Naheed Abidi
Naheed Abidi, calls on Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India
Occupation(s)Indian scholar and writer
SpouseEhtesham Abidi
Childrena son and a daughter
AwardsPadma Shri
WebsiteOfficial web site

Naheed Abidi is an Indian scholar of Sanskrit[1] and writer. In 2014, she was honoured with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for her contributions to the field of literature by the Government of India.[2]


Conferring Padma Shri award upon me is like honouring the Sanskrit world and it will inspire Muslims for Sanskrit learning. I am highly grateful to the scholars of Sanskrit and Persian who encouraged me in my objective of exploring the uniting the bond between the two faiths. Sanskrit is a rich language, which has the quality of promoting harmony and peace in the society. says Naheed Abidi[3]

Naheed Abidi was born in 1961, in a Shia Muslim zamindari family at Mirzapur,[4] in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.[5] Choosing Sanskrit as her subject, Abidi did her graduation at the Kamla Maheshwari Degree College and secured her MA from the K. V. Degree College, Mirzapur.[4]

She moved to Varanasi, an ancient seat of Sanskrit scholarship after her marriage with Ehtesham Abidi - an advocate in the city.[3][4] Varanasi is deemed holy by the Hindu text Garuda Purana.[6] She went on to secure a doctoral degree (PhD) from the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith (MGKV), a public university in the city, and published her thesis titled as Vedic Sahitya Mein Ashviniyon Ka Swaroop (The Form of Ashvinis in Vedic Literature) in 1993.[7]

In 2005, Abidi started working as a lecturer without any pay at Banaras Hindu University. Soon after, she joined the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith to work as a part-time lecturer on a daily wage scheme. However, the Sanskrit scholar, known as the first Muslim female to have worked as a lecturer in Sanskrit, had difficulties finding a regular job.[7] Her first book was published in 2008 and was titled Sanskrit Sahitya Mein Rahim - which is an account of the Sanskrit leanings of the renowned poet, Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana.[1] This was followed by Devalayasya Deepa,[8] a translation of Chairag-e-Dair, written by poet, Mirza Ghalib.[3] The third book was Sirr-e-Akbar,[9] a Hindi translation of 50 Upanishads, earlier translated by the Mughal prince, Dara Shikoh into Persian. She has published a Hindi translation of Vedanta, translated into Persian by Dara Shikoh and also the Sufi texts by the prince.[1][3][7][10]

Naheed Abidi lives with her spouse Ehtesham Abidi and her two children, a son and a daughter,[3][4] in VDA colony in the Shivpur area of Varanasi.[11] She also serves as an Executive Council member at the Sampurnanad Sanskrit University.[4]

Awards and recognitions

Naheed Abidi was conferred with Padma Shri, in 2014, by the Government of India, for her services to literature.[2] She has also been conferred DLitt (Honoris Causa) by the Lucknow University.[4] Abidi met Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India on 9 September 2014 at the latter's residence and presented two of the books written by her.[12] The meeting was announced by Modi through a photo on his Google Plus page[13] and the video of the meeting was displayed on the personal web site of the Prime Minister.[10] In 2016, She was honored with the Yash Bharati Award by UP government at a function held in Lucknow.[5]

Literary contributions

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Elets Online". Elets Online. 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Padma Awards Announced". Circular. Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 25 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Singh, Binay (30 January 2014). "Sanskrit has a special place in the heart of Padma Shri awardee Naheed Abidi". Times of India. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "TOI". TOI. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b Singh, Binay (21 March 2016). "Sanskrit scholar Dr Naheed Abidi gets Yash Bharati award". The Times of India.
  6. ^ "Garuḍa Purāṇa XVI 114". Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "One India". One India. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  8. ^ Naheed Abidi (2008). Devalayasya Dipah. Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan. ISBN 9788186111536.
  9. ^ "Sirr-e-Akbar". Internet Archive. 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Narendra Modi". Narendra Modi. 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Wikimapia". Wikimapia. 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  12. ^ "DNA India". DNA India. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Modi Google Plus". Google Plus. 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.

Further reading