Experts laud poets, writers for promoting Persian in India

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Aligarh, Feb 3 (IANS) Scholars and social scientists from India, Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan gathered here on Wednesday lauded the contribution of various poets and writers to the spread and acceptance of Persian language, which enriched the composite culture of this country.

The discussions among experts were part of a three-day conference on various dimensions of the Persian language and its promotion by Mughal emperor Akbar.

The event has been organised by the Institute of Persian Research of Aligarh Muslim University in collaboration with the Indian Council of Historical Research and the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, New Delhi.

AMU vice chancellor Lt. General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) said since art and literature face no boundaries, the Persian culture and language flourished in India and still continues to do so in many ways.

Delivering the keynote address, renowned historian Professor Harbans Mukhia said even though the Persian language and literature reached its zenith during Akbar’s reign, the Persian influence in India can be traced even before the Mughal period.

In his inaugural speech, former Allahabad University vice chancellor Prof. Naimur Rahman Farooqi said tolerant and benevolent policies of Akbar and his patronage of learning made possible the conditions in which the Persian literature and culture flourished.

Farooqi said Persian poetry occupied a special place in medieval times as the most popular vehicle of literary expression with the Muslims, both in the Mughal dynasty in India and the Safavid dynasty in Iran.

Prof. Talat Ahmad, vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, said the Persian culture and literature got a lot of encouragement during Akbar’s rule.

“From becoming an official language of the Mughal empire to becoming popular with the common people, the Persian language became instrumental in recording events and translating epics,” said Talat Ahmad.

He pointed out that Mughal court historian Abul Fazl translated into Persian many outstanding Sanskrit works such as Kishan Joshi, Ganga Dhar, Mahesh, Mahanand, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Atharva Veda, Lilawati and Rajatarangini.

Prof Azarmi Dukht Safavi said emperor Akbar launched a movement led by Abul Fazl to preserve Persian in its original form.

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