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Q 28- Persian literary sources of medieval India reflect the spirit of the age. Comment. (150 words)

  •   Paper & Topic: GS I à Indian Culture


  • Model Answer:


  • Introduction:


  • The Persian literature got a boost under Delhi Sultanate. Many of them had great love for Arabic and Persian literature. Learned men came from Persia and Persian language got encouragement from the rulers. Besides theology and poetry, the writing of history was also encouraged. Persian remained the official language of the Mughal court too.


  • Body:


  • Persian literary sources reflect spirit of the medieval India:


  • Delhi Sultanate:


  • History writing: Barani’s Tarikh- i-Firoz Shahi contains the history of Tughlaq dynasty. Minhaj-us-Siraj wrote Tabaqat-i- Nasari, a general history of Muslim dynasties.
  • Exchange of knowledge: Sanskrit and Persian functioned as link languages in the Delhi Sultanate. Zia Nakshabi was the first to translate Sanskrit stories into Persian.
  • The book Tutu Nama or Book of the Parrot became popular and translated into Turkish and later into many European languages. Many Sanskrit works on medicine and music were translated into Persian.
  • PoetryAmir Khusrau (1252-1325) was the famous Persian writer of this period. He experimented with several poetical forms and created a new style of Persian poetry called Sabaq- i-Hind or the Indian style.
  • He also wrote Tughlaqnama that deals with the rise of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.


  • Bahamani Kingdom:


  • Mahmud Gawan was a Persian merchant under whose ministership, Bahamani sultanate reached its peak.
  • He made endowments to build a college at Bidar which was built in the Persian style of architecture.


  • Mughal Dynasty:


  • Illustrations of Persian versions of Mahabharata and Ramayana were produced in miniature form.
  • Persian language became widespread in the Mughal Empire by the time of Akbar’s reign.
  • Abul Fazl was a great scholar and historian of his period. He set a style of prose writing and it was followed by many generations. Ain-i-Akbari and Akabar Nama were authored by Abul Fazl. It talks about Mughal rulers and in the last part it deals with Akbar’s reign.
  • The leading poet of that period was his brother Abul Faizi.
  • Abdul Hamid Lahori, the author of the Badshah Nama, commissioned by Shah Jahan to write a history of his rule modelled on the Akbar Nama.
  • Dara Shikoh translated the Bhagavat Gita and Upanishads into the Persian language.
  • Many historical works were written during the reign of Aurangazeb. Famous dictionaries of the Persian language were also compiled during the Mughal period.


  • Conclusion:
  • Persian being the language of administration all through that age, Europe knew India through the Jesuit accounts which reflected the details of state officials and general conditions of life in Mughal times given in Persian chronicles.
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