ORIGIN OF LAHORE ACCORDING TO AHMAD HASAN DANI,
SCHOLARLY RESEARCH BY HIM ESTABLISHES “CITY ON RAVI”
In 1973 the legendary scholar of Pakistan Ahmad Hasan Dani delivered a lecture on Al-Beruni” in the city of Kabul. Amazing that Kabul is seen as hosting a Pakistani scholar. But Kabul was a city of intellect and arts for a long time. Not surprising that it happened then. Dani Sahib in his erudite way explains everything. His dismisses the so called connection of Loh son of Ram with Lahore and we attach the paragraph on same. Worthy of being read. But most interesting he isolates different Lahores and capitals and names. And he says that the city was founded near the river IRAWATI (present Ravi), and that is why it was called IRAWATIAWAR. It was later modified with use as RAVAWAR. He says Panini’s grammar tells us that RA and LA are interchangeable grammarian words, and that is why we have the word LAHAWAR, or presently LAHORE itself. Lahore is simply by tradition CITY ON RAVI.
Loh Mandir is a creation of British period in their attempt of Divide and Rule. Late Sikh period architecture, it is even made of British period bricks, and it is on the same level as street outside. Imagine fooling people with foolish stories. Absolutely no documentation.
Certainly Dani Sahib (1920-2009) was a great scholar and his words should be read with utter homage. We share this information with others now.
LITTLE KNOWN REFERENCE OF ALI HUJWIRI’S TOMB IN LAHORE
FROM CHANDAR BHAN BRAHMAN, MUNSHI OF DARA SHIKOH
Chandar Bhan Brahman, Munshi of Prince Dara Shikoh visited Lahore on leave of absence from the Emperor and mentioned various things. Originally from Lahore himself, he even had his own house here. The first thing he did here was to visit the Mausoleum of Ali Hujwiri for spiritual blessings. And about the Mausoleum complex of Hazrat Ali Hujwiri in Lahore, he says:
“Even though there are yearly and monthly impromptu performances throughout the city’s precincts, especially at the tombs and shrines of the giants along the path of esoteric Truth (buzurgan i rah i haqiqat), the Thursday gatherings at the blessed tomb of that knower of mystical stages, Pir Ali Hujwiri, creates an especially remarkable commotion. Darwishes and other free spirits, literati, poets, and all manner of people gather there to observe the spectacle of Divine Creation.”
No mention of general public, but Chandar Bhan Brahman goes on to say another remarkable thing. He reports that one Ishwar Dass, the Minister of Architecture “had demonstrated his great competence and excellent taste with respect to every heavenly building”. An Hindu administrator for upkeep of every Mughal monument in Lahore, and as a consequence not only the upkeep but the making of these complexes with excellent taste, including the Tomb complex of Pir Ali Hujwiri. In other words Prince Dara Shikoh had Ishwar Dass make the entire Tomb complex of Pir Ali Hujwiri and overhauled it, and as Dara Shikoh himself says, that he gave it a chaste white marble sarcophagus for same. In other words we can think of that white marble sarcophagus in line of tombs like Emperor Jahangeer as well as that of Tomb of Sahib Jamal (Anarkali). But for a Prince to change a sarcophagus only, was obviously not enough. Surely he had the building of the Mazar made again, or even relocated at some place.
Unfortunately the place for all this is not specified in any way. If a Mughal Tomb complex was designed in the 17th century, where is it now? Where is the grave stone of same? Disappeared in thin air. Although according to Mufti Ghulam Sarwar 2000 buildings in Lahore disappeared under the Sikh rule here, and a number of Mazars are recorded as having suffered the same. But Ranjit Singh was enamoured with Pir Ali Hujwiri. In fact three visits (1833, 1837, 1838) are on record, and he presented Rs 125 as ardas for the beggars and friars of the complex, along with amounts for Chajju Bhagat complex, and Mastan Shah. He is recorded as having prostrated at the grave at one time. One of his wife had even repaired the complex on her own.
But things get more interesting in the next year 1839. There was a need to rebuild the Gates and for added protection trenches outside the gates were to be made. A need was felt to clear the Bhatti Gate area. Outside Bhatti Gate was the area and mohalla of another famous Sufi of Lahore, that is Syed Shah Sharaf, on which was the mausoleum and mosque of that saint too. The mohalla was not that populated in Sikh times, and it was decided to clear the Bhatti Gate area, so both the mausoleum and Mosque of Syed Shah Sharaf were demolished under the orders of Ranjit Singh himself. Faqeer Aziz uddin was given the task of taking the body out of the learned Syed and then reburying it in the Hata of Haji Muhammed Saeed in Dulla Wari area, where the body is still there under a small construction.
In same year (after death of Ranjit Singh) orders were given by Kharrack Singh to vacate all areas within half a mile distance from the Gates and Wall of Lahore (one does not know how many came under the demolition drive, probably many), and as a result orders were also given to demolish the mausoleum and mosque of Shah Muhammed Ghaus Qadri outside Delhi Gate Lahore. An European Delaurax dismantled the mosque and started with the mausoleum. There was a huge hue and cry in the city (strange for Shah Ghaus and not for others), and it is reputed that Kharrack Singh died that very night. And people believed that it was the spiritual might of Muhammed Ghaus which did the same. But all this gives us no view about the Hujwiri quarters in Lahore. The same is also very near Bhatti Gate, and it is probable that this too was cleared. What happened?
Graves relocation is normal in history. It happened with Shah Bilawal of Shah Jahan’s time, too. When the present site of Pir Ali Hujwiri was made recently (only a few years back), a number of graves of holy men were dismantled and relocated elsewhere, and the whole process was done in the night. A number of graves within the site were just cleared and the tombstones sold in the market. How sad that how ruthless can administrators become? No compassion anywhere. But so many other mazars were cleared during the night, ruthlessly. Nothing seems to have changed. Ruthlessness has no religion.
The mystery deepens. Dara Shikoh mentions the grave of Pir Ali Hujwiri in the Lahore Fort. Chandar Bhan Brahman mentions a Tomb complex somewhere. A proper mausoleum made about 1861 (and remade over time) exists to this day. What are the secrets of Pir Ali Hujwiri? Only time will tell or it will never be found. No one really knows! I have seen manuscripts written at the tomb of Pir Ali Hujwiri, and two of them are in our library, one 17th century, and the other 18th century, but again no area is given in the colophon. One of them is by the Mujawir of the complex. Till something comes up, nothing definitely can be said by anyone. Speculation cannot be enough.
A theory can be evolved that Pir Ali Hujwiri was buried in the Lahore Fort. Dara Shikoh thought it not fit for the great saint and had a new Tomb complex made in the Hujwiri quarters, under Ishwar Dass, Administrator Mausoleums. That complex existed till the time of Ranjit Singh, and then Kharrack Singh had it demolished in 1839. With this demolition the remains of Pir Ali Hujwiri were shifted back to their original site in the Lahore Fort, where it still exists today. But that is a theory only. Research may bring more facts. But complexity remains. Obviously such mischief is left out of the pages of history.
ART OF SURVIVAL WE LEARNT LONG AGO,
THE RESILIENCE OF OUR NATION PAKISTAN
The enemy keeps on trying and in haughty manner feel here it is, the fruit of our labour to erase Pakistan. And the nation of Pakistan rise to each calamity with a rousing spirit of resilience. A country which Pundits predicted to have evapourated within a few years, is still going strong, by the Will of Allah. How much we have suffered at the hands of external enemies and how much we suffer at hands of internal Mir Jaffers. In fact people are saying that we should stop using the word of yester years and start using the names of the present Mir Jaffers. So many of them but still very much morons who fail to understand the power of Al Mighty Allah. Millions gave their life for Pakistan and thousands are doing it to this day. Morons fail to understand the loss of blood in Shahadat is not an every day death. The spirituality of that existence gives life to society again and again.
Greed is destroying the inner self of these mongrels. To live and die for a higher cause is to be near to Allah all the time. Which nation in the world does not have faults like those highlighted about us. Simply we have not paid money abroad to highlight wrong of those societies. In fact we understand our faults all the time and we criticize ourselves always. It is the enemies who understand our virtues better than any other. There is more democracy in the Armed Forces of Pakistan, than any other status of democracy around the politics of the country. The Pak Army comes from every nook and corner of Pakistan, even the smallest villages are represented in it. It has the capacity for all to march forward. Pure merit is the key in the Pak Army. Usually only those move upwards who deserve it with their inherent capacity. We will write more about it. While we go about doing our every day life, the Guardians of Pakistan are awake to guard us under all circumstances. Pak Army Zindabad! Pakistan Forever!
TODAY ARCHAEOLOGY HAS AN ANSWER FOR EVERYTHING WITHOUT DIGGING
YES, WE HAVE GROUND PENETRATING RADAR IS ANSWER TO GRAVE RESEARCH
Many times people come up with ideas of research but the sites are sacred and cannot be touched. Already the Agha KJhan programme is using radar for research on Lahore Fort. The same can also be used to research the unknown graves within, particularly a grave considered to be that of a Holy Man of the Past. Nothing would be lost or violated but a clearer picture would emerge of the contents of the grave. The same technology can also be used elsewhere.Full research has already been done by others abroad. Such as:
University of Southern Mississippi, Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty Member
Burial Detection Using Ground-Penetrating Radar in Southern Illinois: A Comparison of Historic Cemeteries
Ryan M. Campbell and Nathan J. Meissner The implementation of ground-based geophysical methods for the detection of human burials has become increasingly common in archaeological fieldwork. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) appears to be a useful instrument for cemetery investigations, but the effectiveness of equipment varies by region due to soil differences and other environmental factors. Few region-specific examples are available for comparative purposes, which presents problems for the interpretation of remote sensing data. Here, we present GPR data from three historic cemeteries.
IMAGINE HARTAL IN LAHORE ON ASSASSINATION OF MAHATMA GANDHI
ON 31ST JANUARY 1948 SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, OFFICES CLOSED IN LAHORE
Lahore is a wonderful city with extraordinary traditions. That is why Bullay Shah’s famous verse of not being happy on enemy’s death, for friend is also going to die, so popular here. A city full of passion for Quaid-e-Azam grieved for Mahatma Gandhi in a similar way by observing complete hartal in city. A sad death with sad results. Lahore felt the sudden shock of the passing away an icon of India. And imagine not far away , the other Icon of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam would also pass away a few months later. This was a clear cut assassination and it was realized that leaders were subject to games of the high and mighty.
What is probably not realized that the death of Quaid-e-Azam was engineered too. If he had TB, the simple solution was penicillin injections, which were available at that time in Delhi. Why were antibiotics not tried on him? Left in an abandoned ambulance to be in the street, it is pathetic how leaders give their life and die needless deaths. For those who may doubt, just count the number of leaders of Pakistan who met uneventful deaths. The deaths speak of the outer hand themselves. And yet the resilience of Pakistan which makes it survive all obstacles with strength of faith and indomitable energy.
THE LUDICROUS RANT OF ENEMIES ABOUT THE FUTURE OF PAKISTAN
TOTAL FAILURES EATING NEEDLESSLY MONEY OF FOREIGN LOBBIES
Seventy years of local morons trying to create the end of Pakistan. We do not know what generation wise this effort but if you look at it objectively, a small group of nobodies trying to tell foreign lobbies that they have achieved so much in bringing down Pakistan. The target of this small group is another small group whose beliefs are not that strong. We read an article by Mowahid Hussain Shah quoting his father Colonel Amjad Hussain on his passion for Pakistan. Well done Sir! A delight to read him all the time. And the others. Demeaning nonsense. But these poisonous pills full of arsenic are rolled in flavourable flavours of music, dance and fancy philosophic talk. Everybody becomes a revolutionary, Che Guevaras of Pakistan. Talking of some abstruse freedom and not having the guts to tell the world what life is in India and what the present setup is doing to Muslims in India and the beautiful people of Kashmeer. The Grass is greener in other pastures we heard, but the stink of the other pastures is not told to us.
Miserable wretches who survive by Pakistan and curse the country all the time. Beware! Not only have you lost your marbles, you are losing your capacity to look into the morning mirror with passing time. This is that kind of impotence which all the Viagras in the world cannot cure. Stop intoxicating yourself with alcoholic syrups. THE RESILIENCE OF PAKISTAN AS WELL AS THE IDEA OF PAKISTAN EVEN MAHATMA GANDHI COULD NOT STOP. And he is the ultimate icon on the other side. Quaid-e-azam made Pakistan as the first step towards the dream of Dr Allama Iqbal in the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam. And G.A. Pervaiz’s assertion of Islam as a challenge to religion itself.
CHUGHTAI PAINTINGS AT GOVERNOR HOUSE LAHORE
SIX OUT OF TWELVE REMAINING, PRESENT UNKNOWN
The icon of Pakistan M.A. Rahman Chughtai was selected to be represented by his paintings at many public places. These included public buildings as well as Pakistani Embassies abroad. About twelve paintings were acquired for the Governor House Lahore from the artist from the Governorship of Sir Abdur Rab Nishtar to Nawab Gurmani. They hung there for many years and then started disappearing. About six were still there in the time of Pervaiz Musharraf. Presently not known how many are there. In a visit of mine, I saw many had been replaced by works of artist Noon as well as by Abdul Waheed Chughtai. The disappearance could not be possible by outsiders but by the officials themselves.
In any case the same are pride for Pakistan. Some of the visitors who admired them included Queen Elizabeth II as well as Jawaharlal Nehru. In fact the artist himself took Nehru around and introduced his vision about his works. Another important admirer there was the brother of the Emperor of Japan,
as well as Prince Akhito, the present Emperor of Japan. The artist Chughtai has always brought laurels to his country………………………………………………..
CHUGHTAI ART IN EMBROIDERY AS FASHION
BASIC LISTING OF EMBROIDERS IN PAKISTAN
Chughtai Art has been used variously in time. Pitras Bokhari had fire shades made by the artist for his fire place. Done on silk cloth but painted on same. A letter exists about same. Jewelers have taken inspiration from Chughtai Art and his designs of jewelry. There was a cinema in Karachi as well as a cinema in Delhi which had paintings from the book Murraqqa e Chughtai done on the walls of the cinema hall in huge proportions. We saw them ourselves. That was the time when in cinema halls shows used to be started with documentaries on Chughtai Art. Made by Information Department, it had his interview too. People were familiar with the artist.
Embroidery caught up too. Chughtai Art on cushions as well as dresses. The pioneer was Fatima Bai of Salika Sewing Machines, which made long stitch possible on the machine itself. The singer Malika Pukhraj was very fond of embroidery and had done complete paintings of Chughtai from the Murraqqa in stitch. She showed one of the work on PTV, namely Desert in Bloom. But this did not Stop with her. Sajida Hanif Abbasi (now sick with cancer) also made paintings from Amal e Chughtai as embroidery.
Even today one can find embroidered cushions of Chughtai Art on the International market. Neelofar Shahid did a show on Chughtai, as well as Maria B who took inspiration from Chughtai Art. A student from Dallas Texas, Fawad Khalid Hamza wanted to print Chughtai Art on T Shirts. There is a mrket out there for Chughtai Art products, and unfortunately we do not have capacity to undertake it. Perhaps one day we will enter this sector and make Chughtai Art a household word in the world.
DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND, HELEN KELLER SURVIVED IT ALL
THE VISIT OF HELEN KELLER TO LAHORE IN THE YEAR 1955
Helen Keller is the stuff of legends. An international icon, she showed the world optimism in everything she did in life. Presidents met her with humility. She carried an air of hope everywhere. Much traveled, she even came to Lahore. Addressed a Press Conference, which was reported on 15th May, 1955. The city of Lahore welcomed this stalwart with open minds and hearts and she left a deep impression behind. Full of laughter, one could hardly find her in a different mood. She overcame her disabilities, and she poured her hope all over the world.
One can learn a lot from her. A documentary was screened by the USIS here, entitled THE HELEN KELLER STORY and we indeed saw it ourselves. From where her energy came, one does not know, but that energy she passed on to the world. With an age of 88 years, she really was outstanding in her achievements. These are the Americans who made America, America. Legends which impressed the world.
Even today her name is taken in Pakistan with respect. Events are held in her name. United the world, and never sowed discord in life.
MUHAMMED KHAN A FORGOTTEN HERO MARTYR OF WORLD WAR ONE
DEBRIS OF A HOUSE IN LAHORE REVEALS MEDAL SENT BY KING GEORGE
The Britishers used the Indian Army in their fights in World War one in 1915. We do now that a lot of soldiers went from Punjab to France at that time. Villages in Punjab boast of soldiers sent to fight the British cause. In the area of Pakistan, Chakwal is famous for contributing such brave men to the mission. It is also known that people from Lahore also went to France and are acknowledged by plaques in those fields of Europe. Of the many people martyred there, King George sent a letter of condolence to the family of the dead soldier.
A recently demolished house in Lahore turned out a forgotten medal in its debris. The man MUHAMMED KHAN FROM LAHORE died in the British service in World War one. To commemorate his death, King George sent a BRONZE MEDAL highlighting that HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR. The letter obviously is missing. Who was Muhammed Khan? We do not know but this we know that the urban city of Lahore did produce brave men in those times too and they fought on the battle field of Europe, and scarcely remembered by any one. There is knack of history that it enfolds itself sooner or later. Obviously the man must have belonged to the Punjab Regiment, and that regiment is active to this day in the Pakistan Army.