This guest post is by Khalid Kamal who presents his point of view regarding the use of term “Son of the Soil”.
This term finds itself in the speeches and writings of political types all over this country. What does it really mean I have often asked myself? Most words and terms have a place or time when they are appropriate to use. Let us examine this term in detail.
Soil mean earth and earth is often referred to as “mother”. Although all forms of life depend on mother earth. Literally speaking earth is not anyone’s mother. The sort of motherhood attributed to EARTH is the innovation of poets and romantics. There is another unsavory group of characters who likes to refer to earth as their mother, because it allows them under convenient cover to sow seeds of hate and intolerance and they are political demagogues. I will not name any names but you are well familiar with them. They have existed in all countries and every chapter of human history.
Son of the Soil the term is sometimes used to refer to people of a certain country or region. It can also refer to members of a culture or ethnicity. The term is flexible enough to disallow anyone the status of “Son of the Soil” regardless of place of birth or mother tongue. The term to me is a sure sign of a bigoted and intolerant mind. The status cannot be awarded, acquired or verified in any way except on the whim and say so of the user of the term or their partners in crime. Not only is this term archaic and obscure it is the hall mark of bigots and racists.
Having adequately thrashed the despicable term I will come to the meat and potatoes of my message in the context of Sindh, Pakistan. There are no sons of soil here or anywhere else. We were all born to our respected mothers. There is a law that defines our citizenship; it is called the Citizenship Act of Pakistan 1951. All those who comply with its requirements are citizens of Pakistan, regardless of the gender, language or dialect, date or place of birth, religion, sect, creed, race, marital status or sexual preference. Besides being Pakistanis, all those who live in the province of Sindh are SINDHIS. Sindhi is not only a language it also refers to permanent residents of the administrative unit in the federation of Pakistan called Sindh. Sindhis consist of dozens of subgroups such as Balochis, Baltis, Bengalis, Gujrati, Hindkos, Kuchhi, Makranis, Punjabis, Pukhtuns, Sindhis, Sraikis and of course the Urdu-speaking.
I request media outlets print and electronic to abandon the use of this term. Anyone who uses this term should be identified for what they are bigots and racists.