Iranian Ambassador reviews conservation of Persian records at Telangana Archives

 Telangana | Written by : IANS Updated: Sat, Mar 04, 2023, 10:38 AM

Hyderabad, March 3 (IANS) Iranian Ambassador to India Dr Iraj Elahi on Friday visited the Telangana State Archives and Research Institute to see the work being undertaken by an Iranian organisation for conservation of historic records.

Accompanied by Mehdi Shahrokhi, Iran's Counsel General at Hyderabad, he visited the institute which has joined hands with Noor Microfilm International Centre (NMIC) at Culture House of Iran in New Delhi for digitisation, conservation and cataloguing of the old archival records, particularly in Persian language.

The Iranian envoy released the first facsimile copy of the farmans or royal orders of VIIth Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan.

The institute has requested that all the 355 chicket (bounded books) f Farmans of Nizam VI & VII and other necessary books be made into facsimile copies for the usage of the scholars and others.

An MoU between the Telangana State Archives and Research Institute and the Noor International Microfilm was signed on September 7, 2022 in Hyderabad in the presence of state Information Technology and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao and then Iranian Ambassador Dr. Ali Chegini.

The MoU was aimed at taking up the conservation, digitisation, and cataloguing work of classical Persian and Urdu language documents of non-confidential nature on a voluntary basis with no financial burden on the government treasury.

During his visit to the institute on Friday, the Ambassador said that Iran's relations with India had always been friendly and there have been many cultural exchanges between the two countries. He said as Persian is the national language of Iran, they are eager to save the heritage of Persian language in India which was once the national language of this country too.

He visited the unit set up in the premises with the state-of-the-art equipment and specialised manpower in the field of conservation and digitisation. He witnessed the demonstration of the conservation method of treating old historic documents by using herbal ingredients and was very much impressed. He praised the quality of work completed so far.

NMIC Director, Dr Khajapiri said that it has already rendered its services to major government institutions of India including National Archives of India, Jamia Millia Islamia, Rampur Raza Library and other 25 big institutions. As Iran is famous for herbal treatment of paper and cloth, its conservation method for the archival paper is very rare.

He informed the Ambassador that so far, work relating to three lakh pages of the old Persian records pertaining to Daftar-Darul Insha, treaties, manuscripts (handwritten), Awarjaas (ledgers), Baba Shah Musaafir (a Sufi saint of Hyderabad) & Inayat Nama (letters), Farmans (royal orders) of Nizam VI and VII has been completed. Repair of the brittle documents has also been done. The cataloguing of the ornamental Persian records is also being done simultaneously. There were 14 'daftars' of the Nizam government which were all taken up for conservationA apart from farmans, muntakhabs, old maps, and gazettes.

State Archives Director, Dr Zareena Parveen, said that the institute has millions of records dating back to 1406 A.D. As they are not of confidential nature and largely in ornamental Persian language till 1885, the NMIC was entrusted with the work to safeguard records which are very fragile.

She said the records are centuries-old and getting delicate and brittle day by day despite routine maintenance and need professional curative treatment by experienced hands. After the conservation of the said records, their longevity may increase and the glorious and precious history of Hyderabad Deccan may be secured for the posterity, she said.