Home Indian Muslim Indian Govt. urged to hold global seminar on ‘Panchatantra & Kalīlah wa...

Indian Govt. urged to hold global seminar on ‘Panchatantra & Kalīlah wa Dimnah’

By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net,

Bhopal: The three-day international seminar on “Arabic Panchatantra and Indo-Arab Cultural Relations” concluded here in Bhopal on Thursday passed a seven-point resolution demanding inter-alia that in order to give a fillip to the Indo-Arab relations the Government of India should hold a broad based international seminar on “Panchatantra” (five chapters), the oldest collection of Indian fables which was originally in Sanskrit, and its Arabic translation “Kalīlah wa Dimnah.” This would enable the new generation to get acquainted with the master-piece literatures of these classical languages namely Sanskrit and Arabic.

Another resolution passed on the occasion appealed to the Bharatiya Janata Party ruled Madhya Pradesh Government to include the world famous Arabic text-book “Kalīlah wa Dimnah” in the syllabi of colleges and universities of the state. Besides this, the government should establish a research centre in Barkatullah University so that scholars could do research work on these two master-piece classical literature and related matter to this is collected and preserved herein.

Dr. Mohammad Hassan Khan, Head of Arabic Department in Barkatullah University, Bhopal, presiding over the valedictory function of the seminar as Prof. Ayisha Rais looks on

It may be pointed out here that “Panchatantra” was originally written in Sanskrit by a great Hindu scholar, Pandit Vishnu Sharma. However, it was lost and it perished in sands of time after being translated into Pahlavi (literary Persian) language in the 6th century. Thereafter, it was translated into Arabic in the 8th century by Abdallah Ibn al-Maqaffa and it was christened as “Kalīlah wa Dimnah”.

It was resolved to establish a general library in New Delhi where Arabic books from all over the world are made available. It was also resolved to publish all the 30 papers read in the seminar and Dr. Laila Khalf Al-Sabaan, Professor of Linguistics in Kuwait University, offered to bear the cost of getting it printed.

The committee which drafted the resolutions included Dr. Laila Khalf Al-Sabaan of Kuwait University; Mrs. Ayisha Rais, Dean Faculty of Arts, Barkatullah University; Maulana Dr. Arif Junaid Nadwi, Senior Lecturer in DIET, and Khaledah Siddiqui, Arabic research scholar.

Meanwhile, the valedictory function of the seminar was presided over by Mohammad Hassan Khan, Head of the Arabic Department of Barkatullah University, Bhopal.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Laila Khalf Al-Sabaan of Kuwait University, said since 4th Hijri Arabs enriched themselves from various civilizations of the world. They were very strong culturally and translated all books of knowledge in different languages of the world into Arabic of which “Kalīlah wa Dimnah” is a classical example.

Dr. Laila was all praise and thankful to Abdallah Ibn al-Maqaffa, the author of “Kalīlah wa Dimnah”, for providing an opportunity to Arabs and Indians to understand and come closer to each other. He gave them a chance to analyze and give boost to their literary works. She said the resolutions passed at the seminar should be well publicized not only in India but also in Kuwait.

She said what she had read and heard about India and its people in Kuwait saw much more than that on her maiden visit to this country.

“I found the Indians open-minded, very friendly natured and having overwhelming love for the Arabic literature”, she remarked

Dr. Syed Jahangir of English & Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, presiding over the last session of the seminar in Barkatullah University, Bhopal.

Dr. Laila after her speech read out some couplets in Arabic praising “Kalīlah wa Dimnah” and its author Abdallah Ibn al-Maqaffa.
Dr. Syed Jahangir, ex-chairperson of Centre of Arabic Studies, the English & Foreign Languages University, also rendered couplets in Arabic in praise of the seminar thereby reciprocating Dr. Laila’s poetic gesture.

Prof. Manzoor Ahmad of Kashmir University said the seminar was a very meaningful exercise. He felt that as in the good olden days India’s cultural forays had been through Sanskrit into Arab world via Persian and Arabic languages the same was experienced in this seminar also. Now real cultural exchange is taking place between Arab world and India.

Prof. Manzoor requested Dr. Laila to donate Arabic books on literature to Indian institutes. The sister duo of Dr. Laila and Prof. Laila Usman assured to take up the matter with the Kuwaiti Government authorities for necessary action in this respect on return.

Maulana Shoeb Koti said through “Kalīlah wa Dimnah” the moral values aspect dominated the seminar. He congratulated Dr. Hassan and Dr. Ayisha Rais for the success of the seminar and bringing the old cultural and moral values together which is most needed today.

Maulana Dr. Arif Junaid Nadwi speaking on the occasion said the seminar on “Kalīlah wa Dimnah” has propagated the “Ganga-Jamuna Tahzeeb” (harmonious culture) of two classical languages viz. Sanskrit and Arabic and brought together people of India and Arab world. He said at present the world is divided into two in the clash of civilization. The United States of America representing the negative attitude is waging war in the name of war on terrorism to subjugate the smaller and weaker countries in Arab world and plunder its natural resources of oil. While the other half of the world of which India is a part is propagating peace and communal harmony through its age-old cultural forays and principle of “live and let-live”.

Earlier, Dr. Mahira Parveen of Bio-Sciences, who is studying Arabic language, was felicitated on the occasion by Dr. Laila for being honoured with Young Indian Scientist Award-2009. Prof. Ayisha Rais proposed a vote of thanks.

It may be mentioned here that the international seminar was orgnised by Barkatullah University, Bhopal wherein eminent scholars from Kuwait, Lanka and from all over India participated. The inaugural function was presided over by the Barkatullah University Vice Chancellor Prof. Ravindra Jain while Maulana Mohammad Saeed Mujaddadi (Peer Saeed Miyan), Rector Dar-ul-Uloom Taj-ul-Masajid, Bhopal was the chief guest on the occasion.

Dr. Laila Khalf Al-Sabaan, Professor of Linguistics in Kuwait University, addressing audience in the seminar

It may be recalled that Prof. Ravindra Jain in his presidential address had said in the inaugural function that Arabs are very intelligent people and are ahead of Indians. They took full advantage of the literature in Sanskrit and Hindi which flourished in India during the period of the Rig-Veda and Upanishads (from 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C.) and translated it into Persian and Arabic.

In all 30 papers were presented in the seminar were in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, English and Hindi languages in total six sessions spread over three days. The foreign participants were Dr. Laila Al-Sabaan & Prof. Laila Usman (both from Kuwait University, Kuwait) and Prof. Humdoon Mohiuddin (Sri Lanka). Among the Indian scholars who presented their papers included Prof. Abdul Ali & Prof. Kafeel Ahmad Qasmi (both from Aligarh Muslim University), Prof. Abdul Qadir Jafari & Prof. Fayyaz-ul-Huq (both from Allahabad University), Prof. Manzoor Ahmad (Kashmir University), Prof. Mustafa Shareef, Prof. Abdul Majeed, Dr. Abdul Jameel Khan & Dr. Syed Abdurrahman (all four from Osmania University, Hyderabad), Prof. Iqbal Hussain & Dr. Syed Jahangir (both from English & Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad), Dr. Fazlullah Shareef (Avanti College, Hyderabad), Maulana Shoeb Koti (Mumbai), Maulana Dr. Afroz Qasmi, Sr. Journalist Arif Aziz; Dr. Iftekhar Masood; Maulana Syed Sharafat Ali Nadwi, Maulana Ahsan Ali Khan Nadwi, Maulana Dr. Javed Zafar Nadwi, Ms Khaledah Siddiqui, Dr. Marzia Arif, Dr. Sangeeta Gundecha, Dr. Shamsa Arif, Dr. Joshna Nigam, Dr. Maya Dube, Dr. Mohammad Hassan Khan & Prof. Ayisha Rais (all from Bhopal) etc. ([email protected])