Sunday, October 28, 2018



Dr Zabihollah  Safa..(1911-1999)

Padamshri Dr Kashi Nath Pandita remembers Dr Zabihollah Safa..

" I am indebted to two Gurus for what i am and for what i did in my life. One,  late  Prof . N N Raina  former HOD Physics University of Kashmir and second late  Dr Zabihollah Safa eminent Scholar  from  University of Tehran. I may tell about the depth of knowledge and scholarship  of  Raina sahib later . Let it be  known to all that he brought Communism to kashmir . He was a scientist yet had unmatched command over   Literature ,World  History, Performing Arts, Music and politics. Except Marxism, i learnt a lot from him. From him , I learnt  that logic  remains the lone key  for acquiring  real, unbiased and fundamental knowledge . From him i learnt  that selfless quest and passion simplify the journey of a genuine knowledge seeker . Raina sahib declined to join  as Pandit Nehru's secretary. Raina sahib declined to join as Minister in Sheikh sahib's cabinet in 1975 . I have spoken in detail about these two issues in my Radio interview to you .so don't ask more.

The second person who left an indelible impression on my mind  is  Dr Zabihollah  Safa Scholar Extraordinary who was my guide at Tehran University  when i did my doctoral thesis on Persian Poet BEDIL.  The dimensions of his thought and words were amazing. He had enormous clarity on History, Civilizations,  Development of  Religious thought  across the world , philosophy and  World Literature.
Yes his persona was what Allama Iqbal meant when he said:

" Na Takht o Taaj mein na Lashkar o sipaah mein hai,
Jo baat mard e qalandhar ki baargaah mein hai.."

His Criticism was  scathing. Logic and Reason were his tools to unlock various issues and mysteries in pursuit of knowledge.. It required a certain amount of courage to sit before him forget entering into any   discussion. He would always say that Indians have contributed more towards the development of Persian Literature. He held  Bedil and Ghani kashmiri in high esteem . Apart from several research oriented  books , his   contribution is the  monumental  work "History Of Persian Literature" running into  several volumes with each volume having more than 2000 pages and
the well known" Encyclopaediaa Iranica "  . Dr safa moved to Germany after the fall of Shah regime . I went to pay my respects to him in Germany but he had been overtaken by memory loss and Parkinson's disease.  It was  very painful  for me to see him in that Condition . Such free thinkers are born after many  centuries.. "

(Avtar Mota)
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