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Scholar Motilal Jotwani is dead

January 31, 2008

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KARACHI, Jan 30 Prominent Sindhi scholar-cum-writer Dr Motilal Jotwani, 72, passed away on Tuesday in Pune, India, due to heart failure.

Dr Jotwani was considered as one of the great research scholars of Sindhi language in India and Pakistan. He had received many awards for his literary works, including Padma Shiree Award, the highest literary award in India, from former Indian president Abul Kalam. Similarly, the Culture and Tourism Department of Government of Sindh had awarded him with Shah Abdul Latif Award in 2006 for his work on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, the famous Sufi poet of Sindh.

Born in Rohri in 1936, DR Jotwani left Sindh in 1947 during the partition of the then India at the age of 11 years along with his family.

After leaving Sindh, his family had settled in Delhi, where he achieved distinctions in Sindhi literature and research work. Despite settling in India, he remained attached with his native land Sindh, spiritually, and made Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai his main subject of writings. He also did his PhD on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai.

“Motilal Jotwani was the only Sindhi writer who had written on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in Hindi language,” said Rakhial Morai, a Sindhi poet, who passed on the news of his death.

Mr Jotwani wrote about 40 books in Sindhi, English and Hindi languages covering the subjects of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, working women, social and family issues.

Among his well received books in English were Sindhi Through Centuries, Sufis of Sindh and Dictionary of Sindhi Literature. He mostly wrote on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Sindhi classical poetry, Shah Abdul Karim of Bulri, the great grand father of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, short-stories and novels.

He had also compiled Sindhi short-stories composed by the various Sindhi writers on the partition.

After 59 years, he along with his wife visited Sindh in 2006 on the invitation of the Sindh Culture Department during the annual Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai.

During the sojourn, he toured major parts of Sindh including Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana, where he met poets, writers and intellectuals.—PPI