Kolkata's Persian connection

Print edition : January 17, 2020

The address on Dr M Ishaque Road, formerly Kyd Street, where the Iran Society is located. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

Ali Chegeni (centre), Iranian Ambassador to India, at the Iran Society library in early December. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

Dr Fuad Halim, an eminent doctor and the Iran Society council member in the library’s Persian section. He points out that just as Indian society was influenced by Persian culture, Persia, in turn, became a window for the world to understand India. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

C. Rajagopalachari. He was among the many luminaries associated with the Iran Society. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The first issue of Indo-Iranica, the Iran Society’s journal. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

B.M. Barua’s seminal article on the Indus script that first appeareed in “Indo-Iranica”. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

A 1946 edition of a Gujarati translation of the Zend Avesta, the sacred text of zorastrianism. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

An old Persian text printed in the Nastaliq script. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He published the first Persian language newspaper in the country, “Mirat-ul-Akhbar”, from Calcutta in 1822-23. Photo: The Hindu Archives

An old Persian school textbook on chemistry from Iran, preserved at the Iran Society library. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

At a time when divisive tendencies threaten to tear asunder the secular fabric of Indian society, Kolkata’s Iran Society stands like an oasis of cultural harmony and knowledge-seeking.
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