KARACHI: Acclaimed Sindhi language novelist, story-writer, scholar, journalist, historian and literary researcher and linguist, Siraj ul-Haq Memon, died of cardiac arrest in a private hospital of Karachi in the wee hours of Saturday.
Memon was admitted to the National Medical Center a few days ago. He was 79.
Siraj Memon was born in Tando Jam town, Hyderabad district to school-teacher and poet Mohammad Yaqub ‘Niaz’ on October 24, 1933, in a house of six siblings.
After completion of his early education, his family shifted from his native town to Hyderabad where he later started his career as a lawyer. Later, after passing the Pakistan Public Service Commission examinations in the early 1960s, he joined the Income Tax department.
Siraj Memon wrote a total of five novels, but three of his novels – Parrado Soyoi Sadd (The Echo and the Call are the Same), Maran Moun Se Aa (Come die with me) and Tunhji Dunya Sabh Rang Sanwal (Your Life has all the Colours) – are considered to be some of the most widely acclaimed novels in Sindhi literature.
Memon is known for narrating the history of Sindh in his writings. His first novel, Parrado Soyie Sadd, depicts the tyrannical rule of Tarkhans and Arghuns on Sindh in 17 AD.
He also authored a book on the Memon community of the Subcontinent, which he himself belonged to.
He was also the chief editor of the Oxford Sindhi dictionary, which was compiled in 2010.
Being a close friend of former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, he was made the editor of the Daily Hilal-e-Pakistan in 1972.
As a newspaper editor, Memon introduced new trends into Sindhi-language journalism and his time there was widely regarded the golden period of the paper as well as the start of modern Sindhi journalism.
He worked for the newspaper for six years until his resignation in 1977 when military-dictator General Zia ul-Haq imposed martial law in Pakistan.
According to Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, who is also the nephew of late Siraj Memon, he will be buried in Karachi’s Gizri graveyard after Zohr prayers on Sunday, Feb 3, 2013.
His funeral prayers will be offered at Sultan Masjid, DHA Karachi.
He leaves behind three sons – Amjad Siraj, Arshad Siraj and Naveed Siraj – and thousands of readers to mourn his death.