HYDERABAD: Sindh is mourning the death of a renowned fiction writer, linguist, journalist and lawyer Sirajul Haque Memon, who died in Karachi on Saturday. He was 79.
Memon was a versatile writer, who authored more than a dozen books, including five novels, two collections of short stories, one book on the status of the Sindhi language and another on economics, being taught at the college level. The History of Sindhi Language, a volume of autobiography and thought-provoking articles are included among his unpublished works.
He was born to a family of renowned teacher Mohammad Yaqub Niaz in Tando Jam, Hyderabad district. He got his education from Hyderabad. Memon was among the 303 CSP (civil servants of Pakistan) officials who were dismissed by the government of President Yahya Khan in a single order in 1969. When PPP Founding Chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came to power he offered Siraj Memon to either rejoin his office or run the Sindhi language daily Hilal-e-Pakistan from Karachi as an editor. Earlier, the daily was being published from Hyderabad city. He chose the offer to be editor of the daily from Karachi.
His two novels ‘Parado Soi Sadu’ and ‘Maran Moonsin Aao’ are famous for changing the minds of youth politically, as the author depicted the scenarios of the rules of Arghun, Turkhan and Mughuls in Sindh. Literary critics acclaimed his language’s richness and historical knowledge. His short story collection ‘Athun Manhoon’ got popularity because he depicted the character who was tortured in the jail for changing his political loyalty during the rule General Ziaul Haq but he remained steadfast.
After partition, the appearance of Hilal-e-Pakistan as a leading daily used to inspire writers and intellectuals. Siraj introduced Amar Jaleel, Dr Tanveer Abbasi, Rashid Bhatti and other giant writers of the time to contribute in the daily. Rauf Nizamani, who himself is renowned author and literary critic, said “Siraj has contributed a lot to Sindhi literature, specially in the field of fiction. He was popular for his craftsmanship, depicting the history and culture. But due to unavailability of such institutions his work is still scattered that should be produced.”
According to Nizamani, Siraj continued writing columns for different Sindhi dailies for long and wrote books, which are said to be the literary assets to lead the future generations. He also worked with Mohammed Ibrahim Joyo in Sindhi Adabi Board, the government-run literary institution.
During his editorship, he was careful to promote the language. That was why only skilled writers could find space in the daily for seeing their work published. He donated his family residence in Hyderabad to Sindh Education Trust, led by Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo for a great cause to promote Sindhi language education. His funeral will be held in Karachi today (Sunday).