a lawyer. But after two years I realized that I did not want to be lawyer but I wanted to be a student of Tagore, because I started feeling that after perusing science I would be at the best of doctor getting admission to some Bombay medical colleges. And doctors have hard duty time- I started reading autobiography of Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Glimpses of world history, the biography of M.N.Roy the great revolutionary who run away from Bengal to become the leader of world revolution along with Lenin, so all these books made immense impression on me. I remember that the first book about socialism that immediately set my brain on fire was Raja Jhanak jo Sapnoo (the dream of Raja Jhanak) An other book Utopia of Thomas More which bent me to think about the dream where there is no hunger there is no poverty and every body is treated equally.

Q: How you turned from revolutionary to agriculture reformer?
My brother sort out the problems of my unemployment and asked me to look after the small rice factory in our village. Actually it was the time when I was under house arrest at my village from 1959 to 64. When rice become practically almost extinct because of disease that attacked the old variety of rice. I had 300 acres of land I read about the agriculture that how America, Israel and Soviet Union had made deserts bloom, so I contracted the Dokri Rice Association where gentle man Bhatti he was very intelligent man, he had introduced Irri 8, I first got only handful of seed from the institute and grew in the land. My father was conservative grower he said “ Sobho do you want to destroy all” you seem to be cultivating all kinds of seeds we have nothing to do with them and God knows what will be the result.” I produced 2400 Kilogram rice from one acre of land while traditionally one acre of land was producing 400 kilograms of rice at that time. The farmers came around and asked my father what they should do for the autumn season. He said now go and ask that mad man (Sobho) he knows more about agriculture than I do. The next crop that came was Maxi Pak (a variety of wheat imported from Mexico) it was challenging task to introduce wheat crop in the land that has been producing rice since thousands of years. But we succeed in growing wheat; people came to see the crop of wheat from many parts of surrounding area. They came to see my land because they said he is a man who did not know even where rice or wheat is grown. He has come and settled in the area and he has grown magnificent crop of rice, wheat and mango. So I became not only a revolutionary but also a great reformer. It was very difficult to turn from a tractor the plow and from the plow to the tractor, i made them realized that wealth indulge does not matter you can always turn corner and be as good grower as I am.

Q: Being a communist do you think, you have contributed to society and in return you have received proper appreciation and recognisation?
I am one of the oldest living communists probably not only in Sindh but even in the sub continent, the oldest living communist is Joti Basu he is 93 years old and Sardar Suraj Singh from Punjab he came couple of years back to Karachi, he said comrade how do you find yourselves in Pakistan, I said fine, I was born here and I chose not to migrate to India, the Sindh is my home land I have tried to contribute my little bit to the building of communist party and the beautiful world that we hope to make. It does not matter we have failed because even in the Soviet Union, communism has change the shape its not the same as we struggle for. I am not hope less about my friends we have some of the finest intellectuals, writers, thinkers in Pakistan. Pakistan has given me reactionary reactions to recognize me. I have got the award of the academy of letters for best writing in Sindhi. I never expected that Pakistan will forgot my contribution, because have I spent nearly 10 years of my life in jail and five or 10 more years again in house confinement and remaining underground. Where I am not a common man along with reorganization of my services revolutionaries, I have been bestow with Award of Excellence from the learned sanction of the community “the academy of letters” they gave me 500 hundred thousand rupees. I think my life has not been a failure even academically I have done by bit for the revolution that we lived far and thought that revolution would consume us and consume the country.

Q: How did you decide to study at Shantiniketan?
In 1938 -39 I cleared my intermediate and Lekhu Tulsani was my class fellow he said I want to go to Shantiniketin but cannot go because my father will not let me to go there how about you? I said I have decided to go there because I don’t want to be a doctor nor I want to waste time becoming lawyer because these professions need much time and I have not much time to spent for. A doctor look after the patient I don’t want to be another P.C Roy (The personal physician of Gandhi) looking after an old man who is going to be died on one. I want to devote my time with Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan.Thus, I sent a telegram to Tagore entitled “ I am good in my character, I am very good in study, I want to come to Shantiniketan not to bee sent back I am not prepare to clear a technical type of pre-entry test in your institution.” One day I received a telegram from Shantiniketin,” I have been admitted without having interview”. I came to know that 23 Sindhi girls were also admitted in Shantiniketan to attend the course on dance and music. Thus, along with 23 girls and a boy Gulchand we left for Shantiniketan on 19 may 1939. My next morning when I got early in the morning, I saw the whole Shantiniketan was ringing with the music of Tegore some were playing star and other busy in singing in Hindustani Bengali music Tegore music, strangely in this gathering I did not listen Sindhi music. I rushed to girl hostel, Sundri the girl from Larkana came almost in a half cloths, she was wearing a half sleeves she said brother, do you know what happened with Sindhi girls, all our baggage has gone to Calcutta and it will take a weak to reclaim it. We have nothing to wear that’s why we are confined to the hostel, and then I understood that why Sindhi songs were not being listened in the morning. Shantiniketin was in international institution student from China, Latin America, Indonesia, America and all parts of India were there. Fortunately two Indonesian students a Hindu and a Muslim were my class fellow and hostel room mates, the Muslim was a communist, at that time I was not aware that communist part of Indonesia was that much strong in Indonesia. Then I came to know by my fellow that how revolution took place in Indonesia at the time I was just 19 years old.

Q: As a student at Shantiniketan what were your political activities inside the campus?
In 1940, the first independence day, the day was celebrated in the memory of 1928 independence day resolution passed by the congress, on that day I went and told my principle that we want to hold the independence day meeting. He replied, do you know Tagore has put a ban on the meetings. I went to Tagore’s office- the principle told Tagore that a student from Sindh to whom you call a man from Moen Jo Daro wants to hold the Independence Day meeting. Tagore said “ To hell with them, if they want to be followed by CID, I do not want to see those ugly faces in Shantiniketan- I have just been able to get rid of them days after remaining quietly for so many years, even now they would don’t leave me, they are of the view that I am an agent of Japanese. But if you want to hold a meeting well and good do it. In the morning process the entire Shantiniketan community teachers, their families, children and students turned up singing a song organized a program and speeches were made. Mostly speeches were made in Bengali and Hindi when speeches in Bengali and Hindi came over, students started shouting, Sobho you should speak in English, international crowd want to listen to you. It was my first speech in Shantiniketan. I said in my speech that yesterday we went telling the teachers and their families to join this freedom rally, some said we are communist and communist are against the freedom of India. I said how could we be a good socialist and communist if we do not fight for freedom. I challenge you all come and join us there is only one platform, fight for freedom.

Q: Would you tell us about the social life you enjoyed at Shantiniketan?
When I joined Shantiniketan there were almost 450 students and out of total 250 were girl student belonging to different countries and well off families of India. Shantiniketan has very advanced environment. At that time I was too young among all the male students, tall and handsome. During stay at Shantiniketan I received telegram sent by my brother,” your marriage has been fixed by 25 April 1941. Come positively at that time. The news of my marriage may have disappointed many of girl students. I was so close to Leela Apen a girl from Kerala, she was my best friend. After getting news of my marriage she said “Sobho we have come to know that you are engaged and going to be married. Have you met her? I said no! That custom is not there, she was shocked to know that I am going to marry with a girl to whom never seen. Because she was from advanced Keralian family. At that time Kerala was so advanced in education, almost seventy percent women were educated. She was Joint secretary of English circles and I was the secretary of English circle in Shantiniketan.She asked me what is the name of your fiancée? I replied her name happens to be your name. Your name is Leela! She burst in laughing! She said you are going to marry a Leela which is not (Apen) her surname was Apen- I said fate has develop it. I was engaged at the age when I was 15 years old and now I am 21 years old, I am going to be married with a girl to whom I have never known. I wish I had a choice! She laughed, she said I hope you will be lucky enough; you were lucky in getting so near to Tegore. You received great admiration from your Jewish teachers Alexander Aronthan I know you have tremendous respect from all your teachers and the girls literally love you! I am not Joking she said. But now that you are engaged and you are going to marry, I am happy and my first letter will be when you are married and do reply to me. When I married after five days I received a letter from her “Our friend Sobho has married a girl named Leela, of course she is not Apen.”

Q: Being a student how you found personality of Rabindranath Tagore?
I have been so lucky to getting close to my teachers like Tagore and Karam Chand Hingorani. It was very strange when Tagore called me on the first day. He told to principle of college, “Bring that boy who is from Moen Jo Daro (Tegore used to call me man from Moen Jo Daro), who wrote a very challenging letter that I must be admitted with having any interview. I entered in his office, he was writing some thing on paper. He said why were you so sure that I would admit you at my college? I said, sir, I was sure because I have read your books and I thought that you have the great appreciation for talent. He said “I like your face, the Sindhis are really good looking, I have received 23 Sindhi girls, they come here for six months they learnt here different styles of dance they come in only three pairs of clothes that is what I like about it. They were very simple and they wash clothes regularly and wrap it around the body, I like their modesty. He asked me why has Sindh become such a peace less place. Why there are so many dacoits? Then he suddenly recalled and asked why you killed our best man? I said whom? I have not killed any person. He said you Sindhis killed Majmoodar, a Bengali Architect expert from Shantiniketin the man who was archeologist at Moen Jo Daro. I said a Brohi dacoit killed Majmoodar; he was killed near Dadu the dacoits thought that he was discovering gold, so they attack on their night camp and killed Majmoodar.

Q: Being a revolutionary, what did you contribute in the struggle of freedom movement during student life? 
Do you think that communist party made mistake in supporting British in the Second World War?I have been very out spoken in my views- when I was in communist party. I became a communist at the age of twenty-one years. The moment I went to Karachi after a year, the fourty two moment started in 1943, there was first student conference at Patna, and communist party came out of underground and sent, Farooqi, Sajad Zaheer and Mian Iftikhar to convince the students that imperialist war has been turned into people’s war. The communist party all over the world changed their line from imperialist war to people’s war and a meeting was arranged in the background of that change over. Most of the communist who were confined in Rajistan and some under ground leaders were brought to Patna, I had taken a delegation of 11 Sindhi youngsters from Karachi to Patna. On the way at Lahore, Inder Kumar Gujral, then the president of Punjab School Federation came to welcome us and said that conference has been delayed for one week so we stayed three days in Lahore. During journey to Patna I was told by one of my old Punjabi comrade that Sobho you are old friend of mine you are a comrade you should prepare for a change. I said what kind of change you are asking for? He said don’t feel betrayed; the communists are going to change line to support British in their war effort.I reached Patna when conference was going on. The youngsters surrounded me and the Sindhi comrades were in anger, they were surprised! We have been brought up to see the horror a revolutionary time and now they are telling us, we have to support the British. I said in the open session, Farooqi was conducting the session, Farooqi the last secretary of communist Party of India, he was the gentle man from Delhi university, he said do not feel betrayed, the world is changing, Sajjad Zaheer and Mian Iftikharulddin were also there and we are going to support the Russia Revolution now we are supporting the British in their back and when time come to over through the Britishers again we will join the congress and join the national forces. I said gentle man listen to me, I will go back to Karachi and discuss the students if the youngster are ready to accept it than I am with you otherwise, I am going to be with August Struggle of Gandhi to fight against British. When I came back to Karachi a final most all the youngsters the members of students they were mostly the socialists they were supporting the communist party. Now found that communist party is joining the shoulder to shoulder with British in so-called war against the Germany. At that moment I found my self between the devil and deep see and I could not decide. I came to my village for meditation. I came on conclusion that when thousands of students who go to jail Sobho Gianchandani will not take out his neck, I will join them. Suddenly war on 8th August 1943 started. With three days of joining the freedom struggle, three CIA agents came to arrest me; at that time I was very strong man. I said them do you know what are you doing with me, run away I threatened them, other wise I will call the students and they will make a human shield to protect me.After month remaining under ground, on January 25, 1944, I appeared at Meetharam Hostel where a boy came and asked me to meet with students I went over there where 3000 students were gathered and shouting where is Sobho, he sent us to jail and forgotten about us. I said I have come on due time, I am looking after the movement underground. One day there was meeting in Shikarpuri guesthouse, later on it because the Muslim league house in Karachi. There was a meeting of old Alumni of Shantiniketin, there was a Kathakali dance taking place – two people came from out side in the night, Kathkali dance was going on and our teachers at Shantiniketin were about participating in the Joy full celebration. I was asked by two strange person’s that your friends are waiting outside, when I rushed there, it was dark night, about ten people surrounded me and put into the lock up at police station near Jamia Mosque. I was detained in the lock up for 15 days. One night I was taken to an interrogator Superintendent of Police. He was special interrogator in Karachi, he said to me “Sobho you have done nothing to deserve arrested we want to know about so and so. I replied him we are not terrorist, three thousand students who have been put into jail were not terrorists, they had no guns in hands. I was put into the jail after 15 days in lock up, I was sent to jail where I met with most senior leaders of congress party. All were waiting for me. I said that first of all let me change the cloths, because during lock up my cloths and body was full of blood suckers, so they provided me pair of cloth and put my cloths into the hot water for three days as blood suckers could be killed. From Karachi jail I was soon transferred to Sukkur jail where I spent six moths in detention there I met seven whole timer worker of communist party. After three days I met Jay Ram Das Doulat Ram, the member of the working committee of congress, the companion of Gandhi.

Q: What do you say about the partition of India, why Sindhi Hindus decided to migrate?
Before going to Shantiniketin, I attended a meeting of Muslim League held at Khalique Jinah hall; it was probably presided by Abdullah Haroon or G-M. Sayed, I do not recall exactly. But I definitely remember the speech made by Ali Muhammad Rashidi, he said in his speech that Hindu members of Sindh assembly were supporting the Allah Bux Soomro, than the chief minister of Sindh, and there were 28 Hindu members in the Sindh assembly. The Hindu members unfortunately being a communist I know were too much about the character of Hindu. The Hindu acquired about forty percent of land from the Sindhi Muslim landlords. Due to land reforms, Hindus were entitled to hold fourty percent of the land on there own names. Before that reform Hindus were only permitted to hold the land in the name of mortgage. The Hindus were mainly moneylenders and educated sanction of the community but now they were turned as landlords as wellThe Sindhi Hindus have been never anti Muslim. Some may have been individually but the Sophism was so over led our way of thinking and philosophy. It is fact that the influence of Sikhism was so great among the Sindhi Hindus, therefore, none of us expected that when Pakistan would come into being then we would have to migrate .We thought that there would be some disturbances that has always in the past. Hindus were expecting that this is a change over of rulers, but at the same moment they were so sure that they will stay on and continue to dominate the economy of Sindh, the accounts department, the services. The only people who were count you for trouble were the RSS K.R. Malkani, the man who has written a book on Sindh, his elder brother was Naraen Das Malkani, he was the member of congress party, but he as more or less a Gandhian and Gandhi being a Gujrati was not anti Muslim. Abdullah Haroon was the president of Sindh national congress and in the Sindh he has great relationship with Hindus. He was basically a sugar merchant and his whole firm was dominated by Hindus.G.M Sayed’s influence on Muslim league was so strong. G.M sayed himself was a Sophi and he has many deep relationships with the Hindus. Everywhere he was the supporter of freedom moment. But after the support of Hindu assembly members to Allah Bux Soomro in the elections held in 1937, Sayed thought that Hindus were corrupting the Muslims and then they had those troubles in Sukkur the Masjid Manzil Gah riots which according to G.M Sayed were staged at the instances of Ayub Khoro, Pir Ali Mohammad Rashidi and some important Pirs of upper Sindh.Actually RSS probably was the element that knows that they were going to be the sword of the Hindus. When I came to my village during vacations I was surprised to see exercises being carried by RSS spears and guns in the morning regular exercises to which Hindus has never been used to in the villages like Dokri, a small town of Larkana district. I learnt that in Hyderabad RSS has consolidated a big organization, one of the Guru of RSS from Nagpur visited Hyderabad and he thought that Sindh was a very fertile ground for RSS. Even the Sindhi Hindus of Bombay almost half divided. Even my own relative, brother in law, I suspected that he had probably connection with RSS in Kamber, the Kamber was a small town, there was nothing to RSS. As the time of partition came near, Congress supported the Allah Bux Soomro in Sindh, so Muslims realized that Hindus are using Allah Bux Soomro to secure their interest under the umbrella of Congress party Consequently Muslims inclined towards Jinnah’s movement for independent Pakistan.

Q: How will you define the personality and political philosophy of Qaid-e-Azam?
Jinnah was totally a secular man. He had married with Parsi woman. He was actually a Pro-British man and Gandhi was beyond him. Jinnah was too materialistic in outlook as even today failed to understand. It is partly true that Pakistan was made by Qaid-e-Azam through his dialogues with British, who themselves brought him infront and supported. But it is true that Jinnah could have not make Pakistan without the support of Muslim League, without the support of G.M Sayed, Rashidi and landlords of Uttar Pardesh. Actually Muslim League leadership did not understand the secular out look of Qaid-e-Azam; they were of the view that Islam is the binding force behind all the Muslims of East and West Pakistan. Especially the Bengali, who wanted Bengali as the state language of Bengal where as Jinnah said Urdu should be the language of the state. He ordered commander in Chief Ayub Khan to shoot the student who was raising voice for Bengali language in University. Thus, Bengali comrades who were leading the movement turned against him. The first struggle between Muslim League and Jinnah philosophy of Muslim League took place on the plains of East Pakistan. Bengali became Shaheed Myrtar for their language and they started hating all those who had advised Jinnah that Bengali is a language of Hindus.In 1956, Mian Iftikhar asked me “Sobho you are one of the best comrade to whom I trust. I do not trust the Punjabi comrade so much as I trust you. I tell you the Punjabi establishment wants to get rid of East Pakistan they think that East Pakistan has 56 percent of the population, if they remain there, they will dominate the country because of majority votes. He added that East Pakistanis are good Bangalis, they are son of soil, they elect their common people Hindus and Muslims they have same language and culture. As for as Punjabis are concerned, they are opportunist, they are basically sycophants. They always salute the conquerors. I Iftikhar know Punjabis very well.

Q: What would you say about the role of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the political history of Pakistan? Do you think he was a revolutionary?I never liked Bhutto, he was dictator, and he was scoundrel. He times and again tried to convince me through delivering message by my friends that I support him. But I never did, even I avoid meeting him. Because I knew that this man was basically a counter revolutionary, a man who pretended to be revolutionary but he was basically agent of Punjab establishment.Zulfiqar Ali wanted to join the Awami Party. A joke told me by G.M Sayed he said “One day Bhutto came at my residence he requested Shah Sahib I want to join your Party. Joking with him, G.M Sayed told Bhutto “do you know our party is the arty of rebels Bhutto replied, “I know, mean while Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi interrupted and asked to Z.A Bhutto “Have you talked to your father and taken permission? He is a Khan Bahadur, Khan Bahadur’s son can not become a member of rebel’s party.” Bhutto shouted back “ Revolution is not the monopoly of Hyder Bux Jatoi, I am also a revolutionary, Hyder Bux Jatoi advised him “its better go to your father and consult him about the membership in our party, I know your father better.” Bhutto came to Larkana or probably on telephone he talked to Shah Nawaz Bhutto mean while, Sikandar Mirza contacted Shah Nawaz Bhutto and revealed that “I have planned a great career for your son Zulfiqar, tell him not to join the rebels- the word Rebel get a currency. Consequently, on the next day Bhutto came and submitted his Resignation, he said I don’t want to be rebel. At that moment Hyder Bux Jatoi shouted “didn’t I tell you couldn’t join the rebels?

Q: Do you think, if election would have taken place in 1959, the political history of the country would have been changed?
Nobody knows at that time Sikandar Mirza was planning a coupe. We came to know through Comrade Hassan Nasir on 3rd October, he told that I have been informed that Ayub Khan is going to stage a counter-revolution to prevent the election from taking place on January 1959. We convened a meeting of close associates and discussed the upcoming Political Turmoil. It was presumed that upcoming elections, which were scheduled on January 1959, would make a difference in the political history of the country. According to our estimate Awami League would take about 65 out of 100 seats from East Pakistan. Where as 25 to 30 seats were expected that to win by Maulana Bhashani. While it was expected that at least 30 members of communist will came in the assembly some of the belong to Awami League, Moulana Bhashani Party and rest 7 the communist Party. In this situation at least 30 communist will be representing in the assembly. This calculation was also made by America, realizing the situation, America came on the conclusion that one Mian Iftikhar-din the only communist in the assembly of hundred be can the headache, what would happen if 30 communist along with Mian Iftikhar-din’ s brains and his newspaper empire turned up in the National Assembly, they will make a hell any assembly. At that time America would not had a chance; America would not be in a position to reconquer Pakistan in the presence of communist parliamentarians.On October 8th, I read the Dawn it was written, “Army takes over Pakistan.” I rushed to G.M Sayed and asked him “Army is at your door.” He replied what do mean I handed over newspaper to him. G.M Sayed breaking in silence asked me “Sobho run away to India, India would be safer place for you; you should not stay more over in this country.”I replied, not at all, why should I quit, this is my land, I have grown up here. I will stay with you here through thick or thin. I was also advised by my Sindhi Comrades to leave this country. I replied than when I decided to stay over here, because I have family, we have land and property moreover. I on son of the soil, I cannot tolerate to be immigrant. So, I stayed in 1947, 1958 and now you see I am still here.

Q: As a candidate you contested election for national assembly on reserved seats. Ultimately you could not become a member of national assembly. Who made conspiracy against you?
My Slogan at election was even the richest Hindu is an untouchable in Pakistan. My appeal is not only to the lowest, the Bhangis, the Harijans of Karachi and the whole of Pakistan but my appeals is also the bone collectors of Bhawalpur and the millionaire who have made their fortune after the establishment of Pakistan, among them was my opponent Bhagwan Das Chawla. During election I got the support of the bone collectors of Bhawalpur even I could not went over their, but my comrade friends persuade Hindu voters to vote for me. According to the announcement made on Pakistan television that I have secured the majority of votes among the sixteen or seventeen candidates. After the announcement of my success in election, I was congratulated by Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Akhtar, the then Chief Minister of Sindh. Sharif called me to join him in National Assembly, where as P.K Shahani told Benazir and she called on phone to join her Party. I replied her, I am not going to join any party, I will be in the minority of one against the whole assembly because I stand for the lowest, the deprived whether they are christen, Hindu, or Muslim, it makes no difference for me. I got telegram from Jam Sadique Ali, from London, “well done Sobho. I have congratulated on your behalf all the communist members of Parliament here in Britain that in Pakistan a communist who has a mission has been elected in the National Assembly. Even in India members of both fraction of communist Party cherished on my victory during their annual meeting when they came to know that a communist Sobho has seen elected a member of National Assembly. But what happened it’s a sad story of affairs of our country.In the due time I was busy in making contacts all of those who supported and vote me. Mean while, my brother called on telephone and asked that why are you celebrating the victory, election commission has ordered for recounting the votes on the application of Bhagwan Das Chawala. In the application he claimed that he has secured majority of voted. The 3rd session Judge of Larkana refused to recount the votes he told the election commission that election has already taken place, results have been announced, no other party is informed about the recounting. All the candidates have not been informed without Sobho, he is becoming the victim of circumstances. I will only recount the votes if all candidates on minority seats made any request of single candidate who has made application for recounting.I came to know about the whole story revealed by C.R Aslam my old comrade friend, his twin son’s who were election officers. He told me comrade go and rest. The results have been already arranged by the ISI, and your name is not in the list of winners. I said why? He replied comrade do not forget that you are communist, you have been a communist and spent years behind the Bar, they know all about you.I received a telephone call from Bhagwan Das Chawala he said “ you seems to be very happy that you have won, but I have spent 63 Lakhs to reserve the seat and 7 lakhs to made the appeal, you know 7 million rupees makes no difference for me.” He asked my grand son that tell Sobho, he will never get in the assembly because I am here.” He told on phone how it became possible do you know? I have military colonel an employ in my business company. He has secured my seat. Through using his contacts. It seems to feel that all the doors have been closed on me.

Q: In recognition of you literary work, you have received award of excellence from the academy of letters. How do you feel getting appreciation award from the state?
I was told one of my old comrade that there have been a struggle in the academy of letters for the selection of persons for the award. Baloch and some of Sindhi writers stood for raise vigorous voice for my selection. Shah Mohammad Maree told me that we raised the voice that not a single Sindhi has been awarded since the inception of the academy of letters. He told me that we lobby for your name even some Sindhi writers opposed it. Now what they expected that I would rush to Islamabad to receive the award at the hands of Musharaf. I said, “Sobho will sick on the day when he called to Islamabad. It is against my principles to receive the award from a dictator. So, they arranged it the Governor of Sindh, Ishratul Ibad to give me award. The Governor said, “ I want to see this interesting man.” I was told that a special ceremony will be held in Karachi and as chief guest governor will distribute the award. On that day I pretend to be in Larkana and sent my son in law and daughter to receive the award on my behalf.

Q: After the demise of Soviet Union how do see the future of communism in the world stage?
I see that ultimately we will win, we shall win and all is not lost. Twenty five percent of voters have voted for Communist party in Russia. It has a most important is geo strategic position with immense reservoirs of oil and minerals it will play a major role in the game of power. The country is not totally under the hands of anti revolutionaries. Communism is still there it is not dead. Hundreds of million people who still dream state should take care of their lives. All the revolutionaries have not been killed, though flowers of Russian revolutionaries were killed during Afghan war. America, cleverly, put the most reactionaries to fight against revolutionaries. The Mujahiddin in Afghanistn did not fight war of Islam, but the were actually reactionary forces with dirty minds. The were not Islamic revolutionary, they were not the devotees of Kamal Ata Turk, the were not followers of Molana Ubaidullah Sindhi who dream for Islamic revolution with most modern foundations.Time has changed as the strategy as well. Communists in all over the world are playing their role for welfare state. Look at India, 62 members in the national assembly are old communists. Once I asked, Pardhan, the secretary Genral of Communist Party of India (CPI), “ comrade you have two parties in India, the Moist, Marxist communist party of east Bengal and CPI in Keralla, what are you doing in India/ Are you looking for revolution in India? He replied, “ No, we are saving the Muslims from massacre fighting against Hindu extremists. We are making hurdles against corporate giants who have snatched the resources from mass and looking for more resources. We are trying to stop land mafia who has grabbed the land and want to deprive masses from their homes. So, we are fighting the war for poors, the suppressed, the deprived on the ground of assemblies. Our presence in assemblies is something like a fight with out bullets. We are fighting with words and the echo of voice in assembly is heared by policy makers and public make this voice alive through movement for their rights.

Q: What do you think in Pakistan communism can take place?
No, it is very difficult for Muslim to become communist and to tolerate communism. I know there are many people who are of the view that I am working for revolution. They still feel that this old man still strives for bringing communism. You know, when I visited India last time in 2005, I never met with any communist leaders with a political agenda. I told them them that I have come India to meet with my relatives, old friends. Particularly to meet with Sindhi writers and intellectuals who have kept the flame of Sindhi Language alive in India. In Pakistan I am satisfied that our comrades have been penetrated in different institutions and working immensely for the welfare of society which we looked for. So the dream of welfare state is not dead, because I see comrades are energetically busy in fight against the reactionaries through raising voice in media and public mobilization.

Q: What are most challenging threats to the country of Pakistan.?
Pakistan is full of dirty minds. Religious extremists have turned the country in hell. In the name of Islam, they are killing innocent children and closing the doors for women. I fear that if they are not taken with iron hands they would turn progressive society into stone age. Though, I do not recognize Musharaf’s legitimacy as head of state. He is dictator, but he has courage and dare to kill the dirty minds. So I endorse his actions to wipe out handful reactionaries who are being spread like a plague making threat for our up coming generation.

“The state of Pakistan can kill us all, but we will not retaliate, we will not kill them”. Comrade Sobho Gianchandan opening the first ever Sindhi Association of North America(SANA) Convention at Karachi December 2005



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