Gobind Malhi is considered a high priest of progressive literature in Sindhi He is trend setter in depicting social realty to the core in his works, and protrays the emotions and aspirations, the hopes and fears, the inner heavens and hells of the lower middle class society in detail. His works reveal the gloomy side of life. Devoted to full time writing, he is consitent fictioneer, one act playwrite and essayist. Particularly in his novels and short stories, his approach is characterised by humanist insight, absence of dramatic flourishes and realistc portrayal of the social scene. He knows the craft of novel, short stories as well as one-act play, and each piece of his works is an aid to a progressive understanding of the complex psychology of human being. The novels of Malhi bear the imprints of social and political conflicts. He paints the society he has known as close quarters. Very much alive to the currents and cross currents of time and space, he always has different tale to tell and that too in a different mode. In almost all his writings, Malhi generally deals with social problems that confront the people belonging to the lower middle-class.
Gobind Malhi was born in 1921 at Tharushah, a small village in central Sindh, a small village in central Sindh, in family of land-lords. He had his primary as well as high school education at his village and shifted to Karachi for higher education. It is interesting to note that after doing his LLB he never practised law even for a day and threw himself in the fray of the politics of the day. He took active part in 1942 Moveent and was imprisoned for three months. At that time he came into contact with the Marxist student leader, Sobho Gianchandani, who initiated him into Marxist philosophy. Later, he joined the Communist Party of India and remained Secretary of its Karachi Chapter for some time. Being attracted by Marxist progressive literature and became a pioneer of progressive movement in Sindh.
Malhi's youth witnessed the patriotic upsurge of Gandhian era and terrors that traumatised the Hindu population of Sindh at the time of the partition of India. He migrated to Mumbai where a literary circle "Nao Sahit Mandal", was setup and he became its Secretary. By virtue of this, he was again in the forefront of Sindhi literary scene, carrying two missions at the same time, viz. his creative activity and promotion of the cause of survival of Sindhi Language in India. He has been General Secretary and then President of Akhil Bharat Sindhi Boli ain Sahit Sabha for many years.
Gobind Malhi with Nari Gursahani, A K Hangal & H G Adwani
Malhi estabilished 'Kalakar Mandar' (a cultural troupe) to encourage Sindhi culture in 1951, and the group has staged a large number of plays. Bhagwanti Navani, Madan Jumani, Ishwar Navani, Satram Rohra and other famous artists were part of Famous Kalakars in Kalakar Mandal.
Gobind Malhi has also written, directed and staged many one act plays. Some of them worth mentioning are "Kafan", "Gustakhi Maaf", "Mahiman", "Juhu Je Kinare", "Sasui Punhoo", "Maan Moti Endus". He had sharp eye for talent in budding artists. He could bring out that talent on stage by grooming these artists. Bhagwanti Navani & Pushpa Malhi are such examples who excelled in their Art form and became famous. Gobind Malhi will always be remembered for grooming & introducing Bhagvanti Navani & Pushpa Malhi to Sindhi Stage.
He was roving ambassador of Sindhi culture and with the culture troup be visited all corners of India and the places of Sindhi concentration abroad to give Sindhi folk music programmes in order to keep Sindhi culture alive. He was also associated with the Indian Peoples' Theatre Association and occupied and important position in the set up, working with eminent theatre personalities like Ritwick Ghatak, R M Singh, A K Hangal, Sanjeev Kumar and others.
Malhi writes in the language the common people speak, abounding in native flavour. His contribution to Sindhi short story and one act play is a great as to the novel genre. He has written two dozen novels, thirtytwo one act plays collected in three volumes, forty short stories collected in three volumes, an autobiography in five volumes and host of literary articles. He has seen the editor of a few literary journals and edited 'Murka', a Sindhi literary magazine.
Malhi's novel Pyara Ji Pyas was picked up for Sahitya Akademy Award for the year 1973. The nogel depicts the spiritual odyssey of a women to a tormenting conflict between the cosmic principles and the mundane. The dehumanising experiences she had in the hands of the males of different strata of society who came into her life, led her to a state of disillusionment, the thirst of true love ever remaining unquenched. THe whole story is narrated from the perspective of the woman, the central character in a manner close to the stream of consciousness mode.
Gobind Malhi with Family Members
Although Malhi is labelled a progressive writer and is known as forerunner of the whole progressive trend in Sindhi fiction, in his short stories he gives greater importance to human relations ithan the slogans dictated by ideology. He stands apart for his strong characterisation and delightful, if sometimes black humour. Beyond its mix of captivating descriptive elements and brisk pacing, he has treated the material in his short stories with admirable clarity and human interest, and has been panoramic in his treatment of the theme. Malhi is an estabilished fictioneer and have been extremely popular. Seldom if ever have the pain and wonderment of growing up been more convincingly conjured up in fiction. Fashions and attitudes may change, but the simple human truths that run through Malhi's stories ring as true today as they always did.
Gobind Malhi receiving Sahitya Akademi Award from Suniti Kumar Chatterji
"Adab ain Adib" is Malhi's autobigraphical work running into five volumes in which he recounts his life's story. Besides being a narrative of his life, development and work, it also recreates the entire background-social, cultural, literary and political of a long period of more thane five decades. While being an account of his life, his childhood and education, his career as crusader of Sindhi culture, the book details how a sensitive and righteous temperament evolved and expressed itself in a variety of works in many genres of literature. In the first volume he dewells on his childhood. In fact, every writer recalls the power of childhood when the tumultuous variety of the real world is charged with miracles, when inanimate object speak out and dreams are bigger than the night itself. But remembering and recreating are different matters and only a handful of writers can retrieve the wonders and textures of childhood.
With every successive work, Malhi has elevated his reputation as a writer of great charm, serious intent and innovative talent.
Malhi received many awards for his exceptional work. Some of the prestigious awards are mentioned here
Dada Gobind Malhi Produced and Directed the Sindhi Movie "Sindhu-A Je Kinare" in year December-1968. Many songs of this movie are still very famous. Famous Sindhi Artists who acted in this movie were Bhagwanti Navani, Madan Jumani, Amar Chandnani, S.P. Menghani, Ramesh Jajani, Ramesh Raj and J. Ishu. Songs were sung by Master Chander, Ram Panjwani, Satram Rohra and Chandru Aatma. Music was given by C. Arjun. Songs were written by Gordhan Bharti.
Dada Gobind Malhi Chow inaguration in year 2003 at junction of 7th and 10th Road, Khar, Mumbai
Gobind Malhi - Book authored by Jetho Lalwani and published by Central Sahitya Academy
Gobind Malhi - Shakhs ain Adeeb - Book authored by Dr. Manohar Bakhtrai Matlani which represents his research work for doctrate from Mumbai University