” Mari Bhasha ” – ” My Language”
Dr Sibtain Panjwani – UK
In June 1987, Marhum Kassimali Nazerali Panju wrote a nine page letter to the leaders of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Community (KSIMC) expressing his sadness at the diminishing importance of Gujarati Language within the community in East Africa and in the West. With candid clarity, Marhum Kassimalibhai analysed how the loss of a mother tongue deprives the community of “checks and balance” mechanism as it engages with other cultures and beliefs. He also expresses his fears of the subsequent loss of our own Islamic Values and Identity. As part of “The Awakening Project”, Dr Sibtain Panjwani refers to his foresightedness and informs the audience to take heed of this warning. Initial result of recent survey on “KSIMuslim Identity conducted by “The Awakening Project” do reveal that Gujarati/Kachhi language and Islamic beliefs are fundamental pillars to progress our KSIMuslim Identity in the 21st century.