Hyderabad: For over two decades, Anil Kumar Chawhan, a calligrapher from Hyderabad has been painting Quranic verses on the walls of mosques across the city. A Hindu by religion, Chawhan discovered his passion for calligraphy when he started painting signboards for shops in Urdu. With time, he learnt how to read and write the language and his work in several mosques has impressed many people.
Chawhan, who started with painting signboards, said, “For the last 30 years I have painted Urdu signboards of many shops in the old city area of Hyderabad.”
He learned Urdu language
“Initially, I couldn’t understand Urdu nor was I able to speak it. I used to ask my customers to write it down so that I could paint the same on the signboards. That is when I decided to learn Urdu and gradually started understanding, speaking and writing it,”
He said that his work of painting Quranic verses began when a person who was impressed by his calligraphic skills requested him to paint the walls of a mosque.
“A person offered me the opportunity to paint the walls of ‘Masjid-e-Noor’ mosque after he was impressed by my Calligraphic skills. Now it has been over 25 years and I have painted the walls of several mosques across Hyderabad,” Chawhan added.
Permission from Jamia Nizamia University
When he started painting Quranic verses on the walls of mosques, many objected to a Hindu doing so. He then took permission from the Jamia Nizamia University in Hyderabad to continue his work.
“My work has been displayed in the library of Jamia Nizamia University, where I painted verses from the ‘Surah Yaseen’ chapter of the Quran,” he said. He further added, “Hindus and Muslims in this country should live in peace. I’m really happy to be painting Quranic verses on the walls of mosques despite being a Hindu. I have been working for nearly three decades and have not faced a single problem.”