Muslim girl scripts 'Hanuman Chalisa' in Urdu

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Varanasi, Sep 19 (UNI) Even as the Ram Setu controversy refuses to die down, a Muslim girl in this temple city, as part of her vow to streamline the secular fabric of India, has scripted the 'Hanuman Chalisa', the most sacred possession of Hanuman Bhakts, in Urdu.

A bespectacled graduate in 'Medieval History' from the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith University (MGKV) here, Naznin terms her work ''not an Urdu translation of the poetic creation of Goswami Tulsidas, originally in Devanagiri script, but the first of its kind scripting of the Hanuman Bhakts handbook in Urdu.'' The Urdu 'Hanuman Chalisa', written with coloured sketch-pens, bears a picture of Lord Hanuman at the beginning and the effort is likely to be followed by the History graduate embarking on another ambitious project of scripting Tulsidas' greatest epic 'Ramcharitmanas'.

Naznin - the only educated member of a weaver family of Sonia locality of Varanasi - is one of the four Muslim girls devoted to the Bhakti of Lord Hanuman, the other three being her university mates, Reshmina Pareveen, Nazma and Farzana, also volunteers of a local NGO Vishal Bharat Sansthan (VBS). These girls, just like the rag-picking children for whom the NGO works, make it a point to recite the 'Hanuman Chalisa' regularly only for bolstering communal harmony in the country in these troubled times.

The devotion to Lord Hanuman and the proximity to 'Hanuman Chalisa' for these Muslim girls owe their origins to the killer blast that rocked the Sankatmochan Temple of Lord Hanuman in the city on March 7, 2006.

''We considered it our fervent duty to join our Hindu brethren in praying for peace and communal amity in the city, which has long served as a unique model of peaceful co-existence between Hindus and Muslims. Hence, all four of us joined other members of the VBS in reciting the 'Hanuman Chalisa' at the temple on March 8, 2006, following which we felt some kind of spiritual energy in our body and soul,'' said the four Muslims girls.

''Since then we decided that the sacred handbook of the Hindus should not remain confined to the Hindus alone, but should be translated in Urdu to make it readable even for the Muslims, who want to derive the spiritual power by offering prayers to the god known as 'Sankat-Mochak' (crisis alleviator),'' they added.

The girls, who have the whole hearted support of their Hindu colleagues at the VBS, including the NGO CEO Pooja, are hopeful that Naznin's effort will not be derided by the their community but accepted as an important effort to bolster the pluralistic fabric of the nation.

''If film actor Salman Khan can install the idol of Lord Ganesha at his house and the entire Khan clan can organise a grand Ganpati Puja there, why cannot Naznin script the 'Hanuman Chalisa' in Urdu,'' Pooja said.

The History scholars of the city are also praising of Naznin's exemplary effort.

Dr Rajiv Dwivedi, a senior faculty of Medieval History at the MGKV told UNI, ''She has done nothing new but carried forward the work of Muslim scholars like Abdul Qadir Badayuni, who translated sacred Hindu scriptures in Persian and Arabic during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The entire society, cutting across communal lines, should come forward to help this truly secular Muslim girl in actualising her dream of scripting the 'Ramcharitmanas' in Urdu.'' UNI XC JAS SBC RS1249

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