Source : Times of India
Premnagar resident Mahi Talat Siddiqui, who holds a PhD degree in Hindi literature and teaches at a city college, believes that all religious texts carry the same message of unity, love, peace and brotherhood. So when she translated the Ramayana in her Urdu book ‘Ram Katha aur Muslim Sahityakar Samagra’, her ultimate goal was, as she puts it, “to highlight the similarities that bind humanity”.
The idea to translate the holy book came up after a close family friend of Siddiqui, Badri Narayan Tiwari, gifted her a collection of extracts from the Ramayana into Hindi. She went on to study the Ramayana deeply, besides seven other Hindi books of noted writers on the religious text. It took her over a year and a half to complete the translation to Urdu. “While doing the translations, I tried to make sure that the original meaning of the text is not lost,” says Dr Siddiqui.
Dr Siddiqui now looks forward to translating more texts into Urdu, so as to help people from the two communities understand each other’s culture and beliefs. “Similarly, I will also translate Urdu books to Hindi,” she says, adding that the support of her family, especially her mother Dr Mahelka Ejaz Siddiqui, who retired as HoD of Urdu department from Halim Muslim Degree College, helped her achieve the feat “I am getting several congratulatory phone calls these days,” says Dr Siddiqui “Some thought I would face opposition for my work. Quite the opposite has happened. After all, I am only trying to bridge the gap between two communities.”
“I have read both the Quran and Ramayana, and none of our holy books preach hatred or bloodshed. It’s just a handful of people who try to divide the society on communal lines. Their motives are personal, not religious,” she adds.