CHANGING DATES OF FIRST EDITION OF “CHUGHTAI’S PAINTINGS”
THE YEAR REVISED FROM 1939 TO 1938 ON NEW INFORMATION
M.A. Rahman Chughtai came back from his second European tour in 1938. His eagerness to print an edition of a collection of his works as CHUGHTAI’S PAINTINGS was enormous. He was writing to Governmental people, public figures in Punjab, as well as in Hyderabad Deccan to finance his new publication. Possibly no one was willing to do so, and with the active help of his younger brother Abdur Raheem Chughtai, he carried out an edition. We normally took it to be in 1939, but the edition was so scarce that we were not in any position to confirm. Even Abdur Raheem Chughtai remembered it as being done in 1939. No fresh information was there.
Letters from London exist of his anxiety to hurry such an edition. Recently a copy of the scarce edition was found in an Australian book shop. It seemed that a copy of the same was presented to an Australian by a member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, that was the famous Syed Amjad Ali. Syed Amjad Ali was Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN and the eldest brother of Syed Babar Ali. The edition has the statement on an official form in the book itself. All very official and it is dated 1938. Syed Amjad Ali was a member of the Punjab Unionist Party sat that time.
This edition of Chughtai’s Paintings has differences from the 1942 edition. It is smaller in size, has a pink paper binding, and although it does carry many of the later paintings, it also has notes and introduction by the famous Razia Sirajuddin. I do not even think most people have seen or know about it. Possibly it was a low count edition, and it is on rather rough back paper. Some of the paintings are from his previous two books, probably of which the printing blocks were there. Some prints printed in England, others in Lahore. The binding was rather poor and got broken with time. I think possibly limited to a few hundred copies, most of them got destroyed in the great world war. We were able to obtain a copy from an old collector in Peshawer and now we have the second copy for our archives. We will add more information after careful study of the book.
Our thanks to John and Julie of Noosa Books for the cooperation extended to us in acquiring same. Thank you both!
NO ONE HAS DWELT INTO THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF LAHORE
HAS ANYONE EVER TALKED ABOUT THE SKELETAL REMAINS?
A living civilisation is seen on land all over the world. Dead civilisations are plenty all around the world too. As the feet increase in digging, the enigmas of lost civilisations begin plenty. We are even told of civilisations no longer on land but deep into the seas. A few thousand BC figure is not even attractive anymore. From the usual in depth analysis of civilisations, the 12000 year old civilisation of Gobbeki Tepe in Turkey has rocked the world. Others talk of the 22000 years old civilisation of Gunung Padang in Java, Indonesia.
The discovery of skulls have brought into study of various races and has become an exact science. Homo sapiens are preceded by talks about Australopithecus, Neanderthals and what not? The late addition is talk about the Denisovans, a new species of which genetics we share too. A long time back a walk in the city of Lahore would reveal different faces, of people belonging to various races who entered the land of five rivers and amalgamated themselves into citizens. The old familiar faces are gone. After partition the new breed of migrants have destroyed the character of Lahore’s racial heritage. Those old faces are extinct. But so many of them lie in graveyards all around Lahore. Miani is the oldest graveyard in Lahore. But we are not talking of qabarastans, we re talking of dead bodies under the city itself, who lost their lives in battles and disease and happenings. Has anyone researched on them? A study of DNA would open fresh chapters of history.
Some years back, the large gutter outside the city of Lahore was closed. It was replaced by fresh systems and we have a SIEMENS SEWAGE PLANT operating in Bhatti Darwaza franchise. When the plant was being dug, numerous skeletons came on the surface. The areas was littered with skulls of people long gone. And not a qabarastan, it was mass burials of people, either slain in battle, or died by disease. It was amazing phenomena and the residents got creepy looking at skulls peering at them from earth of Lahore. They had stories to tell but there was no one to listen to their long gone stories. Just across the road is the famous mazar of Data Darbar Sahib, so the history of skulls could be a 1000 years old. It is amusing people talking about heritage all the time. Making money out of this needless talk was more important.
A story of an important skull is worth remembering. When the Sikhs captured Lahore, they in fit of utter animosity dug the grave of Mir Mannu (Governor of Lahore) and took out his skull. For a long time the skull of Mir Mannu was placed in the Mori (gutter) of a famous Sikh Sardar and he felt joy as his shit flowed on the skull all the time. Obviously in his life time it was not possible. Indeed skulls have their own story to tell and they can be carbon dated to their life time. It is an open field and worth a study on its own. Maybe the Punjab University or GCU can undertake such a research for the future. Let us hope so!
In the mean time we have the story of PHAJEE, and the skull of an old woman of Lahore, reputed to be at least 800 years old. The skull is amazing for the head has been broken and repaired in old times. How is anybody’s guess? Our next blog will pick that issue up.
A letter in archives show a letter received from France by Mowla Dad in Kashmeeri Bazaar Lahore. There were vast French people in the time of the Sikhs in Lahore and an industry of carpets and shawls flourished here. Probably a well scripted letter from Paris, France means a dealer of shawls in Lahore receiving orders for same. No one today remembers Mowla Dad at all, but it looks like a Muslim shawl dealer with business connections as far as France itself. Post to Lahore was through at times Multan or more often through Bombay. The name was enough as no numbers are there. Well done, Lahore!
MIAN SALAH MIMAR AN ARCHITECT REPUTED TO HAVE LIVED FOR 120 YEARS,
DESCENDANT OF USTAD AHMAD LAHORI, AND ANCESTOR OF CHUGHTAI ARTIST.
On 11th May, 1858, the death anniversary of Mian Salah Mimar. One hundred and sixty years have not erased his memory as well as his work in Lahore. A proud descendant of Ustad Ahmad Lahori (died 1649 AD), Chief Architect of Emperor Shah Jahan, and a worthy ancestor of Khan Bahadur Abdur Rahman Chughtai Mussawar (died 1975 AD). We remember you with love and dignity. May the Blessings of Allah be upon you!
CHANGING HISTORICAL NARRATIVES WITH LACK OF DOCUMENTATION
AGONY OF MANUSCRIPT CHACHNAMA IN VEINS OF FOREIGN LOBBIES
In all ways unique, the manuscript of CHACHNAMA however lacking in completeness or exposure, is the main doorway in understanding the advent of Muslims into the Indian region. The catch word is MUHAMMED BIN QASIM. All history of Muslims before him and after him is avoided to bash his arrival in the region.
The attitude of Raja Dahir is not taken into consideration. It all starts with the capture of some Muslim women, and the Caliph asked Raja Dahir to intervene so that the women could be released. Dahir paid no heed to same. To combat the astrologers prediction that the sister of Raja Dahir would marry a man who would rule SIND, led to a quicker solution by Dahir. Dahir married his own sister. The Muslims were already traders in the Indian region and were much loved and respected here for their acumen in same. One planned attack had already failed. Muhammed bin Qasim was not expected to do much. Hopelessly outnumbered the Muslim army faced a formidable army of Raja Dahir. Raja Dahir on his white elephant and latest automatic cross bow was picking up soldiers one by one with impunity. One black soldier changed it all. He masked the eyes of his horse and attacked the white elephant of Raja Dahir. The elephant was wounded and fled the battle scene. Realizing that the Raja had gone away, the Hindu soldiers lost their nerve and fled the scene too. And it gave an opportunity to the Muslim army to defeat the enemy. A few days later by the river side, the elephant was found as well as the body of Raja Dahir, where his head was crushed by the Muslims. But that was the beginning.
The story generated by Chachnama of the suicide of Muhammed bin Qasim is all wrong for he is found in Iraq, and many references are heard of him. His mausoleum was also in Mosul, Iraq. But the wonderful thing was that the Hindus of Sind so much loved Muhammed bin Qasim that after his transfer back to Iraq, the Hindus made a full size SCULPTURE of him and put it in the chowk of the city in his memory. No one tried to convert the Hindus. The community themselves embraced Islam with time. All this is recorded by historian Baihqi, and can be read by all. And the most wonderful thing is that of his two known sons, one son UMRO was made Governor of Sind and ruled Sind for many years. You do not pay such homage to a conqueror, you make these rules for a hero and Qasim was a hero of Sind, for he had released the local people from the tyranny of a malignant Raja of his times. Usurped his own people all the time. Various research articles have appeared on this from time to time and as people have no access to them, their research is without documentation, only to please foreign lobbies, by changing historical narratives. Enough!
MANY CONFUSIONS CLEARED BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
WALI NAIMAT BEGUM, MOTHER OF EMPEROR JAHANGEER
Everything about our history would obviously be clear, but there are so many quarters spreading confusion about things (for asserting religious superiority changing factual historical narrative), which in fact have factual evidence. One such fact is about the identity of the mother of Emperor Jahangeer. There is a HUKM (farman) in the archives of Red Fort, which has a seal over it and the seal says very clearly WALI NAIMAT BEGUM MOTHER OF EMPEROR JAHANGEER. Although it is in poor condition and the date cannot be read but the date is reckoned by author S.A.I. Tirmizi, as to be from 1014 to 1032 AH, or 1605 to 1623 AD. The heading clearly says it is a HUKUM OF MARYIAM ZAMANI. We are told in the Memoirs of Emperor Jahangeer himself that he met his mother on the banks of river Ravi in her garden, and to this day the area BEGUM KOT (heavily populated) is reputed to be the once residence of Hazrat Maryiam Zamani. A grand mosque dated 1025 AH (around 1616 AD) still stands in Lahore as the Emperors homage to his mother.
Who was Wali Naimat Begum? We are traditionally told that the Princess was of Hindu origin and sister of Raja Bhagwan Dass. An interesting fact is that we had a Masjid of Raja Bhagwan Dass in Lahore too and it existed for a long time and people read their prayers there. A Hindu mosque for the Muslims is well documented in history. Whatever the name of the Princess (later sources give different names) at that time, she might have acquired the title of Wali Naimat Begum for her role in giving a heir to the crown. In fact Wali Naimat is very clear. It means the blessings of the Saint, and Prince Saleem was indeed recognized as the blessings of Sheikh Saleem Chisti. In our culture Allah ke Rahmat is used for birth of daughter, and Allah ke NAIMAT for birth of son. It also means a formal change of religion. No time machine to verify things but rationale itself clarifies missed details. The association of the family of Raja Bharmal (father of Wali Naimat Begum) continued with the Mughals for centuries.
Epilogue with room for another blog
The relation of Jaipur house with the family of M.A. Rahman Chughtai is also there. The Maharaja of Jaipur visited the Chughtai show at Alhamra in 1949. The Maharani of Jaipur Gayatri Devi visited Chughtai Museum two times in her own span. I found her as a lady of great charm and wit, when she prodded me that the person with her was from the Indian spy agency, spying on her. I said why have they a reason for suspecting her in any way. The Maharani had spent time in Jail under another great lady, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Habit as usual, said she. The next time she called she was with a Pakistani Senator. Nice memories in history of a woman considered to be the most beautiful lady in the world. The Blessings of Allah be upon her!
A DILEMMA OF THE WORLD TRYING TO RECONCILE DIFFERENT VERSIONS,
THEORIES OF LOST CIVILIZATIONS ON MARS VERSUS OFFICIAL PAREIDOLIA
Check books, newspapers, documentaries, internet, youtube videos and what not? One section of people trying to prove the presence of Aliens, and another group of scientists dismissing it just as a psychological trick called pareidolia. Who is right? The first clear fact is that Governments are no longer trustworthy and in no way responsible to people in the world. Living in their own strict codes of life, which instead of being based on humanitarian grounds, are just pragmatic ways of confusing the world. No one trusts the people in power for the truth. Exploring space crafts on the Moon and on the Mars are doing things. Opening new worlds to us. And even a survey of the surface shows us many things which look unnatural or artificial in nature. And there is no trustworthy official version. How easily it was said that Man landed on the Moon, as John Kennedy wished them to do so. Today read on the youtube and you will find massive evidence that it never happened, for a certain class of radiation belt cannot be traversed without body harm to human beings. Now we find spacecrafts of USA, Russia, China and even India bent upon colonizing Mars. WHY? Financial benefits or POLITICAL CONTROL. Who knows? Our search for truth is the Quran itself.
In the Quran, Allah tells us that Allah put living beings on various galaxies, and they will not be able to communicate with each other, till the decision of Allah. AMAZING! So instead of this Alien jargon, let us talk about other civilizations, which may be there in the past, present or in the future. Although I may not be well informed on the subject, but definite proof of life elsewhere (past or present) will upset many religions. The biblical narratives will perhaps be lost in the age of new discoveries. BUT ISLAM ALREADY ACCEPTS THE PRESENCE OF LIFE ELSEWHERE IN THE COSMOS. As Islam is a Deen and a way of life, it has always remained a Challenge to Religion itself. A fact hard to digest for our opponents.
MODERN ARTISTS AND WRITERS INDULGE IN CHAOS AND ANARCHY
MODERN SO CALLED INTELLECTUALS FREAK OUT AND SPIN TALES
Traditionally wounds happen and then go through a process of healing, leading to scars and then even those go away, to show a clear skin and the episodes forgotten with time. But there are wounds that never heal, they fill up with pus and festering wounds, remain like cancer on the hearts and mind of feeble people. We have a saying that there is NOOR on the face of certain people and there is LANAT on others. We all know that.
It has become a habit with people to take jabs at Quaid e Azam and Dr Allama Iqbal, and both these towering personalities cannot stay in the hearts of those condemned with LANAT. It has become a year round thing but more specifically on the various anniversaries of our National Icons. You have to be a standard like these icons to even be able to understand the agony they went through to build up a nation. Without a miracle Nations cannot rise and both Quaid e Azam and Dr Allama Iqbal were miracles of our times. The Blessings of Allah be upon both them! They gave us Pakistan and it is for us to take care of Pakistan. Indeed a Rising Pakistan these days under the protection of Pak Army and our Supreme judiciary. Allah is merciful!
PROSTRATING IN FRONT OF ALLAH AND SO CALLED ALIEN,
AN INEVITABLE CLASH OF IDEOLOGY IN VISION OF ARTISTS
In any culture freedom of expression is considered natural and no one has any objections against it. That is civilization. But different cultures have different perspectives. An expression by an artist on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum in New York depicts a person (?) prostrating in front of a giant Alien. No hand shakes or welcome signs. Just submission. The artist has given no explanation. None is required. The visuals are clear enough. The Aliens can be imagined in any way.
In our Islamic society we prostrate in front of no one else except ALLAH. Out of the 99 attributes we are given, we use the words, THE BENEFICENT, COMPASSIONATE, AND MERCIFUL all the time. Our greatest artists approach the might of Allah in different ways. M.A. Rahman Chughtai has also made some paintings relevant to the idea and we share them with our viewers. Politics and Aesthetics are inter-mixed by many these days, but what result? We cannot say. Decisions are made by people themselves. Who are we to impose? Enjoy whatever you can! Nothing enters the brain at gun point. Only fear!
FATAL JOURNEY OF PRINCESS SAHIB JAMAL FROM KABUL TO LAHORE
DEATH, BURIAL, MAUSOLEUM, AND THEN CENTURIES OF CONFUSION
IN THE BLISSFUL GARDEN OF “ANARAN” POMEGRANATES IN LAHORE
Research has gone outside the realm of our scholars. Research where there is no money is of no value to the modern researcher. There were dozens living in Lahore alone who were obsessed with unraveling the truth out of history. But legends as well as monuments are stuck with old time tales and no one is bothered in correcting same. We still insist on the Mausoleum of Zeb un nisa being in Lahore, the Gateway of Bagh Jahan Ara as the Garden of Zeb un nisa, the Mausoleum of Mumtaz Shikoh as being of Prince Pervaiz, and many many more. Foremost is the Mausoleum of Anarkalli in Lahore. Historians have provided proof that it is the burial place of Princess Sahib Jamal. but the story so concocted by the filthy mind of William Finch still reigns strong, due to films and dramas and our own Romeo and Juliet versions. And then persons like Mirza Hamid Baig still insists (in phone talk with me) on Anarkali story due to 32 years of research. Awaiting his volcanic revelations if any, with hope of fresh documentation. Centuries of research of Hindu story tellers still insist on the Taj Mahal being a Hindu temple and what not? Internet is full of the filthy declaration that the Holy Kaaba is also a Shiv temple, Allah forbid! Conspiratorial minds galore. Writer Mirza Hamid Baig went ahead further to insist (in phone with me) that even the drama of Anarkali by Imtiaz Ali Taj was not written by him. That is throwing mud on an iconic person who wrote it in 1922 and murdered in the 1950s. Long after his death the conspiracy goes on. Obsession to undo icons is here.
What is truth? Only one thing can be the truth. The rest versions. Unfortunately those who shout strongest are without documentations. But strong voices are heard not voices of paid lobbies. Many live on slander alone. We will write more about it!