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No permanent job for Muslim Sanskrit scholar

Written by: Staff

Varanasi, June 13 (UNI) The one and perhaps only Muslim female Sanskrit scholar, who recently impressed President A P J Abdul Kalam with her literary creations, is yet to find a permanent job in this ancient hub of Vedic and Sanskrit learning.

Nahid Abidi (38), who holds a doctorate in Sanskrit was recently invited by the Rashtrapati Bhawan to gift to President Kalam her maiden creation 'Sanskrit Sahitya Mein Rahim,' which glorifies legendary poet Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana's unheralded persona of also being a poet of Sanskrit.

''I was allotted a time of only 7-8 minutes by the Rashtrapati Bhawan, but the memorable meeting went on for nearly 40 minutes, with President Kalam listening from me the Sanskrit translation of how Urdu-Persian poet Mirza Ghalib described the mystical charm of Kashi,'' said Dr Abidi who was accompanied by her husband and advocate Ehtesham Abidi at the unforgettable rendezvous with the first citizen of the country on June 6.

''Dr Kalam even asked me to get 'Devalayasya Deep,' a Sanskrit poetic translation of Mirza Ghalib's 'Chairag-e-Dair' published as soon as possible,'' she added.

But the Sanskrit scholar, who epitomises the secular spirit pervading the country, is still to find a job with any of the institutions of Sanskrit learning.

She first taught the students of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 2004-05 free of cost and has been engaging classes in Sanskrit at the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith (MGKV) university here for the last three years on a daily remuneration of Rs 100 only.

''Only the institutions of Sanskrit learning can tell why I cannot be employed as a permanent Sanskrit teacher. But it is not going to mar my love for the language which is going to be my subject of learning and teaching till the last gasp,'' Dr Abidi maintained.

Interestingly, the MGKV university was the institution which awarded a doctorate to Dr Abidi in Sanskrit in 1993 on the subject 'Vedic Sahitya Mein Ashviniyon Ka Swaroop'.

The Sanskrit scholar who has also attended large number of national and international seminars on Sanskrit, however, is deeply inspired by the memorable meeting with Prez Kalam, where she was also flanked by Vice-Chancellors of two Delhi-based institutions of Sanskrit learning.

She has started working on translating in Hindi, Sirr-e-Akbar -- the Persian translation of 50 Upanishads by Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh -- and is also translating in Hindi 'Majmoo-ul-Bairan', Persian translation of Vedanta and Sufi texts by the same Prince who delved deep into Sanskrit literature during his long stay in Varanasi in 17th century.

''It is a dream to script in Hindi Dara Shikoh's commentary on Sanskrit philosphy and literature which he painstakingly carried out during his long stay in Kashi. People of this ancient city must know about the unparellelled service of the Mughal Prince to Sanskrit philosophy,'' she maintained.

She further said Kashi has always enslaved great minds best epitomised by the musings of Ghalib about the oldest living city of the world.

In his work titled 'Chairag-e-Dair,' the legendary poet goes on to say ''The resonance of conch shells from Kashi temples compels me to forget Delhi and dream of spending rest of the life on the Ganga ghats, sporting a tilak on the forehead and wearing a Janeyu,'' said Dr Abidi, narrating the pieces from her yet to be published creation 'Devalaysya Deep.' ''Now it is my dream to spend the rest of my life in Kashi delving deep into the boundless wealth of Sanskrit literature,'' said Dr Abidi whose third creation 'Ashvinas in Vedic Literature' is also awaiting publication.


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