Modi Gifts Persian Translation of Ramayana in Iran

Narendra Modi with the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani and the President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, witnessing the signing of Trilateral Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran, in Tehran on May 23, 2016
Narendra Modi with the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani and the President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, witnessing the signing of Trilateral Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran, in Tehran on May 23, 2016

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, gifted Monday the supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei a specially commissioned reproduction of a rare seventh-century manuscript of the Holy Quran attributed to Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph.

Written in Kufic script, this manuscript is stated to be a prized possession of the Ministry of Culture’s Rampur Raza Library.

Beginning Sunday, Modi was on a two-day visit to Iran. During his visit, India has committed to invest $500 million to develop the Chabahar port, near Iran’s border with Pakistan.

[ आइए सुने अपने प्रधान मंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी जी के मन की बात ]

It is considered an important decision, as the proposed port would open a new transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asia, allowing Indian companies to export their products while avoiding the land route through Pakistan.

Modi also gifted the Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani specially commissioned reproductions of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib’s collection of poetry in Persian, Kulliyat-e-Farsi-e-Ghalib, as also Sumair Chand’s Persian translation of Ramayana, a religious story of Hindus.

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First published in 1863, Kulliyat-e-Farsi-e-Ghalib is a collection of over 11,000 verses by Ghalib. The reproduction is from a rare copy of the book’s 1867 edition to which some missing pages have been added from a copy of the 1872 edition from Maulana Azad’s personal collection preserved in the library of Indian Council for Cultural Relations in New Delhi.

Translated into Persian in 1715 and copied in 1826, Sumair Chand’s Ramayana is a rare manuscript at the Ministry of Culture’s Rampur Raza Library, and contains over 260 illustrations – possibly the largest number in any hand-written Ramayana manuscript.

Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau

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Rakesh Raman