IN the death of Dr Shamsuddin Ursani, Sindh has lost an eminent literary figure who made important contribution to Sindhi fiction in the post-independence era.

Dr Ursani had not been well since long and passed away on Tuesday. He was 80.

Born on Feb 2, 1937 in the literary atmosphere of Hala, he had developed a taste for literature since his childhood.

After being schooled at Hyderabad he developed a taste for writing at a tender age of 13 which later developed into an urge for research on various aspects of Sindhi literature, especially the pace and quality of Sindhi short story after independence.

A young Ursani joined practical life by getting into revenue department in 1958, however, his lust for literature drew him into teaching profession by 1961.

Dr Ursani joined teaching profession besides undertaking research on Sindhi short story which had undergone change in the matter of theme, treatment of characters and the value effect.

As a student of literature he was aware of the fact that Partition had brought about a significant change in Sindhi literature which was bound to stand out.

Since he stood at the crossroads of Sindhi literature he found it worth undertaking the study of the change in the literature, especially in the Sindhi short story, which had shown startling transformation in thematic value and characterisation.

His dissertation on Sindhi short story earned him a doctorate in 1980.

In the later period he authored 16 more books and commentaries. These include Sindhi adab mein tanqeed (criticism, 1965), Azadi khan poi Sindhi afsanvi adab ji osar (research, 1981), Sindhi boli ji sikhiya (tutorial for teaching graduates, 1982), Sindhi boli je jahan ji khojna (literary research, 2001), Fun, shakhsiyat aeen andaz (biographical sketches, 2003), Lakho Phulani (novel for children, 1986).

He also founded an institution, Osar Foundation, aimed at promoting education through private means and undertake publication task. At present it is managing six schools with a registration of 1,000 children from low-income strata. It also aimed at the promotion of literature.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2017