AN INTERESTING RECORD IN AMERICAN NARRATIVE OF QUESTIONING MINDS – GUY DAVENPORT, HUGH KENNER AND PAKISTANI ARIF RAHMAN CHUGHTAI

AN INTERESTING RECORD IN AMERICAN NARRATIVE OF QUESTIONING MINDS
GUY DAVENPORT, HUGH KENNER AND PAKISTANI ARIF RAHMAN CHUGHTAI

Guy Davenport

Questioning Minds
Flashback of the past. A narrative of Questioning minds with reference to Arif Rahman Chughtai, as the Guru of Lahore. Letters of Davenport and Kenner. American iconic philosophers refer to Pakistani questioning mind. And this was in 1974, in the life time of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. A writing career of the person, and an attempt in sharing thoughts with international icons. Well done Pakistan!
ARC part of Questioning minds
Guru of Lahore ARC
Note by Edward M Burns

 

Books, research books, poetry books, more than 500 blog articles, and extensive analysis of Pakistan’s history and Art. That is Arif Rahman Chughtai today. There are numerous references of other intellectuals of the world. Sharing them in future.

Arif Rahman Chughtai (ARC)

A WAVE OF PAKISTANI PAINTERS WHO JUMPED ON TO THE BAND WAGON OF THE WEST FOR REASONS – CAN SUCH IMITATION EVER PRODUCE GREAT ART?

A WAVE OF PAKISTANI PAINTERS WHO JUMPED ON TO THE BAND WAGON OF THE WEST FOR REASONS
CAN SUCH IMITATION EVER PRODUCE GREAT ART? OR SET NEW TRENDS IN INNOVATION-AL TRADITIONS
ONLY TIME TOLD AND ONLY TIME WILL TELL THE HISTORICAL GAFFE IN ART OF PAKISTAN, WE DO KNOW
ART IN PAKISTAN AND PAKISTANI ART ARE REALLY TWO DIFFERENT THINGS AND IT IS UNDERSTOOD BY ALL
Three painters United States Information Center

The direction of the Ideology of Pakistan was as clear as crystal. International lobbies understood this well. There was  need to displace everything that had ideological mooring. Art was under direct scrutiny. A group of young artists were engendered, imported and forced onto the audience. Their claim was very wide. Western art was to be forced onto Pakistan by imitating it in one way or the other. Even their costumes reflected same in shape of jeans, french beards and smoking pipes. Natural preferences unaccounted. Modern artists wished to give modern images of themselves. Another great change was the shift of water colour painting to oil based works in Pakistan. Various artists handled it in their way, but certainly they were being patronized to upset the existing reality. The 1949 grand show of Chughtai artist upset-ed Shemza. Anwar Jalal Shemza boldly said at Alhamra that he was there to uproot Chughtai artist, and he was heard not by few, but even by my cousin, who tells me the same all the time. Although Chughtai does not take the name, an attendant (guess whom?) of a lecture, he gave at Alhamra, heckled him about his art being Indian and not Pakistani. The reply of the artist was simple, “It was Chughtai Art then, it is Chughtai Art now!”. Did they achieve their goal? They tried their best, now lobbies are trying their best for them.

Shakir Ali
Shemza

In Giza Egypt various mummies of Pharaohs are studied every day. Newer and newer research is done. But the mummies are dead. Their art keeps interest in them alive. The Pharaohs left plenty art for study. Pakistani artists of that period left little at all. In recent years western scholarship is working on the remnants of art left by the modern movement in Pakistan. Very little indeed. Interesting I had an opportunity to talk with some of those who are trying to revitalize the mummies of that period of art. One is certainly Ms Simone Wille with her book on Modern Art in Pakistan. She does mention the stereotype of Chughtai’s connection with Calcutta (hundred percent false) but had to mention the concept of Punjab School and Lahore too. I sent her relevant things but she did not avail them at all, for her own reasons. However she did assert Chughtai as ” the first artist to anticipate a Muslim cultural position”, absolutely correct. Gemma Sharpe, a very interesting English girl working in New York is working on modern art, including Shemza, and others. Working on the miraculous power of the kind of Jesus Christ, she wants to blow life in the left overs of that period. Best of luck to her! Shakir Ali the doyen of them all had a heart attack at YMCA on 18th January, 1975, while addressing a condolence seminar on Chughtai artist.  He did not recover from that attack, but did utter the words, “If this was done to Chughtai, what would they do to me?” Moyene Najmi too ran a gallery for some time. His able and beloved wife Atiya carried him through various storms. Indeed Moyene Najmi was a gentleman  and I met him various times at the Punjab Council of Arts. Ali Imam’s art gallery collapsed, and he made his living selling art of others. But he freaked out many times in his analysis of Chughtai art (the ridiculous conclusion about the bangles on a lady’s arm), and I discussed it with him in Karachi in Indus Gallery, and this was told to me by owner of Dawn, who visited us once here with another lady. In fact he was trying to buy a Chughtai painting from a collector which was a family heirloom in Hyderabad Deccan, as told to me by Nusrat ullah Shah, also originally from same place.

Moyene Najmi

We used to hear all the time a saying of our culture and that was “Dhobi ka kuta na ghar ka na ghat ka”, and we tried to understand the implicit message. There was confusion in many people, their direction was not clear. They were stupefied by environmental pressure. True Masters do not get swayed by circumstances. They stick to their guns (brushes) all the time. The clarity of vision is always there. You can never be a Van Gogh just by calling yourself Van Gogh. Pablo Picasso was an exceptional draftsman, and he mocked people all the time. No relation to any local rebel in art.

Ali Imam

Is M.A. Rahman Chughtai no more? Certainly his art is living as he himself would want it. Going forward with time. Dr Iqbal’s Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam is evident in the paintings of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Evolution of Islamic art through innovation. Cubism, Vorticism, Picasso and what not, were in no way Pakistan. Nor is Post-modernism. Nor any fad that West may impose on us. The list is numerous, the results are zero for ourselves. Our naqashi patterns can make fun of Suprematism any time. Neo-colonialism does not work at all. We went to our roots and evolved with time in newer and newer grafts on the evergreen plant of our art. Imitation can actually never be great art. From Mani to Behzad to Mansoor to Chughtai, we have it all. Blowing horns of other civilizations is a joke on our society.

Dr Allama Iqbal in a comment on Art, simply said:
        “O Wise ones! It is well to have a thirst for knowledge,
         But what is in art that faileth to grasp the reality of things.
         The object of all art is to attain the warmth of life immortal.
         What availeth a spasm or two that vanish like a spark!
         Without a miracle nations cannot rise-
          What is art without the striking power of the Moses staff!”
Chughtai work which confused Ali Imam

QAZI AHMAD ISLAMIC HISTORIAN OF PAINTERS AND CALLIGRAPHERS – MOST IMPORTANT SOURCE OF ORIGINAL INFORMATION ON ISLAMIC ARTS

QAZI AHMAD ISLAMIC HISTORIAN OF PAINTERS AND CALLIGRAPHERS
MOST IMPORTANT SOURCE OF ORIGINAL INFORMATION ON ISLAMIC ARTS
Qazi Ahmad Cover

There is no doubt that there is total lack of professionalism related to Art in Pakistan as well as our history of art. Like our landay bazaar politicians, our art historians  (with exception of some few in the past) are totally devoid of art knowledge. Coupled with this they have no ability to look at art. The fake journalists who cover Pakistani Art Shows are in the same moronic line as our chief guests who stroll in front of each painting, nodding their heads as thy may have grasped the intricacies  of the painting in depth. In fact it is difficult nowadays to even find a VIP willing to inaugurate an Art show. M.A. Rahman Chughtai used to say if he had spent a lot of time in making a painting, the viewer can spend some time in looking at it, to discover its various meanings and symbolism. He cited the example of European viewers of art who stand in front of a paintings for days or even months to grasp its totality, as he himself saw in Europe, mainly London and Paris. The journalists who cover the Art shows have no knowledge of art and are there for the refreshments being served or even actual monetary payments. Many Art galleries in Lahore have such people on their pay roll to advertise their things.

A very original and important source of history of Islamic painting is a manuscript of a book written by Qazi Ahmad son of Mir Munshi in 1606 AD. And he has a lot of things to tell us, and most authentic in all ways. Only three manuscripts known, which were translated by a Russian Scholar. Extremely rare information on painters, and states that Hazrat Ali (Blessings) beat the Chinese Masters at the profession of Calligraphy, gilding and painting. A worthy read for any researcher, very rarely available. We are proud to present an extract for the consumption of those who appreciate art knowledge. Enjoy!
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 1
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 2
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 3
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 4
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 5
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 6
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 7
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 8
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 9
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 10
Qazi Ahmad History of painters 11

THE JOURNAL OF EDWARD TERRY CHAPLAIN OF SIR THOMAS ROE – TALKS MOSTLY OF HINDUSTAN ONLY A CHAPTER ON JAHANGEER

THE JOURNAL OF EDWARD TERRY CHAPLAIN OF SIR THOMAS ROE
TALKS MOSTLY OF HINDUSTAN ONLY A CHAPTER ON JAHANGEER
Edward Terry Journal 1655 1777

Cultures do clash, and generate complexities of inferiority complexes, and to wriggle their way out, confuse other nations, by literally distorting the truth. The legend is of the travel of Sir Thomas Roe to Hindustan as the Ambassador of England. The talk is of a journal, which was actually never found and consisted of a portion, some letters here and there. Even a partial Dutch translation. A portion was published, but the full journal was not there. Imagine such an important colonial evidence could only be published in 1899, that is around 300 years after the actual travelogue. In our view it is a manipulated journal. The journal is at odd with other journals of the period. We need not comment on same here. We find actual publication of the travelogue of Edward Terry who was chaplain of Sir Thomas Roe, who visited (or wrote about) Hindustan in 1655 and 1665, reputed to be presented to the Prince of Wales in 1622, and amazing it speaks of the geography of Hindustan and devotes only a chapter to Emperor Jahangeer. Jyotsna G. Singh calls it colonial ethnography and out rightly says:

“I have nothing to plead for this presumption but the Novelty of my Subject, in which I confess some few have prevented me, who by traveling India in England, or Europe, have written somewhat of those remotest parts but like unto poor Tradesmen who take up wares in trust, have been deceived themselves, and do deceive of others.”
Jahangeer Edward Terry 1655 and 1777

There are a few engravings in the journal. Foremost is to comment on the portraiture of Emperor Jahangeer himself. Although at first sight it looks like a Mughal subject (from some miniature), many things are wrong in it. Jahangeer’s hair style is all weird with hair going up to his neck and the crown is all wrong, alienated from the Mughal perspective. The portrayal of Jahangeer with a smelling Rose is to be borrowed from the miniature of the Turkish Sultan Muhammed, which was done by Western artists too. Look a the dagger, a stiletto with no base for the Mughals. It seems that surely Edward Terry never saw actually the Emperor and wrote about him from street gossips as it was fashionable for foreigners to do at that time.

When these foreigners could not get to the truth, they invented tales. Foremost was their dirty mind which slung slanders on all Mughals including the Kings and the ladies of the harem. William Finch accused Jahangeer of having an illicit relation with his step mother and innovated the fake legend of Anarkali. Creating scandals about all the Muslims ladies, and hurling abuses at them. Emperor Shah Jahan was accused of incest after the death of his beloved wife. It seems that their mind was full of cheapness, and they had no access to the Courts at all. Legend has it that some of these people would get to the roof of the church in Lahore to steal a look of the Mughal Ladies in their harem, and a Royal order was issued that they were not allowed to access the roof of the church, which was at a higher place and showed private quarters in the fort. Francois Bernier would follow the caravan of Mughal princesses to steal a look of them. History is reported by him on his own:

It was with difficulty, he writes, that these ladies could be approached; they were almost inaccessible to the sight of man. “Woe to any unlucky cavalier, however exalted in rank, who, meeting the procession, was found too near, nothing could exceed the insolence of the tribes of eunuchs and footmen which he would have to encounter, and who eagerly avail themselves of such an opportunity to beat a man in the most unmerciful manner.”

Hardly anything in Dutch account

In fact Francois Bernier was himself was once nearly caught in a similar situation, and narrowly escaped the cruel treatment that other riders in the imperial train had experienced. Determined, however, not to suffer himself to be beaten, and perhaps maimed, he drew his sword, and having fortunately a strong and spirited horse, was enabled to open a passage, sword in hand, through a host of assailants and to dash across a rapid stream in front of him. Stalking a Mughal lady was not without danger.

Such flabbergasting stories as Mughal princess’s lover caught, who hid himself in a cooking vessel (degh). Emperor Aurangzeb had boiling water poured in the degh and the lover died in it, without uttering a sound to save his beloved. Filthy minds, outrageous suggestions.

An objective study needs to be carried out of the activities of these Goras in Hindustan, instead of romanticizing their presence here.

A CONDOLENCE SEMINAR AT NCA 31ST JANUARY, 1975 – ARTIST ZAHOOR UL AKHLAQ ORGANIZER OF THE EVENT

A CONDOLENCE SEMINAR AT NCA 31ST JANUARY, 1975
ARTIST ZAHOOR UL AKHLAQ ORGANIZER OF THE EVENT
Zahoor ul Akhlaq

In January 1975 Pakistan lost two artists poles apart in thought and action. M.A. Rahman Chughtai died on 17th January, 1975, and there was a condolence meeting held at YMCA on 18th January, 1975. Amongst others who attended was Professor Shakir Ali, Former Principal of NCA. Strange words uttered from the mouth of Shakir Ali, when he said that if the authorities have done this to Chughtai, I wonder what will they do to artists like me? And there in YMCA he had an heart attack and was rushed to Mayo hospital. There was no chance of his recovery and he succumbed to his attack. By 24th doctors had given up. Reputedly he died on 27th January, 1975.

NCA seminar MARC 31st Jan 1975

NCA strangely stepped in. Head of the Department of Fine Arts Zahoor ul Akhlaq organized a condolence seminar in the college auditorium. Retired Chief Justice S.A. Rahman was to preside over the meeting. A few people spoke on the occasion. There were a few faces I could recognize. Tanveer Kroders was there. I think Ghayour Baig was around too. S.A. Rahman Sahib spoke as well as Zahoor ul Akhlaq. Probably Principal Khalid Iqbal too. In any case it was a rare event at NCA honouring M.A. Rahman Chughtai and for some time the usual allergy was removed from the scene.

But the strangest memory is our entering the room of Zahoor ul Akhlaq. Western music was being played and some students were dancing in the room of the Head of the Department. The idiosyncrasies of NCA one really cannot imagine in any one way.
A rare photograph with Shakir Ali and MARC

YES CONVERSION MANIACS HOUNDING THE MUGHAL EMPERORS – RESULT ZERO, ALL OF THEM DIED AS BORN, MUSLIMS TO THE CORE

YES CONVERSION MANIACS HOUNDING THE MUGHAL EMPERORS,
RESULT ZERO, ALL OF THEM DIED AS BORN, MUSLIMS TO THE CORE
Jerome Xavier Life of Christ

Emperor Zaheer ud din Babar was not only a staunch Muslim  but a warrior to the core of his heart. No one tied to convert him. Emperor Humayoun bound by the help of Shah Tahmasp of Iran for recovering his throne, was showing some softness to Shia Islam  but died as he was born, a Muslim to the core of his heart. Emperor Akbar played the most political games of them all, misleading all those who wanted to convert  him, and died a Muslim and recited the Kalma before his death. The same attested  by his own son, Emperor Jahangeer in his Tuzuk Jahangeeri.

Grave of Emperor Babar Kabul
Grave of Emperor Humayoun Delhi
Grave of Emperor Akbar

Jahangeer played the most trick with the conversion tactics. To please the Goa people, Jahangeer permitted his nephews, Tahmur, Baisunghar and Hoshang, sons of Sultan Danyal to embrace Christianity, and they  became Dom Filipe, Dom Carlos, and Dom Henrique. The Mughal courtier Muqarrab Khan became known as Dom Joao Laurengo de Tavora. Things were artificial. The Portuguese were quickly disillusioned with these imperfect conversions. Once back in his land, Muqarrab Khan reverted to Islam as well as the three nephews of Jahangeer, with little regard to Christianity. There was apostasy as the Portuguese called it and the dream to make the Mughal State a Christian one evapourated in the air.

Grave of Emperor Jahangeer Lahore
Grave of Shah Jahan Agra
Grave of Prince Dara Shikoh

The myth prevails with emphasis on the number of Christian paintings done under Jahangeer and the funny part is the exaggerated importance of same. Amongst host of fake copies made under the patronage of the British rulers with cherubs everywhere, if the Mughals created say a total of ten thousand paintings, the number of Christian subjects of the paintings would not even be hundred. If anyone claims so, they should easily match their claim with figures, which will prove our assertion of mere hullabaloo on part of bigotry of Western scholars. It proves that the Christian oriented games were merely political tactics on the part of the Mughals. Edward Terry in his journal does not even relate one meeting of the Ambassador Sir Thomas Roe with Emperor Jahangeer, although illusions are made of same. Even the portrait made of Jahangeer is a man with an overload of womanly hair. And Terry rests at peace the aspersion that Jahangeer loved religious pictures. On the contrary he clearly says:

” The East-India company sent other presents for that King, as excellent pictures, which pleased the Mogul very much, especially if there were fair and beautiful women portrayed in them”. The statement that Jahangeer was only interested in pictures of beautiful women throws new insight into this conversion game of the Jesuits. Not at even one place in the Tuzuk, does Jahangeer even mentions Sir Thomas Roe, which belies if ever such a meeting was held, or it was considered literally insignificant on the part of the Emperor. Even Edward Terry complains of lack of response from the emperor to their requests.
Shah Jahan opposed the spread tooth and nail and demolished the church in Lahore as ordained by Akbar. It was the treatment of a burnt Jahan Ara that prompted some trade relief to the foreigners. The Jesuits tall claim that Dara Shikoh had embraced Christiainity turns out to be a total farce as a padree heard the impossible Dara Shikoh  crying in the Prison, of having embraced Christianity. Not even with a deranged mind, a man like Dara Shikoh could say that his Prophet PBUH (nous-billa) destroyed him and Jesus saved him. Dara is buried in Humayouns tomb as a Muslim.
And then Aurangzeb showed his muscles to these people and that is why his name drives them literally mad.
In short conversion was tried with each Mughal King but Islam was ingrained in their soul and there was no possibility of anything else. All are buried in Muslim graves. No one became  Christian.
In fact this was understood by the conversion fanatics, as written by researcher Jorge Flores:
“However, there was also a gradual disillusionment on the part of the missionaries (culminating in their ultimate return to Goa), which grew from the painful realization that they had been used merely as instruments in the service of the emperor’s politico-religious agenda, and of his intellectual curiosity.”
Grave of Emperor Aurangeb
Jesuits wasting time resources on Mughals
Wierd hair style of Jahangeer in Terrys view

And those who debunk Akbar as a confused personality, his final moments as recorded by his son Jahangeer, can  be stated, directly from the Tuzuk Jahangeeri:

“Forget me not! After expressing himself as above, he directed Sudderjahaun once more to repeat the Kelmah, and he recited the solemn text himself, with a voice loud and distinct. He then desired the Sudder to continue repeating by his pillow the Sourah Neish, and another chapter of the Koran, together with the Adeilah prayer, in order that he might be enabled to render up his soul with as little struggle as possible. Accordingly Sudderjahaun had finished the Sourah Neish, and had the last words of the prayer on his lips, when, with no  other symptom than a tear drop in the corner of his eye, my noble father resigned his soul into the hands of the Creator.”
Fake painting made in Bombay
Xaviers Mirat ul-quds

All the Mughal Emperors died as hundred percent Muslims. Effort of Western Kings and missionaries totally wasted, and today the modern research scholar continues to resuscitate the vision of a Christian Mughal State. Every one forgets that the Quran itself tells us of our Prophet Isa in a clear cut way and no missionary could add more than the Quran itself.  Muslim love for Jesus Christ is supreme itself.

SITUATION OF CHUGHTAI ART IN INDIA AFTER PARTITION IN 1947 – AMAZING GUTTERISH ANALYSIS BY A BOMBAY CRITIC: “IT STINKS”

SITUATION OF CHUGHTAI ART IN INDIA AFTER PARTITION IN 1947
AMAZING GUTTERISH ANALYSIS BY A BOMBAY CRITIC: “IT STINKS”
Illustrated weekly review 1946

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru knew the value of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. He started a campaign to lure Chughtai to India. The very first step he collected about 15 paintings of M.A. Rahman Chughtai and made a special room namely Chughtai Room in the National Museum of Modern Arts in Jaipur House Delhi. He also persuaded the publisher Dhoomi Mal Dharam Dass to print a volume of Chughtai Art on Hindu themes which was done in 1951. Nehru had already enticed some talents of Pakistan to India, like Baray Ghulam Ali and Amrita Pritam. He went on a quest to promote Chughtai art and continued to present Chughtai originals to foreign Heads of State (including China) assuming  Chughtai as  an Indian artist. Actually even in 1960 in Lahore in front of Field Marshal Ayub Khan at Governors House Nehru was still trying go persuade Chughtai to leave Pakistan for India. Not realizing the companion of Dr Allama Iqbal would die before doing anything like that.

Illustrated Weekly 1951

On the other hand the Indian Press was doing their natural thing. The same magazine offers different opinion in 1946 and then in 1951. The world changed objectivity of review maker. Some pages of the Illustrated weekly of India shows the sinister things. For instance the reviewer writes of him as:

“What limits his style is something which may perhaps be in his power to overcome- the excessive preoccupation with the formal and a sense of mission or message”
It stinks analysis

The MISSION OR MESSAGE was what made M.A. Rahman Chughtai the father of Art in Pakistan. But the weekly went further. A Bombay critic simply said of Chughtai Art:

“IT STINKS”.
Sense of mission

It clearly shows the two nation theory in full perspective. The venom of the sinister Hindu would not come to rest and objectivity was alien to their thinking and feeling. The beautiful aura of a Chughtai’s painting had a paradise aroma and for such Hindu writers it stank. There are many things which actually stink and have charm for them. Obviously they can indulge in drinking stink. Need we say more!

Nehru and MARC

PRIDE OF LAHORE, MIAN SALAH MIMAR CHAUGHATA, ARCHITECT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR DIED 11TH MAY 1858

PRIDE OF LAHORE, MIAN SALAH MIMAR CHAUGHATA, ARCHITECT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR DIED 11TH MAY 1858

It is 161 years ago that Lahore had already braved the storm one year earlier of the 1857 War of Independence, or the Mutiny as the English called it. It was an environment of exceptionally talented people. Islamic Ideology was the touch stone of the area. Various personalities were brave enough to rebel against royal decrees. In this Mohalla lived the famous Qazi of Akbar’s time, Qazi Saderuddin, who was so popular in Lahore. Akbar could not do him any harm except to expel him from the city. The same area housed Imam Jan Muhammed who flouted the royal orders of Emperor Bahadur Shah and was prepared to die for the cause. Imam Muhammed Siddique of Wazeer Khan Mosque could ridicule Ahmad Shah Abdali who was saying his prayers behind him.

Salah Mimar Chaughata died 11th May 1858

In this city of Lahore, on 11th May, 1858, an iconic architect of Lahore died a natural death. His name was Mian Salah Mimar Chaughata, and it is reputed that he died at the age of around 120 years. A missing link between two trees of family , he was the direct descendant of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori, the world famous architect of Emperor Shah Jahan. He was also the direct ancestor of M.A. Rahman Chughtai, Mussawar e Mashriq (1897-1975). The ancestral house was in Mohalla Chabuk Sawaran, but this name of Mohalla is derived in the 18th-19th century. The traditional name is Mohalla Qazi Saderuddin, the Qazi who rebelled against Emperor Akbar and was expelled from Lahore. His popularity prevented any harm to come to him. Mian Salah Mimar was also held in esteem because of his knowledge about Islamic life.

It was this very mohalla where other religious workers came  to spin their tales. One such person was the Ahmadiyah Prophet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who preached at the Chinay wali masjid, just near the house of the mimar family. The famous Chisti family, the first historian of Lahore, lived here too. The movement for reliance on Quran started here. The modern scholar G.A Pervez had direct effect on many residents of the area. DNA of ijthehad thrived here all the time.

We pay homage to you and your memory Mian Salah Mimar. We pray for your soul, and seek blessings of Allah!

WILL AND POWER BASIS OF VIGILANCE OF A MUSLIM GENERAL – ALL VALUES STEMMING OUT OF THE IDEOLOGY OF THE QURAN

WILL AND POWER BASIS OF VIGILANCE OF A MUSLIM GENERAL
ALL VALUES STEMMING OUT OF THE IDEOLOGY OF THE QURAN
Will-and-Power

The immortal art work of a Mard e Momen reveals to us the ever readiness of the Muslim General. The sword is out of the scabbard and points to the defenders being prepared for all outcomes. Where as on the other hand, the mother who has lost her husband to shahadat, points out to her son, the will stemming from Quranic teaching and the sword being used to defend the Ideology of Islam. This image repeats itself in the Art of Chughtai all the time. The message very clear.

The-National-Emblem
Sharp-Sword

One of the rarest image in the Art of Chughtai is the work of a lady carrying the dead body of her warrior husband from the battlefield. I do not think this image of a dead person has ever occurred in Chughtai Art but here it is a real exception. And it is not a sign of death but an idea of defiance against evil designs. The sword of the warrior is broken showing that he fought till the last and embraced martyrdom for the sake of his Ideology of Islam. Such scenes evoke one to shout Allah o Akbar again and again. Enemies beware of the warrior unleased against tyranny.

The martyred Warrior

BIGOTRY OF SOME HINDU WRITERS CLOUDING THEIR ABILITY TO JUDGE CHUGHTAI ART – RIDICULING THEIR OWN SELF RATHER THAN THE ARTIST M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI 

BIGOTRY OF SOME HINDU WRITERS CLOUDING THEIR ABILITY TO JUDGE CHUGHTAI ART,
RIDICULING THEIR OWN SELF RATHER THAN THE ARTIST M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
O-C-GANGOLY

The two nation theory never arose out of a vacuum. It was a fact which the Quran recognizes, as well as the writings of people like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Dr Allama Iqbal. Quaid-e-Azam through a political process put it into reality. Jealousy ran in the veins of some  bigoted Hindu writers and when we read their analysis of Art, one can only hope that some sanity could have prevailed in their analysis of things.

Chughtais-letter
Venom in O C Gangoly

Take for instance the famous iconic Hindu writer O.C. Gangoly. We have written about him, but he left a record which will blacken his name forever. A request by Chughtai artist for return of his paintings sent to an exhibition show in Calcutta, evoked a sharp reply from him. We reproduce it for anyone to see. It clarifies what Chughtai wrote about all the time. Calcutta was allergic to Lahore and allergic to Muslims in total.

Tapati Guha Thakurta Calcutta

Tapati Guha-Thakurta is an enigma all her own. Cambridge University Press considered her a professional on the subject but could not see the bigotry she carried on herself. Again Calcutta. In just one book “The making of a new Indian Art”, she felt reluctant to give an image (it would expose her thesis) of even one Chughtai’s work but she mentions him at least three times, in most derogatory manner. Her first remark about Chughtai is on page 291 of her book. She says:

      “Abdur Rahman Chughtai’s compositions of the first years, with their recurrent images of flickering lamps and swooning women, cannot rise above such CRASS MANNERISMS.”
Her venom cannot be put on rest. She repeats another blatant assertion:
        “For example, couplets from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam  conjured an atmosphere of Persian exoticism and mystique around Chughtai’s images of veiled women, fading lamps and scattered petals.  It is not clear whether the quotations from poems came from the artists themselves or whether they were later additions by critics and editors to help in the propagation of these paintings.”
Tapati Guha Thakurta

And thirdly she makes fun of the painting FAME based on National leadership, as a  ‘symbol of the feebleness and self indulgence of India’s national leaders’. Based on a verse by Dr Allama Iqbal, she had no mood to accept that work. So what? It was Chughtai’s view, not hers.

And for now, we finally come to the venom of Som Anand “Portrait of a lost city”. This man has in his total hatred, uttered such words that no sane publishers would have allowed the publication. Som Anand talks about his visit to the studio of Chughtai. He makes fun of the Punjabi language, spoken by the artist. But of all things he terms Chughtai as:
“The man was very shabbily dressed. His dishevelled hair and unkempt clothes made him look like the domestic servant of a middle class family. An interesting thing about his clothes was that the many colours were splashed on his shirt sleeve. It seemed that he used to wipe his brush on the shirt while he was at work.
To me the most striking thing in this conversation was that he spoke in very simple Punjabi and his unsophisticated accent sounded almost like the speech of an unlettered villager.”
Som Anands father

There is so much falsehood in his writing that Som Anand is not even ashamed of writing false things. The whole episode is made up of his own conjectures. A senior Professor of GCU, Mahmud Ahmad told me that no gentleman could talk like that. He said if you ever meet Som Anand, just slap him even before you talk to him. I said certainly I cannot do that, as I do not have the inferiority complex these kind of Hindus carry in their hearts. It continues to pain them that Muslims ruled the region for more than 1200 years. They made a mess of their country in a few decades, and triggered, manipulated mess in ours. . That complex does not go away.

MARC studio image

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