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Naheed Abidi (Indian scholar) Bio, Facts. 

Naheed Abidi

Born/Date of Birth: 1961
Place of Birth: India
Occupation: Indian scholar and writer
Spouse(s): Ehtesham Abidi
Children: a son and a daughter
Education: Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith
Awards: Padma Shri

Naheed Abidi is an Indian scholar of Sanskrit 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.


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

Naheed Abidi was born in 1961, in a Muslim zamindari family at Mirzapur, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. 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.

She moved to Varanasi, an ancient seat of Sanskrit scholarship after her marriage with Ehtesham Abidi - an advocate in the city. Varanasi is deemed holy by the Hindu text Garuda Purana. 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.

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. 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. This was followed by Devalayasya Deepa, a translation of Chairag-e-Dair, written by poet, Mirza Ghalib. The third book was Sirr-e-Akbar, 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.

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

Awards and recognitions
Naheed Abidi was conferred with Padma Shri, in 2014, by the Government of India, for her services to literature. She has also been conferred DLitt (Honoris Causa) by the Lucknow University. 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. The meeting was announced by Modi through a photo on his Google Plus page and the video of the meeting was displayed on the personal web site of the Prime Minister. In 2016, She was honored with the Yash Bharati Award by UP government at a function held in Lucknow.

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Categories: 1961 births,Indian Shia Muslims,Recipients of the Padma Shri in literature & education,20th-century Indian women writers,Indian women scholars,People from Mirzapur,Indian Sanskrit scholars,Women writers from Uttar Pradesh,Scholars from Varanasi,20th-century Indian educational theorists,Indian women educational theorists,Women educators from Uttar Pradesh,Educators from Uttar Pradesh

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