ADVERTISEMENT

Ansari lauds Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah for Dakini Urdu promotion and secularism

Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, in Hyderabad on April 13, 2017.
Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, in Hyderabad on April 13, 2017.
Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari has lauded Hyderabad city founder Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, whose reign in the 16th century is noted for its contributions to the promotion of Dakhini Urdu literature and a secular approach in governance.
 
Delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Mr Ansari said Hyderabad was designed to be "a replica of the paradise itself".
 
"An early 17th century English traveler praised it ‘for its sweetness of air, convenience of water and fertility of soil’ and ranked it higher than any in the realm of the Moghul emperor or other princes," he said.
 
“One other reason should make the subject inseparable from the venue. Dakhani Urdu has its own pedigree and was the court language of Bijapur and Golkonda kingdoms. Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah composed verses, on his own admission, every day ‘just like waves in a rippling river’ and is credited as being the first person to have compiled a diwan. 
 
"He was the first translator of Hafiz and his efforts ‘led to the birth of a Persian poetic style and usage in the Dabistan-e-Golkonda,” he added.
 
Mr Ansari said it was important to consider the context of the times and the place in history of the Qutbshahi dynasty that lasted a mere 164 years - from 1523 to 1687, when its last incumbent, Abu`l Hasan, surrendered to a Moghul general.
 
“In this short span, it witnessed a blossoming of architecture, poetry, music, art, dance and cuisine and became a byword for culture apart from being a vibrant centre of international trade,” he added.
 
Mohammad Quili lived at a time when Moghul Emperor Akbar, in the words of a biographer, “hovered like an eagle over the northern horizon and watched the fighting cocks of the southern states, rending and wearing each other until his own time should come to pray on them".
 
"Individuals, communities, and whole states defined their identity with respect to this colossus of the north, sometimes in opposition to it and sometime in imitation of it," Mr Ansari said. 
 
These independent or quasi-independent entities survived the imperial onslaught for varying periods by acknowledging some form of suzerainty. In the process, they developed their own style of governance. 
 
They "detached religion from statecraft" and culture from territorial boundaries and thereby gave themselves "an enormously elastic and transnational character".
 
Nor is the role of the mystics in forging ties between different segments of society to be ignored. This led to eventual reconciliation of religions and culture.
 
Mr. Ansari said two aspects of the statecraft of the Deccan states can be discerned and are worthy of mention. The first was the philosophy of governance and the necessity of a pragmatic approach towards the subjects of the state. The second pertained to the geopolitical considerations that confronted them in relation to the dominant power in the Indian sub-continent.
 
The Qutb-shahis were of Iranian origin and had strong religious affiliations arising from of their relationship with Iran, particularly after the year 1501 when Shah Ismail resorted to strident sectarianism.  Notwithstanding this, their approach to governance was pragmatic and secular. Writing about the administrative system in the reign of Ibrahim, father of Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, the historian Haroon Khan Sherwani has noted that "very little differentiation was made between the Hindus and the Muslims so far as the affairs of the state were concerned".
 
This was also the case in Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah’s period when "a characteristic of the epoch was a spirit of camaraderie which existed between the Hindu and the Muslim sections of the population" and "the whole policy of the Government seems to have been that of equality of opportunity for both the Hindus and the Muslims for practically all the officers of the state", he said, quoting the historian.
 
"His court, continues the same historian, ‘represented the culture of the Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and while he seems prejudiced in his enunciation of the inferiority of the non-Shi`ah sects of the Muslims he is culturally at one with the Hindus and the Parsis as well as the man in the street so far as his appreciation of their way of life is concerned.
ADVERTISEMENT
"As a result, ‘the whole outlook of the state as centered in the person of the Sultan was non-communal'," he added.
 
Another aspect of this catholicity was the Sultan’s approach to Telugu. His father, who spent seven years as an honoured guest in Vijayanagar, imbibed a passion for the language and the same was the case with Mohammad Quli to whom Telugu was ‘like a mother tongue’ and who used Telugu words in his Dakhni-Urdu poems, offered patronage to its literary personages and whose firmans and official announcements were bilingual.
 
"The Sultan thus made ‘a deliberate attempt to synthesize cultures in the Deccan imbibing in the people of Hyderabad a relish of tolerance, love of spectacle, and mildness of nature.’ It is not altogether accidental that one of his successors became a patron of the kuchipudi dance form," he said.
 
"Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah occupies a place in our history and his personality and contributions are studied with much benefit by any one interested in the evolution of architecture, language and culture. His policy of peace and diplomacy ‘had warded off Moghul political influence as much as lay in his power’ and his passing away on January 31, 1626, after a rule of 31 years, left the door open for Emperor Shah Jahan to pursue his program of subjugating the Deccan kingdoms," he added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <canvas>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.