International Seminar on Revisiting Persian Literature inaugurated

Aligarh:”Persian was patronized by two great empires: the Mughal Empire in India and the Safavid Empire in Persia-its vast domain much larger than the present day Iran” said the Chief Guest His Excellency Dr Ali Rabbani (Cultural Councellor, Iran Culture House, Delhi) while speaking on the inaugural function of a three day international seminar organized by Institute of Persian Research, AMU on “Revisiting Persian Literature During 17th Century AD.”

In his Presidential remark, the AMU Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Akhtar Haseeb said that religious identity of masses did not strike anybody in the 17th century as odd that both Hindus and Muslims read and retold the Ramayana repeatedly in Persian .

In his key note address Prof Saiyid Zaheer Husain Jafri (Former Head Dept of History, Delhi University) emphasized that the Mughal empire in India had, not only adopted Persian as its official lingua franca, but its court was a much cherished haven for Persian poets and scholars-not only from India but also from Iran where, due to the Turkish roots of the Safavids Persian had a natural rival in Turkish language. After the solid foundation laid down for the Persians development by the three Great Mughals; Babur, Hamayun and Akbar-their worthy successors, Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangazeb also had deep interest in Persian literature and learning.

Prof Kazim Kahdoei (Yazd University, Tehran Iran), recited few Persian couplets in his brief speech and narrated that with the coming of the Mughals, a new era in Persian lite-rature started. Babur brought with him poets and scholars like Abu’l Wahid Farighi, Nadir Samarquandi and Tahir Khwandi from Central Asia. Though Babur himself wrote in Turkish, his court provided forum to both Persian and Turkish writers and later Humanyun and Akbar carried forward the good work on Persian literature furthering better relations and understanding.

Guest of Honour Dr Ali Reza Gazveh ( Astt Cultural Councellor , Iran Cultural House, Delhi) elaborated that Persian translations of Sanskrit materials are largely forgotten today. Only few know that some of the most beautiful versions of the Ramayana are written in Persian or that Ayurvedic medicine was once a topic of sustained interest among Persian-speaking intellectuals. Most Indo-Persian translations are severely understudied; many moulder away in manuscript libraries, unpublished and in want of sustained philological attention.

On the occasion five books Shakufai Adbiyatae Farsi Vol I & II, Nuzhatul Arwah, Manaqebul Asrar and Burhan-e-Awadh were also released by the Chief Guest.

Dean Faculty of Arts Prof Masood A Alavi briefed the gathering that the 17th century Persian literature is to be noticed and studied for the sheer variety and versatility of its prose and poetry . It is need of the hour to reiterate that India has always been accommodative to the people who came from any soil and contributed for its growth.

Prof Azarmi Dukht Safavi (Advisor Institute of Persian Research, AMU) summarised the whole seminar with her narrative that the 17th century Persian literature is to be noticed and studied for the sheer variety and versatility of its prose and poetry and for the scholastic and academic prowess of its literary compositions, besides the immensely rich and unique heritage of Persian poetry. It is need of the hour to have analytical look at this grand heritage and to bring out its various aspects hitherto not fully explored or understood.

In his welcome address Prof SM Asad Ali Khursheed (Director, Institute of Persian Research, AMU), said that an analytical look at this grand heritage and to bring out its various aspects hitherto not fully explored or understood, the Institute of Persian Research is organizing three day International Seminar, with main focus on fascinating and relatively untouched archive of Indo-Persian Literature produced in the 17th century.

Prof SM Asghar (Chairman Dept of Persian) presented the vote of thanks and Dr Md. Ehteshamuddin conducted the proceedings.

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