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VERNACULAR SCRIPTS OF THE INDUS VALLEY AND BEYOND

After a brief introduction to the Khūdāwādī, the presentation will deal with a salient question: why did the Khūdāwādī fail to be constructed as a community script as the Khojkī was with the Khojas and the Gurmukhī with the Sikhs ? Yet the script was usually associated with the Lohāṇās, a leading ‘Hindu’ community mostly involved in trade, but also counting as the bulk of the Daryāpanthīs, the devotees of the Indus River worshipped as Udero Lāl. Using published matter kept in the British Library collection as well as the scattered epigraphical corpus collected in Sindh, it will argue that although there have been some attempts involving different actors for it to be constructed as a community script, the Khūdāwādī is still used in present Sindh as it was probably since long, as a writing system for shopkeepers’ account books.

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