Persian language in South Asia

Persian language in South Asia

The Persian language, before the British colonized the subcontinent, was the region's second official language (in Gorkanid official language) and was considered the language of culture and science. It was replaced with English in 1832.

Following the Turco-Persian Ghaznavid conquest of South Asia, the speech based in Khariboli and other dialects of the South Asia received a large influx of Persian, Turkish and Arabic vocabulary, as well as a limited number of grammatical patterns from these languages.

Mughal Persian-speaking rulers influenced the spread of the Persian language in present-day northern India in literature, poetry, culture, and science. With the establishment of the Mughal Empire in Punjab, Persian reached its peak of development in the subcontinent and was the official language of the region for many centuries, and widely used as a second language. It was the language of culture and education in several Muslim courts in South Asia.

Beginning in 1843, however, English gradually replaced Persian in importance in South Asia as the British had full suzerainty over South Asia.[1] Evidence of Persian's historical influence there can be seen in the extent of its influence on the languages of the South Asia, as well as the popularity that Persian literature still enjoys in that region. Almost all languages of these areas have seen a certain influence by Persian not only in literature but also in the speech of the common man. Persian exerted a strong influence on Urdu, and a relatively strong influence on Punjabi, and Sindhi in India and Pakistan. Other languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Rajasthani and Bengali also have a sizeable amount of loanwords from Persian.


  • Persian inscriptions 1
  • See also 2
  • Gallery 3
  • References 4
  • Sources 5

Persian inscriptions

There are many stone carvings and plasters of Persian inscriptions in India. There are also thousands of handwritten books mostly from the time of Humayun, a Mughal emperor who had heavy admiration for anything West Asian, and Persian in particular. Humayun lost Mughal territories to the Pashtun noble, Sher Shah Suri, but, with the aid of the powerful West Asian Safavids, regained them 15 years later. Humayun's return from Persia, accompanied by a large retinue of Persian noblemen, signaled an important change in Mughal court culture, as the Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely overshadowed by the influences of Persian art, architecture, language, and literature. There are many carved stones and thousands of Persian manuscripts in South Asia from the time of Humayun.

Subsequently, in a very short time, Humayun was able to expand the Empire further, leaving a substantial legacy for his son, Akbar. His peaceful personality, patience, and non-provocative methods of speech earned him the title Insan-i Kamil (انسان کامل), among the Mughals.[2]

See also



  1. ^ Clawson, Patrick (2004). Eternal Iran. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 6.  
  2. ^ Mughal-Ottoman relations: a study of political & diplomatic relations ... - Naimur Rahman Farooqi - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 


Chopra, R. M., The Rise, Growth And Decline of Indo-Persian Literature, Iran Culture House, New Delhi, 2012.


  • زبان فارسی در هندوستان — Persian WorldHeritage
  • "History of Persian or Parsi Language" — Iran Chamber Society
  • [1] —
  • (1903)Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the library of the India office, Volume 1