State Archives Possess 1.50 Lakh Rare Manuscripts Of Moghul Era


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Hyderabad, March 23 (Telemedia) : “The largest collection of 1,55,000 paper manuscripts of Mughal era, preserved in State Archives, reflects the adept administration, justice, equality and harmony during its reign”, said the Director, AP State Archives Dr. Zareena Parveen. Delivering her presidential address after inaugurating a five day workshop on ‘Preventative Conservation of Manuscript’  organized jointly by AP State Archives and Research institute and National Mission for Manuscript, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India, New Delhi today in Hyderabad.

A manuscript belonging to Mughal’s era has become the highlight of the work shop in which a Mughal Emperor gives an imperial order on the recommendation of his confidante Raja Jai Singh, one of the commanders in his army, taking action against Sarfaraz Khan ,an army officer , by reducing his rank for not obeying Raja Jai Singh’s orders. He was punished by reducing 1000 zat (infantry) and equal numbers of sawars (mounted army) from his battalion.’  This manuscript pertain to 8th regnal year of Aurangzeb’s rule in 1665-66 A.D.,

Revealing this, Dr. Zareen Parveen informed that these huge number of paper manuscripts written in old Persian language (known as Shikista script) were acquired from the Aurangabad, one of the subas under Asaf Jahi rule, which was the head quarter of the Mughals in South India. She said that another 669 rare manuscripts from early medieval period to modern period till the merger of Hyderabad into the Indian union during the reign of Asaf Jah VII Mir Osman Ali Khan, are in the custody of this archival treasure house. These manuscripts in Persian language recount authentic events of history and open a window to explore the hitherto unchartered past of the Hyderabad Deccan. Delving in the tragic past of the lost glory of manuscripts Dr Zareena Parveen said that the Persian and Arabic  manuscripts in millions were lost in the hands of loot-piracy-and plunder at the hands of foreign invaders.

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She observed that the two tragic and catastrophic events that struck at the very roots of medieval or Islamalic civilization were the devastation of Bagdad at the hands of Tatar in 1258 H.,  when hundreds of thousand of books were burned or thrown into the river Dajla turning its water red with blood and black with ink and the  second tragedy was the fall of Granada in the hands of Crusaders in 1492 , when Ferbnandez cruelly ordered the killing of men,women and children and burning of books. As per the historians, the loss of the manuscripts is the loss of our bygone history. She said.

Dr Usha Suresh , Former Director of the Karnataka Archives said in the inaugural address that historic records need to be made  more accessible and a congenial and healthy atmosphere must be created in the record rooms so that the new generation don’t run away from searching the main source of their research for the fear of dust and dirt. She said that most of the scholars now a days do cut and paste job using ready made material ,relying on secondary sources or picking up the content as it is  through Google search. She lamented that this prevailing fashion is not only reduces the quality of research but also detrimental to the archival existence.

The work shop is being attended by a good deal of resource persons from Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Lucknow where as many aspirants from several institutions, organizations and museums of Telengana and Andhra Pradesh including Assisant Directors S. Ramakrishna and M.A.Raqeeb. Deputy Director V.Rangaraj proposed vote of thanks.

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