A History Of Persian Language And Literature At The Mughal Court Part I
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Muhammad Abdul Ghani
Publisher and Place:
The Indian Press Limited
Royal Mughal Ref:
Some valuable works exist on the growth of Persian language and literature in Persia, but there was none available hitherto in a concise and connected form of any period in India. The present work, therefore, is an attempt to supply a long-felt need in that direction. After the publication of Shibll's "Shi'r-ul-Ajam," there was a great move on foot in India to construct its literary history on similar lines under the title of "Shr-ul-Hind" so as to determine what part India played in the growth of Persian language and literature. Many attempts individual and otherwise were made and scholars selected, but it was, perhaps, deemed an unfathomable ocean, and hence no one even dipped into it. I, too, had long felt it as a real need that India should have a comprehensive history of Persian language of its own, for although the tongue is the same as in Persia, yet the enormous difference of environment, which influenced the growth of the language in this country, justified a separate and complete record of all its achievements and vicissitudes from the in vasion of Mahmud of Ghazni down to the very end of the Mughal rule. It is desirable not only as a guide to the people of Persia for the correct understanding of a large variety of terms, colloquial phrases, and compounds, that were introduced into the language from time to time, to suit the country's special requirements, but also it would furnish the youth of India with a handy record of the part played by the people of Hindustan in the uplift of Persian literature under the patronage of the Muslim kings. An investigation of the circumstances which led to this difference in the common vocabulary, afforded an interesting field of research, and is dealt with under a separate heading in the body of my Essay.
it will suffice to mention that the Persian language in our country grew chiefly under the influence of Hindi and local Prakrits ; while in Persia its growth was watched by the Turkish, Arabic to Persian, French, and Russian idiom, which naturally gave rise to certain inevitable difference in the use of particular words and phrases, as also of their pronunciation, in India,
Nevertheless, by a contrast of the general aspects of the style which obtained in the two countries in the corresponding periods, making all allowance for our colloquial usage, it is
readily perceived that the Persian idiom was well kept up in India as lafce as the 19th century, until the overthrow of Persian to Urdu. Although it has to be admitted that some of our authors in the later Mughal age indulged themselves too much in the artistic display of words, and neglected to cultivate good taste, yet even their composition retained the integrity of Persian idiom. It may also be stated in this connection that the Persian Persian of today, as it appeared to me during my stay in Shiraz differs from the classical Persian of Sadi's or Hafiz's time. It is, hence, desirable for every serious student of literature to go to Iran, and profitably spend there a few months to acquaint himself at first-hand with the up-to-date style of modern prose and poetry, whole has been considerably affected all round by Turkish idiom, and by Russian, Arabic and French vocabulary. Mughal Courts, a compared with those of the contemporary Persia, which coincided with the Safawl period, on a wider and more comprehensive basis than could be found written in any European or Indian language. It seemed to me that the Mughal Court possessing a galaxy of brilliant scholars, deserved a separate and ampler record of its literary achievements,
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