15-NOV-2017: Dr. Gulfishan Khan delivered Keynote address
ALIGARH, November 14: Dr. Gulfishan Khan, Associate Professor, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University delivered a keynote address in a two-day International Conference on ?Persian Literature during the Later Mughals (1707-1857)?
The event was held under the auspices of the prestigious Ghalib Institute, New Delhi, Persian Foundation of India, and Bedil Foundation Tehran (Iran), in collaboration and support of the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (New Delhi), University of Delhi, and Reza Library Rampur (U. P.).
In her keynote speech she said that India occupied a pre-eminent position in the vast Persianate cultural world which included Iran, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Ottoman Empire with Persian as the lingua franca in the pre-modern age. Therefore, the standardization of language which meant indigenization of Persian remained a major goal of the medieval Indian rulers and their ideologues.
She added the Persian literature produced on Indian soil is overwhelmingly diverse, rich and multifaceted. The works produced by the intelligentsia of a declining Mughal Empire embodied self-consciously refashioned ideas on the subjects as varied as historiography, biographical accounts, literary criticism, colonialism, gender discourse, interfaith dialogue and pedagogy.
She emphasized, scientific disciplines like astronomy, mathematics, geometry and medicine also flourished amidst a period which was marked simultaneously by imperial domination and contact with the West. Indo-Persian literature preserved in the libraries and archives of the Indian subcontinent and Oriental Collections of Europe, and U.S.A. constituted a rich legacy and intellectual heritage of India.
She reiterated that the scientific cataloguing, digitization, preparation of critical editions of the enormously rich collections will facilitate their utilization for further research. Though a daunting task ahead, but it would surely enlighten many dark and neglected aspects of Indian culture, history and civilisation.
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