Sadi had said about his popularity in Iran in these words: Mulk-i-Ajam Girafte Be Tigh-i- Sukhanwari (He conquered Persia by the sword of his poetry). All great men of literature have left behind indelible impressions on sands of time and swathes of land and thus human beings universally stand indebted to them. Hedayat was one such man of literature who came to India, saw the subcontinent and captured the various hues and colours of Indo-Persian culture in his writings. The Blind Owl, Sampingue and Lunatique, etc, reflect and refract Indian life and ethos in modern Persian fiction. The visit of Hedayat to India and the reception of Indian culture and society in his writings have indeed contributed to the scope of Indo-Persian studies in the broader field of Iranian Studies. Very little has been written on Hedayat’s connections with India, his alignment with poets and philosophers of Indo-Persian literature, response of Indian scholars of Persian Studies to the stay of Hedayat in Mumbai or his reception in Indian literature. These areas of research and findings tend to open new vistas as far as Hedayat Shenasi is concerned. There is a need to discuss how much India contributed to expand the horizon of Hedayat as a fiction writer of modern Iran. India and Iran have always enjoyed literary contact since 6th century AD and Hedayat was a golden-link (Silsilat-uz-Zahab) in that historical and literary continuity. Again it is to be noted that though Persian studies is on the decline in the Indian sub-continent, nonetheless, the admirers of literature have shown belated interest in translating the major writings of the Hedayat in Indian languages and literatures such as Urdu, Bengali, Hindi and Malyalam and thus they have opened a new vista of translation studies with regard to Hedayat and Iranian Studies. The speakers of the panel shall make an attempt to deliberate on the themes: (1) India-Reflected and Refracted in Hedayat’s The Blind Owl by Marta Simidchieva; (2) Hedayat in Harmony with the Savants of Indo Persian Literature by Syed Akhtar Husain; (3) Reception of Sadegh Hedayat in India by Md. Arshadul Quadri and (4) Indian Motifs in the Works of Hedayat by Nadeem Akhtar. The topics listed above fit into the proposed panel wherein the speakers shall graphically prove the Indian connections of Hedayat and show that Hedayat Came, Saw and Conquered India.
Since time immemorial India has been a land of poets, writers and philosophers who have given the best of literary expressions and philosophical thoughts to the people at large. Medieval and modern India has produced poets of Persian literature who are famous for their unique thoughts and expressions that have uplifted humanity from the abysmal ignorance. Amir Khosrow, Urfi, Ghalib and Iqbal are a few to name who can form an amicable, congenial and compatible company with Hedayat. Their Persian writings and Hedayat’s thoughts and literary expressions suggest that all level headed men think in similar fashion in the annals of history. The concept of death so vital in the writings of Hedayat is reminiscent of the concept of death in the poetry of Mirza Ghalib. The mode of expressions of Hedayat with respect to the fall of the Rajjaleha and the mode of expressions of Iqbal with regard to the collapse of dictators offer a striking similarity. In this paper an attempt shall be made to show that Sadegh Hedayat is not a stranger amongst the Savants of Indo Persian literature. All great men in history think in like manner and fashion.