President Zia ul Haque concentrated on the Ideology of Pakistan. Those who are allergic to same vomited in their best suits. A large group of people would like Pakistan to be rudderless and most of them have no ideals, except being fed by foreign lobbies. This is no joke, it is a fact. Living in palaces themselves, they make fun of the people of Pakistan and their pursuit of egalitarianism. President Zia may have made hundreds of mistakes but it was not due to his lack of passion for Pakistan. After all he actually gave his life for his country, a genuine Shaheed, as compared to pseudo claims by other politicians.
President Zia ul Haque contacted Chughtai Museum on phone many times but we could not see eye to eye. Our concepts were different. But his patriotism was without any question mark. He also contacted Sadequain and the artist took many favours from President Zia. The artist even went to the house of President Zia to paint for him, on the pretext that he would serve him drinks himself. Obviously the President could not serve Sadequain the drinks he actually wanted for himself. Read our other blog for more details, but the house of Sadequain was declared an interim National Art Gallery, and Fifty thousand rupees given to him monthly, through Secretary Culture, Masood Nabi Noor.
Other artists also enlisted his help in their programmes and many of these things are on record. Press cuttings abound in this way. An exhibition of Pakistani paintings was arranged by President Zia ul Haque at Hirshorn Museum in USA. We were invited too but our conditions were not met, and we did not participate. We gained nothing from President Zia ul Haque, but to tell the truth is the foremost duty of those who love Pakistan. And there can be no doubt that President Zia ul Haque loved Pakistan. All military rulers were commit’ed to the Nation.
NEWS REPORTERS EARNING MONEY TO BRING DOWN PAKISTAN
Every show of M.A. Rahman Chughtai in his life time was inaugurated at leading places by the serving Head of State. All newspapers reported those events as big happenings. Our archives are full of them. We hare a headline from Daily Imroze, the leading Urdu newspaper of its time. Culturally oriented to the extreme. And compare the narrow minded reporting that happens today. Newspapers hired their best persons to write on Art, today no best persons are even around. The tenacity of Pakistan Art to hang here without support is familiar to Pakistan itself, which has the resilience to survive the 4th and 5th generation wars launched by enemy lobbies.
KARAVAN ANNUALS 1933 AND 1934 THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS ART CRITICISM
IN URDU LANGUAGE BY M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI AS REAL BOLD INITIATIVE
Professional Art writings come to our National language by Niazmandan Lahore.
The love for Urdu language was phenomenal in Lahore, representing Punjabi writers who preserved and promoted the language. There was hardly anything here related to Art in our National language. M.A. Rahman ChughtaI felt the need to break this barrier. The idea of an annual magazine was formed and it was given the name of KARAVAN by M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Not only did he design the cover of same, he collected most of the material that was to be used in the same. Most of it was in his archives. He gave the task of editing this annual to his friend Dr Muhammed Deen Taseer. The annual was a stupendous success in the art and literary world.
Dr Muhammed Deen Taseer declined to do the next year annual unless he was paid a stipulated sum well in advance. (Letters in our archives). The artist was not in a financial position to so. When Taseer declined, he convinced his friend of long standing, Colonel Majeed Malik to do the same for him. The second Annual was edited by Majeed Malik Sahib, a friend whose loyalty to the artist was unquestioned under all times. Again it was much appreciated by all.
The annual could have continued for a long time but there were no financial resources for same. It was designed and published at a grand scale. Anything else was not conceivable. One thing the annual Karavan did was to bring Dr Allama Iqbal back into writing in the Urdu language. Dr Iqbal had shifted to Persian language and was not inclined towards Urdu in any way. The three Chughtais and Dr Muhammed Deen Taseer convinced Dr Allama Iqbal to write a verse for them in URDU for the annual. Dr Iqbal finally succumbed to their demand and wrote some verses in Urdu. Designed by Chughtai, the verses were published in the 1933 annual, setting a new trend for Dr Iqbal’s writing. We reproduce those verses here for those who did not know about that. In short the two annuals of KARAVAN were trend setters of their times.
ISMAT CHUGHTAI AND M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI LIKE BROTHER AND SISTER
ISMAT ALWAYS ANNOYED WITH HER ACTUAL BROTHER MIRZA AZIM BAIG
SHARED A LOT ON THIS ACCOUNT IN MANY WAYS.
M.A. Rahman Chughtai loved writing. He wrote hundreds of things and he enjoyed reading others. He loved the rebellious attitude of Ismat Chughtai. The first edition of MASOOMA in 1962 carries on its cover, a design by M.A. Rahman Chughtai. They were in contact with each other, and we have her letters in our archives. Her choice of writing CHUGHTAI with her name came from her affinity with M.A. Rahman Chughtai, for other members wrote of themselves as BAIG (BEG).
Very early M.A. Rahman Chughtai had presented Ismat Chughtai with a beautiful painting. It was with her till the last, till it was sold by her family, and we came to know about it. In the 1980s she visited Pakistan and was in Lahore. Abdur Raheem Chughtai visited her and presented her with a copy of Amal e Chughtai, the illustrated edition of Dr Allama Iqbal. She was most happy to receive same.
A lot more is there and as more of our archives will be charted, more will come out of the relation of M.A. Rahman Chughtai with his literal sister Ismat Chughtai. Till then enjoy what is already there!
The enigma of Gates of Lahore is well known but there are many things still in dark about them. The issue is that the researchers are just empty researchers, never getting int the heart of the matter, with no access to research material, nor inclination to probe deep into matters. The war of independence of 1857 shocked the English here, as something which they had never expected from the so called rabble here. They had fed their Mir Jaffers well and knew that they would never react to anything.
It was pure luck that a telegram reached Lahore well in time and the Army at Lahore was de-weaponized in time. But that was not enough. There was a need to make the impregnable Lahore of once upon a time, toothless in any future uprising. We have discussed the various steps taken, but there we are talking of the Wall of Lahore, the moat and the Gates of Lahore. Almost all were ruthlessly demolished, and many renamed. One missing factor is of Mochi Gate, Lahore. Researchers have pointed out that historically this name is not correct. Some have talked of the Gate being either MORCHI (army embankment with arms and ammunition place), or MOTI (named after the prostitute Moti, sister of Mai Moran, wife of Ranjit Singh). Others have even questioned the existence of a major gate near the large Akbari Darwaza (a separate narration) itself. We have seen manuscripts of the 19th century, which mention the Gate as MOTI DARWAZA and we reproduce a page from a Dalail ul Khairat written by Raheem Baksh khattat at Moti Darwaza in 1846 AD, that is officially Sikh times although the British were here by that time. There is even an earlier Manuscript, about 1832 AD, which states the name as Moti Darwaza, and the Mohalla as Banduk saz.
W. Reveley made the only known image of MOTI DARWAZA and published same in London in 1888. It looks very odd from the rest of the Gates in the city. But as it goes towards the Chowk Moti nearby, it could be a construction of Sikh times, perhaps even done on a private scale by Mai Moti, a rich prostitute of Lahore. That is for research. Our job is to open new venues oi research. Why the name was changed to Moti Dartwaza? Obviously MORCHI or MORCHA was not a feasible name for the British to sponsor on into newer times. An era had ended and era of new slavery had begun. That is life anywhere and in Lahore, a land which faced onslaught all the time, nothing different. Why MOCHI? The British loved to demean the walled city. We saw that prejudice even within our life time. Mochi was to debase the dignity of the vast nobility of Lahore living inside this part of the city. I remember a friend of mine was refused admission in St Anthonys for he lived in Mochi Darwaza. He had to change his address to get into school at that time. A real thought for honourable life!
POINT, WITHDRAWAL, HAND GUARD OF JUNIOR CADET CORPS,
BAYONET IN THEIR RIBS ONLY ANSWER FOR MIR JAFFERS
In memory of Ustad Rafique of St Anthony’s High School a 1965 war martyr
Schools were tough. And add a cadet training programme for boys, it became even tougher. Early in the morning before school (many could not make it), a running around the ground, march past, drills, actual firing range, even the practice of how to throw a grenade after removing the pin. It did not look like normal school. And when things were not up to standard, boys were made to run around the ground with heavy gun dummies in their hands, till they dropped with fatigue. That was JUNIOR CADET CORPS or J.C.C of St Anthony’s under Master Walters (Two Walters in fact- one P.C. Walter) of St Anthony’s High School.
Ustad Rafique was not some ideal army figure head. A rather short stature man, but he had vigour and he had passion, and he would incite the students towards passion for the country. Whether anyone learnt from his passion, one does not know, but at least he himself martyred his life in the 1965 war and never came back. One could remember this period with aching bones or with nostalgia for a man for whom the country meant so much.
There were class fellows who got martyred, as they joined the Pakistan Army. There was Captain Azhar, a dear friend. Slightly senior was our Munster House Captain, Shabbir Syed Shaheed. We are told that he killed a Sikh opponent with a Wazeerabadi special knife in hand combat. He could out run everybody else in the annual athletics on Railway Ground. Another college class fellow got martyred in East Pakistan, Captain Waheed. There were others who opted for Army too, but some went into the US Army as Marines. The strutting J.C.C cadet in front of the photograph is Shaukat Waris, who is a US Marine now and was stationed at Afghanistan too.
Hats off to Lance Naik Rafique who put the Pakistani spirit in many of us.
THE PAKISTANI ARMY IS OUR BACKBONE STRENGTH FOR COMING TIMES
HISTORY RECORDS CIVILIZATIONS FELL WHEN ARMY WAS DISMANTLED
BY INTERNAL INTRIGUES AND MIR JAFFERS (THROW STONES AT THEM)
We came across a book published in the life time of Tipu Sulan. The writer plainly said that the English cannot be successful in their designs, unless Tipu Sultan was eliminated from the scene. They could not defeat the great Tipu in the battlefield, so they resorted to Mir Sadiq (the prototype Mir Jaffer) for their work. Rest is history as we know it.
The Sikh Army was a highly trained army under Generals of various countries. There is a long list of them from France, Italy and other places. The first job was to erase all Sikh leaders, which was gradually done. After the death of Ranjit Singh, most of the leaders of repute, were made to fight with each other and then eliminated totally in a ruthless way. The first assessment of English Generals was that the Sikh Amy posed danger to the design of the English to take over Punjab. The Sikh Army left unchained could obliterate the English presence. Sikh war started and gradually the Sikh Army was erased from the map of the wold. A puppet illegitimate child was placed on the throne. Converted to Christianity then sent to England to be entertained by Queen Victoria herself. When the call of Punjab rose in his heart, he was also erased from the map of the world.
Today the attack is on the Army of Pakistan. We all know that. Someone told me social circles talk so derogatory about Pakistani Army. I said ask the man on the street what he thinks and he will tell you the reality. These hypocritical wimps and nincompoops are just working on agendas of media war against us. Snub anyone who talks like that. I do same all the time. The ridicule of Mir Jaffers is something no one cares about in any way. If the shameless are not ashamed, so what. We have every right to shame them every day. After all we throw stones at Satan when we perform Haj. Why not throw stones at our present day Satans?
THE TWO FACES OF ROSA CERA TOP MODEL OF LONDON IN 1938
AN ENCOUNTER IN LONDON IN 1938 WITH M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
Favourite model of different artists of London
artist Paul Drury was teaching M.A. Rahman Chughtai the Art of Etching at the Central School London at the direction of Sir Frank Short, Master Etcher of his times. In the process they became good friends. Paul Drury introduced him to his father Sir Alfred Drury, as well as to countless other London artists. He took him to the famous London club of artists and they all chatted about art, here and there. The artist Chughtai had entered the inner very exclusive circle of the artists of London. The highlight was the visit to a private studio where the top model of London was posing in nude to various artists.
It was amazing for the artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai to see how the British artists were dependent on looking at the female anatomy in actuality for their creativity. And it was mind boggling how a woman could suit naked in front of so many men and not bat a single eyelid. It was all new for him. Yes, he himself handled the drawing of women all the time. He made hundreds of nudes himself. But he never required a model for that. His creativity sprang from his imagination itself.
Rosa Cera won the coveted award of BEST WAX MODEL for the year 1938 from Tassuad Wax Museum and was in the front cover of everything. The Artists Association had convinced her to pose naked for them. She used to live with her mother and younger sister outside London in a farm house. There was a lake near the house, where she used to go and relax her pent up furies to conquer Europe with her modeling career. All the details of this amazing encounter are related in our research brochure EAST MET WEST and is available for download. Enjoy!
IS THE EMPTY CENOTAPH AT KHUSRAU BAGH OF NUR JAHAN HERSELF?
EDWARD BACKHOUSE EASTWICK RECORDS SAME IN MURRAYS HANDBOOK 1882
POINT MISSED BY MOST HISTORIANS OF THE REGION
Prince Saleem was only 15 years old, when Emperor Akbar proposed his marriage to Man Bai (name unknown perhaps Jodha Bai like her aunt), daughter of Raja Bhagwan Dass. It was a joyous affair. as the young Man Bai (Jodha Bai) and the young Prince Saleem consummated their marriage with great pomp. But here something was different. Both of them were in real love with each other. And Jahangeer himself could write that she had the capacity to sacrifice anything for him. And what was more than her life? When their eldest child, Prince Khusrau rebelled against his father, Man Bai (Jodha Bai) felt so ashamed, that she committed suicide by taking opiates as poison. Although Jahangeer writes of the death as on 1013 AH, she actually died on 16th May 1604 (1012 AH). Jahangeer was in control of Allahabad, and proposed her mausoleum to be built in the Khuldabad Serai that he had built (katba on the entrance) and now known as KHUSRAU BAGH.
There are many monuments which have remained intact with time but there are no historical references to them. The mausoleum of Shah Begum (Man Bai Jodha Bai) was selected by Jahangeer himself, and he buried her there, with his own hands. It was the FIRST MAUSOLEUM to be built in that serai. Archaeologists also call it the second in line of the complex. When Khusrau died in Burhanpur (colic pain or murder, a separate issue), Jahangeer ordered him to be reburied near his mother. The second mausoleum in the complex. But there is a third mausoleum there on a large scale, the most grandiose building of all three. The conclusions are pure conjecture with time. There is no official record.
There is no official record of same. However a number of travelers have given their opinion on same. And strangely most of them were of British origin. The man who started it all was Peter Mundy, who visited the place in 1632. He was the first person to name the three maqbaras, as being of Khusrau, his mother and his sister. And he says that the sister is still alive and building the same for her future mausoleum. The mausoleum of Prince Khusrau has inscriptional writing on it. So that is settled. The same applies to the mausoleum of his mother Jodha Bai (known as Shah Begum). Shah Begum was daughter of Raja Bhagwan Dass and grand daughter of Raja Bihari Mal. Her death upsetted Jahangeer so much that he neither ate or drank for four days as an act of condolence for his lost love. The third mausoleum has NO ONE BURIED IN IT and has been attributed by Britishers as that of being the empty cenotaph of Sultan un nisa (Sultan Nisar) Begum, eldest daughter of Jahangeer. Sultan Nisar was born on 25th April, 1586 and died on 5th September, 1646. According to her own wishes, she was buried in the Akbar complex at Sikandara. Muhammed Salih records same in his book Amal-Salih. When a most befitting mausoleum was awaiting her, with the mausoleums of her mother and brother, why did she kept away from her own construction? There is no likelihood of this happening in any way. The couplet at the entrance mentioning NUR NISAR has confused us all.
The unknown CENOTAPH was actually never completed and it is proposed that it was made in 1625. In 1627 Jahangeer died and in the battle of succession, Empress Nur Jahan was brought to Lahore as a political prisoner. She lived here for 18 years, with a pension of 2 lakh rupees per anum, but was not allowed to leave the city (lest she indulges in political wrangling). She died on 18th December, 1645. Sultan Nisar Begum died on 5th September, 1646. Both dates very close to each other.
Empress Nur Jahan had no more access to the mausoleum built by her for her own self. She lost interest in same, when Khusrau, her political opponent was buried there. There was a need to build a second mausoleum for herself, and she did same in Lahore, where she actually got buried, before her bones were stolen by Sikh marauders. The confusion of the identity of the graves in Khusrau Bagh is not new. It existed all the time. A leading writer of Allahabad in his extensive research on Khusrau Bagh, claims that it is known that the identity of the empty cenotaph is that of Laila Begum, and Laila may be be a name of Begum Sultan Nisar. This was in 1933, so on can Imagine nothing was clear even then. The fourth place of Tambulan Begum is still an unknown thing.
Did this ever got recorded? Yes. In the Murray’s Handbook of Bengal, Edward Backhouse Eastwick, a famous historian of his times, names the empty Cenotaph as that of Empress Nur Jahan, and tells us that she was buried in Lahore. (Picture enclosed of text) . There is one more proof. The historian Dr Abdullah Chaghatai in his writings write of his study of the grave of Ladli Begum daughter of Empress Nur Jahan at Khusrau Bagh. An empty cenotaph of mother and actual daughter buried there, and an actual grave of mother and and empty cenotaph of the daughter in Lahore. History is full of strange wonders!
AN INTELLIGENT NATION BEING BOMBARDED BY MORONIC THOUGHTS
THE PATHOS OF EVERY DAY PAKISTAN IN LIVING WITH STUPENDOUS HYPOCRISY
THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS IN OUR OWN ENVIRONMENT AT HOME
A homogeneous nation in 1947 bombarded with alien ideas to confuse us internally. Railing against our Ideology, our Two nation theory, our Quaid e Azam, our Dr Allama Iqbal, the battles just do no stop at all. Why? Engendered by weakness of our most stupid segment of society, addicted to alcohol and sham luxury, every day these morons appear at some front in our every day life. Shameless is not even a word that can define them. Their belief in an after death life and Allah is truly questionable. Greed sways their inner shadows, which have replaced their souls long ago. Our democratic order cannot question them, for they are part of this sham democracy itself. Swayed by our legendary intelligentsia, we are amazed at the existence of these nincompoops in our national life.
Amassing of ill gotten wealth has given them the ability to engender wrongs in the society of extraordinary dimensions. Friendly advice will not make them correct themselves. The French Revolution found a bloody solution, as did the Iranian revolution. Mustafa Kamal Pasha gave birth to Modern Turkey using similar formulas. Which formulas will work here? And when will they come? Nobody really knows and hope crumples every day. Blasts from the sky and Sodom and Gomorrah were no more. The same happened in Monjo daro, and till today, nobody really knows how the natives all of a sudden died of some kind of radiation, to become the Mound of the dead. Deadly games being played by foreign lobbies can trigger war that will end life practically in this region for at least 200 years. Hate ruins a person internally, love brings out the best. The hate being showed towards Pakistan may collapse the region forever. So full of hate enemies, control yourself. There are Muslims all over the world, and the continuity will go on. Hate may destroy the Hindu civilization forever, and even we the oppressed, do not want that. Live with us in peace! We mean you no harm.