Persian is a language that is not totally native to India. It thrived well under the Mogul rule way back in history and is the language of Parsis. The language is well known to have an established and rich cultural background, but of late the importance and cultural efficacies of the language is slowly dwindling and is a matter of concern.
UPSC Persian Syllabus
There will be two questions which must be answered in Persian. The remaining questions must be answered either in Persian or in the medium of examination opted by the candidate.
1. (a) Description of the origin and development of Persian language (to be answered in Persian).
(b) Applied Grammar, Rhetorics, Prosody, Idioms and Phrases frequently used.
(i) Grammar : Ism and its kinds, Zamir-e-Muttasil and Munfasil, Murakkabi-Tausifi, Murakkab-i-Izafi, Ismi-Ishara, Musharun Elaih, Fel and its kinds, Tenses, Gardan, singular and plural, Jumleh and its kinds.
(ii) Rhetorics : Tajnees, Ishteqaq, Luzum-ma-la-yalzum, seyaqatul Aadad, Qalb, Tarsee, Esteaara, Maratun Nazir, Laff-o-Nashr, Iham, Husn-i-Taalil, Tajahuli-Aarefaneh, Talmih, Tansiqus Sifat.
(iii) Prosody : Bahri-Muzara, Ramal, Mutaqarib, Tawil, Hazaj, Kamil.
1. Short essay in Persian-250 words (to be answered in Persian).
2. History of Persian Literature in Iran and India; Literary criticism and styles; trends in classical and modern literature; socio-cultural influences, development of modern literary genres including drama, novel, short story.
There will be two compulsory questions–one each in textual portions of prose and poetry which are to be answered in Persian. The remaining questions are to be answered either in Persian or in the medium of examination opted by the candidate.
This paper will require first hand reading of the texts prescribed and will be designed to test the candidate’s critical ability.
1. Nizami Aroozi Samarqandi : Chahar Maqala :
2. Qabus.b, Washmgir : Qabus Nama :
(i) Dar Shinakhtan-e-Haqq-e-Pidar-wa- Madar
(ii) Dar Bishi Justan Az Sukhandani
(iii) Dar Talib Ilmi Wa Faqih Wa Fuqaha
3. Sadi Shirazi : Gulistan :
(i) Dar Tasir-e-Suhbat
4. Moh. Awfi : Jawameul Hikayat :
(i) First Ten Hikayaat
5. Ziauddin Burney : Tarikh-i-Firozshahi :
(i) Wasaya-i-Sultan Balban Be Farzand-e-Buzurg
6. Abul Fazl Ain-e-Akbari:
(iii) Ain-e-Manzil Dar Yurisha
(iv) Ain-e-Cheragh Afrozi
(i) Dash Akul
8. Mohd. Hijazi :
1. Firadausi : Shahnama :
2. Khayyam : Rubaaiyat (Radif Alif and Be)
3. Saadi Shirazi : Bustan:
4. Amir Khusrau: Majmua-i-Diwan-e-Khusrau. (Radif Dal)
5. Maulana Rum: Mathnawi Maanawi
(First Half of Daftar Duwwum)
6. Hafiz : (Radif Alif and Dal)
7. Urfi Shirazi : Qasaaid :
(i) Iqbal-e-Karam Migazad Arbabi-Himam Ra.
(ii) Har Sukhta Jane Ki Ba Kashmir Dar Ayad.
(iii) Sabah-e-Idd Ke Dar Takiyagah-e-Naz-u-Naeem.
8. Ghalib : Ghazaaliyat (Radif Alif)
9. Bahar Mashhadi :
(i) Dar Barabad-e-Khuda
11. Nimayushij :
Note :- Textual portions of prose and poetry are to be explained in Persian compulsorily.
More about the language
What English is for today in our modern set up, the same role Persian conveyed in a bygone era in our own subcontinent. Persian also known as the Farsi language was a very popular and ruling language in our country at a time when English was not quite popular. We can’t exactly say that English has totally replaced the nuances of Persian, yet the language lost its original vitality that was present many years ago.
Persian was, many years ago one of the official languages that played a communicating language for administrative purposes in India. The language made an entry into India mainly because of the influence of the migrant central Asian community that slowly made inroads into our country.
These central Asians were in particular known as the Persiophile central Asians and they migrated to our land as early as the 12th century. It is also recorded in history that the language was a favorite with Rabindranath Tagore’s father that he always loved reading a 14th century Iranian poet’s works. Raja Ram Mohan Roy knew the language and its literary counterpart so well that he chose to edit a Farsi newspaper during his times.
One of the earliest and well established quotes and references to Persian can be found in the 17th century communication between Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji and Jai Singh of Rajasthan. Farsi, as it was known earlier became more popular in the 19th century when a blend of Persian and English form became popular among the high society Bengali circles.
The language is of a very great influence to the Hindi language that we know today. It is also claimed that Hindi as a name derived from a Persian word that literally meant ‘Indian’. The language spread its popularity with great vigor, but till the British came and conquered the shores of Indian culture.
It was then that Persian slowly began to be replaced by English and the relevance of this is for all of us to see today. It is also well claimed that Bengali holds a close resemblance with the Persian language. It’s also quite interesting to know that the native Persian community on the soil of Bengal as on today is either scanty or nonexistent as a whole.
The origin and native of the Persian language is undoubtedly Iran. The language is also spoken widely in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. India is home to plenty to Persian study centers. Though the language thrived in our country for hundreds of years in the past, the native Iranian population has not done anything much to reestablish or rejuvenate its typical connections in India. Iran, we can say has almost stayed out of this connection and has not shown any interest in preserving the cultural efficacies in India.
Persian language experts feel the need of the hour with respect to the language in India is that of preservation as against efforts of promotion. They feel a need to revive the cultural connections by going back to the age old manuscripts, books and documents that were recorded in Persian and throwing it open to students for research.
According to them, this could unearth a lot of useful information for the youth of today to bring them back to the Persian language and establish its importance in the country.
Persian is from the group of Indo European group of languages, branching from the Indo Iranian sub sect. The popular Persian gulf countries of today are Bahrain, UAE, Iraq, Oman and Yemen. Also, a very high and significant population in the US speaks Persian language.
Many popular words in Persian have made their entry into English and Hindi languages. Some words for instance, shawl, bazaar, khaki, caravan, jasmine, kiosk etc are originally from the Persian language. Persian language is commonly written in the Arabic script.
They say, a person who is well versed with Persian would be very familiar with the middle eastern culture. Another interesting feature about the Persian language is its uniqueness in the way it has preserved its freshness over the centuries. Any language, matter of fact changes and blends with other local influences over time.
So the original language becomes a form of changed language over many centuries. But this certainly does not hold well with Persian. Much of the literature that was written during the Mogul era in India finds its relevance in terms of language even today. That is because the words established in the literature formats have very much remained the same or haven’t undergone much change at all. This is a valuable rarity found in the Persian language.
As on today, with estimates on linguistic records, there are around 100 million native speakers of Persian in global space. 100 million speakers are a tad bit relevant to the same population of native German speaking population. The Persian language is closely knit with various facets of literature, drama, theatre, music, film making and much more. Persian is also closely related to philosophical writings and romantic poetries. Some of the very well known names in Persian literature from the pages of history are Firdausi, Omar Khayyam, and Hafez etc.
Persian is a language known as a flowing pattern of language with expressions conveyed in a very artistically capable manner. Persian verses written over many centuries ago can be well read and understood by a novice Persian of this generation too. This shows how the language has been able to maintain its originality. Though the language on the cultural side has maintained its original vitality, there is a modern bend too and the language caters to the youth in the same flavor as well.
Persian in global rankings is termed one of the most difficult languages in the world. Persian holds close relations with other languages like Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Urdu and many others. In all these languages we can see many words and phrases overlapping with each other. The vocabulary of this language shares a deeper connection with many European languages as well.