Karachi: Pakistan Labour Trust, S. M. Sohail Trust and Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi have established “Sobho Gianchandani Award for Recognition of Excellence”, which would be conferred every year on the occasion of Labour Day on the personalities who have ideologically, intellectually and practically contributed for the promotion of enlightenment and broadmindedness in the society, strengthening of the democratic values and supported the peoples movements in Pakistan.
The first “Sobho Gianchandani Award for Recognition of Excellence” was conferred to veteran historian and writer of books on history Dr. Mubarak Ali on this year’s Labour Day at a national conference on “History & People”. Besides a shield, the award also carries an amount of Rs. 1 million along with.
The award is named after the veteran intellectual, writer and senior communist leader Sobho Gianchandani who has dedicated his entire life for the workers’ rights. He, being a Hindu refused to migrate to India at the time of independence, despite instructions from the Indian Communist Party that all Hindu members would migrate to India and all Muslim members of the party would go to Pakistan.
At the age of 94, he has contributed in Pakistani literature, he has honour being the first non-Muslim and non-Urdu recipient of the Pakistan’s top literary Kamal-e-Fun Award (for 2004), which is given every year to an eminent writer in recognition of his lifelong achievements in the field of literature.
The first recipient of Sobho Gianchandi Award Dr. Mubarak Ali is a senior historian, who has set a trend of writing history books, in which various aspects of common people in the history has been highlighted instead of writing only about the rulers and their armies.
Dr. Ali obtained an M.A. in History from Sindh University, Jamshoro in 1963. In 1972 and went first to London and then to Germany for higher studies and attained a PhD (on the Mughal Period of India) at Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany in 1976. Later he became head of the History department at the University of Sindh. He was the director of the Goethe Institute in Lahore until 1996. He is also the editor of the quarterly journal Taarikh (History).
Dr Mubarak Ali has called for the rewriting of the subcontinent’s history and correction of what he called “historical aberrations”, so that the hatred and misunderstanding prevailing between the people of India and Pakistan could come to an end. He said textbooks in the two countries had been systematically distorted and that the time had come to reverse the trend.