Adil Shahi literature translated to Kannada to fill gap in history of Deccan India

Members of the Adil Shahi Literature Translation Committee of the PG Halakatti Research Centre, Vijayapura.

Members of the Adil Shahi Literature Translation Committee of the PG Halakatti Research Centre, Vijayapura. | Photo: File photo

Vijayapura based BLDE Association Dr. PG Halakatti Research Center in the 15th and 16th centuries. He has just completed the ambitious task of translating the literature and documents related to the reign of the Adil Shahi kings in the 19th and 20th centuries. The work was done in collaboration with the Karnataka government.

Persian, Arabic and Dakhani books have been translated into Kannada. The project produced about 4,500 pages in 19 volumes.

Translated books include epics like Tareekh-e-Farishta, history of the kingdom by Mohammad Kasim ‘Farishta’, Basateen-e-Salateen by Ibrahim Zuberi, Ibrahim Nama by Ibrahim Dehelvi of Dakhani, Guldasta-e-Bijapur by Mir Ahmed Ali. Khan, Fitur Khan Lari’s Hafta Kursi and Eshwar Das Nagar’s Futuhat-e-Alamgeer.

The challenge of finding experts in Persian language as well as Kannada

“This is a landmark in the cultural history of Karnataka,” says Krishna Kolhar, director of the Kulkarni centre. “It has been completed after painstaking work by scholars and translators who are good in both the source and target languages. It was not easy to find them, as there are few people who know Persian or Dakhani well. It also took a lot of time to visit libraries and research centers to collect books and documents.’

Acquiring books was not easy. Committee members visited Hyderabad, Delhi and Kolkata to obtain copies of various books. The books were collected from the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Archives and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Headquarters, New Delhi and a few individuals.

“It was hard work, but we persevered. For example, we got one of only two copies of Kazi Nurallah’s ‘Mohammad Nama’. Those copies are also reproductions, and not originals,” he said.

Important historical project

“Though there have been a few books on the history of medieval Karnataka in English and Kannada, a lot of work needs to be done. The translation project hopes to fill this gap. It will tell us not only about the history of Karnataka and the Deccan region, but also about the India of those times,” he said. “In addition to documenting the life and times of medieval India, the translation project will help us remove our prejudices and dispel misconceptions about this phase of history.”

The project has been in the works for several years, says Dr. Kulkarni, who is also the director of the Adil Shahi Literature Translation Committee set up by the Ministry of Kannada and Culture. He worked for several years with MM Kalburgi who was the Vice-Chancellor of the Kannada University in Hampi

MB Patil, president of BLDE Association and founder of the research centre, recalls the contribution of Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol, while he supported the project as Kannada and Culture Minister.

The volumes were launched on December 18 in Bengaluru by former Union Minister Salman Khurshid, writer Sudheendra Kulkarni, former minister MB Patil, literary critic Devu Pattar, Center for Research and Communication’s Mansoor Ali Khan, GK Patil, Dr. PG Halakatti Research Centre.

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