28-SEP-2018: Prof Mohammad Reza Nasiri speaks on 'Significance of Manuscript in Indian Libraries for Writing History of Iran'
Aligarh, September 28: India and Iran have ethnic ties and persistent similarities in many aspects of history and culture, but little do people know that Indian libraries have rare manuscripts which are helping Iranian scholars to write their country's history. To throw light on the topic, eminent Iranian scholar and Secretary, Persian Academy, Tehran, Prof Mohammad Reza Nasiri today delivered a lecture on 'Significance of Manuscript in Indian Libraries for Writing History of Iran' at the Arts Faculty Lounge, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). The programme was organised by AMU's Department of Persian.
Prof Nasiri said that Indian libraries such as the Maulana Azad Library of AMU, the Central library of Jamia Millia Islamia and the Raza Library in Rampur have rare miniatures, portraits, and illustrated manuscripts representing Persian, Central Asian and Arab history, culture and literature.
"In India, Persian does not need to be promoted; it merely needs to be preserved," said Prof Nasiri adding that libraries in various India cities have a treasure of valuable manuscripts, which need to be documented, digitised and preserved.
Speaking on the Indo-Persian cultural links, Prof Nasiri that composite traditions of Persian language and literature within the Indian subcontinent survive to this day, of which the Urdu language and literature is notable.
"The legacy of Indo-Persianate culture moreover can also be seen in much of the Mughal architecture within Lahore, Delhi and Agra," pointed Prof Nasiri.
AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Mohammad Hanif Beg said that the evidence of Persian's historical influence can be seen in the extent of its influence on the languages of the Indian subcontinent. "Persian exerted a strong influence on Urdu and other Indian languages," he said adding that it was during the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's reign that Urdu started to grow popularity among Persian speaking people of Indian sub-continent.
Prof Azarmi Dukht Safavi (Former Director, Institute of Persian Studies, AMU) informed that this is Prof Nasiri's 27th visit to India and third to AMU. "Prof Nasiri is preparing the sixth encyclopaedia of Indo-Iranian cultural and historical links," she said adding that the encyclopaedia will conclude with 10 volumes.
Prof Mohammad Zahid, Dean, Faculty of Arts said that Persian was the lingua franca in India before the British Rule. "Persian's official status as the official language in India was replaced with English by British East India Company, but libraries in different Indian cities continue to possess rare Persian manuscripts, which symbolise the Indian connection with Iran," he pointed out.
Prof Saiyid Mohammad Asghar, Chairperson, Department of Persian delivered the welcome address, while Prof S M Asad Ali Khurshid proposed the vote of thanks. Dr Mohammad Usman Ghani conducted the programme.
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Related PicturesProf Mohd Reza Nasiri addressing the seminar at Department of Persian
Guests at the Seminar at Department of Persian