Archive for January, 2008

By Ravinder Singh

Chandigarh, Jan 5 (ANI): Sikhs visiting Gurdwaras to pay obeisance to the Guru Granth Sahib may not be aware that the sacred book has several Persian words and verses.

For a better understanding of the Granth, a knowledge of Persian will be helpful.

Dr. Gursharanjeet Singh, a lecturer of Guru Nanak Studies, wants to approach experts on Persian in Iran and Afghanistan for an in depth understanding of the holy book. The bani (Guru’s sayings) in the Guru Granth Sahib are in Persian language. Also, some portion of the literature is written in the Persian language. We wish to restore the literature with the help of experts in Persian language in Iran, Afghanistan and India, said Gursharanjeet Singh.

To make the Persian language popular in India, over 150 Persian scholars from India, Iran and Afghanistan recently participated in the 28th International Conference of Persian Teachers. They were of unanimous view that the Persian language be made part of the compulsory syllabi in Indian universities and in other educational institutions. We want the history of Punjab and the Sikhs, and the messages of the Sikh Gurus to be expounded. Without studying the Persian language, it is not possible to learn about the past of Punjab and its Gurus, said Professor A W Azhar Dehlawi, General Secretary, All-India Persian Teachers Conference.

Urdu and Punjabi have been derived from Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit. There was a time when Punjabi was written in Persian script. Even today, the script is in vogue in West Punjabin Pakistan.

Zalmay Hewadmal, cultural advisor to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, said a school has been opened for Sikhs in Ghazni, besides arrangements being made in the Gurudwaras of Jalalabad, Kabul and Kandhar cities to teach Gurmukhi script to the Sikhs.

Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, was a Persian scholar and wrote “Zafarnama” (The Letter of Victory) to Aurangzeb in chaste Persian verse. (ANI)


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