In this age of Information Technology, access to knowledge does not completely depend on books or printed material, now entire world working on a paradigm shift and rapidly shifting knowledge online, that is why most of the books of science, literature, technology even folklore and social issues is available there. Due to the rapid speed of the internet, knowledge travels from one corner of the world to another without any barrier. Everybody knows that in the west, encyclopedias are under construction to put classical literature on screen. At moment Wikipedia is a great place to access information about everything and it is predicted that very soon it will be an authentic source of knowledge on Google. There are very huge portals being active online in which entire info of classical scholars of past i.e., Rumi, Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, Guru Nanik, Kalidas, etc and scholars of running era i.e., Allama Iqbal, Tagore, etc. is available and researchers are getting great benefit from the portals.
This is very unfortunate that in this latest Technology, legendry poet of Indus Valley Civilization and an iconic philosopher, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s work and translations in different languages are in cupboards of different libraries. A meager work is done online in this regard. Very first-time respectable Abdul-Majid Bhurgri posted “Shah Jo Risalo” on his personal website which was compiled by Kalyan Advani and then it was copied and pasted on different websites.
“GUNJ” the poetry of Shah is reproduced by different scholars and poetry of Bhittai is recorded by different singers is now available in the shape of CDs, VHS Tapes, DVDs, and audio files are kept in cupboards of the Library of Institute of Sindhology, instead of online, However, there is a real danger that all those might be damaged due to fungus i.e; environmental issues. Even in this situation, researchers are facing enormous difficulties to access such sort of resource material.
Now, what to do?
In the light of the above facts, it is suggested that a project may be initiated with the name of Bhittaipedia that will be run by its real domain i.e.; Abdul-Majid Bhurgri Institute of Language Engineering.
Aim and Objective of Bhittaipedia:
- To preserve “Shah Jo Risalo” in text, audio & video formats, along with lexical researches, books (all available data) online for researchers to work on the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.
- Enlarge outreach of Shah’s message to billions of people in their own language.
Bhittaipedia Project will be financed by the Department of Culture, Tourism, Antiquities & Archives - Government of Sindh and will develop by the recently established Abdul Majid Bhurgri Institute of Language Engineering. The institute will collect all data focused on Shah Jo Risalo from different related institutes and departments.
Institute will develop and architect model and framework as below:
- All versions of Shah Jo Risalo will be recomposed in digital format and will make all these online in text format with word-by-word dictionary function.
- At this time all translations work will be collected and after composing process, those will be online at the appropriate place.
- Audio and video recordings collected will be kept on Cloud.
- All research work, books, generals, and articles written by different scholars and writers will be kept online on a categorical basis.
- There will be verse-wise audio narration to better understanding the phonetics of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.
- Special Gunj Font & Keyboard layout will be developed for recomposing of original Gunj Sharif and it will be online too as a text-based format.
- Looking the forthcoming any idea, which will be helpful to achieve this gigantic task will be added in the project
Besides the easily accessing and better understanding to the message of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai globally, it is expected to:
- Material regarding Sindhi Literature especially Latifiat will be preserved forever and coming generations will get the benefit.
- All the researchers who are doing their research in the field of Eastern Classical Literature, Poetry, Sufism and spirituality, peace, and interfaith harmony will get benefit from this project.
- The Sindhi language will be promoted globally.