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Persian as a Passe-Partout

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the Hindu participation in the circle of an important Persian poet in late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century India and on its portrayal in the contemporary and subsequent taẕkira literature. An analysis starting from the literary personas of some Hindu poets who were the disciples of a great author such as Mīrzā ʿAbd al-Qādir "Bīdil" helps us to highlight some elements useful for approaching the implied issues of linguistic choices, religious traditions, and literary interactions. On the basis of the information found in twenty-two Indo-Persian taẕkiras compiled between 1136/1723 and 1300/1883,14 Bīdil had, during his long stay in Delhi, at least eight non-Muslim disciples. Compiled between 1137/1724 and 1147/1734 by one of the principal Vaishnava disciples of Bīdil, Bindrāban Dās "Khwushgū", it is the text in which the largest amount of information regarding Bidil's Hindu pupils is found.

Keywords: Bindraban Das; Mīrzā ʿAbd al-Qādir Bīdil; Persian poet; taẕkira literature



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