Naheed Abidi
Dr. Naheed Abidi (2014).jpg
Naheed Abidi, calls on Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India
OccupationIndian scholar and writer
Spouse(s)Ehtesham Abidi
Childrena son and a daughter
AwardsPadma Shri
WebsiteOfficial web site

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