In what could be dubbed as a genuine endeavour to bridge gaps between communities, a Varanasi-based Muslim woman has taken up the task of translating Hindu scripture into Urdu, the language Muslims connect with easily.
Coming from a weaver’s family, Najneen Ansari is already done with the translation of Durga Chalisa, Hanuman Chalisa, Shiv Chalisa and Sri Ram Arti. However, her mission is not over yet.
“I am busy with translating Ramcharitmanas in Urdu,” says the woman who leads a campaign against triple talaq and also works for cow conservation.
Insisting that studying holy scriptures of another religion is the only way out to understand different religions, Nazneen first recited Hanuman Chalisa in 2006, a few days after bomb blast at Sankatmochan temple.
“The bomb blast at temple has led to tension in the city. I, along with few Muslim volunteers, decided to recite Hanuman Chalisa to ward off negativity. Few people praised the move, others criticised it. But, we achieved the goal, that is peace,” says the daughter of a weaver Mohammad Siddique.
A post graduate in conflict management from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Nazneen says her quest to understand Hinduism led her to translate Hanuman Chalisa in Urdu.
Later, she translated Durga Chalisa, Shiv Chalisa and Sri Ram Arti in Urdu.
In 2010, she started to translate Ramcharitmanas, which is likely to complete soon.
“Each religion is complete in itself and teaches us only good virtues. It teaches to work for the cause of humanity. Urdu version of Ramcharitmanas will help Urdu-knowing people to have an idea about the scripture,” says Nazneen.
She also works for the cause of poor Muslim women and girls and have constituted Muslim Mahila Front in 2006 and renamed it as Muslim Mahila foundation that works in association with Vishal Bharat Sansthan.
A graduate from Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, she earned her Master of Arts degree in ‘conflict management’ from Banaras Hindu University.
She dreams of building a model ideal Madarasa. “It will be equipped with all facilities and all streams—science, arts, commerce, medical and engineering,” says Nazneen.