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AN ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION IN PUNJAB IN 1689 AD ALAMGEER’S TIME; META BIN DERVAISH POET AND HISTORIAN WRITES HIS NATURAL VIEWS; THINGS HAVE REMAINED THE SAME IN ALL WAYS

AN ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION IN PUNJAB IN 1689 AD ALAMGEER’S TIME
META BIN DERVAISH POET AND HISTORIAN WRITES HIS NATURAL VIEWS
THINGS HAVE REMAINED THE SAME IN ALL WAYS

Meta Bin Dervaish has written a book TUFAH UL PUNJAB in 1689 AD, which records many things not normally present elsewhere. The amazing thing is his analysis of the deteriorated condition in Punjab as the Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgeer is nowhere near. Stationed in Aurangabad, the Emperor has no knowledge of the things gone wrong in Punjab. He states quite clearly:

“Things have changed with time. There is no rush in bazaars nowadays. Bribery and corruption has reached its height. Bribery is the only way left now to earn money. Palaces worth looking and houses illuminated are due to bribery alone. Now even Muslims are taking SOOD (interest) like Hindus. And except for Kalma, there is no difference between Muslim and Hindus. Forbearance has left people of abstinence and people have left patience all together. The rich are so insolent that they do not help anyone. People in power like the bureaucracy have no fear of the Emperor, in fact they have no fear of even Allah. Jails are so full of convicts that the sound of chains is so much that people cannot even sleep at night. Honesty has abandoned the people. Cruelty and lack of justice and even the Emperor’s treasure is not safe from harm. And nor the people in general. No one relies on their jageer alone but is bent upon looting the wealth of others. People in power give 50 percent to the State but after a hundred excuses. Journalists (waqai nawis) and bureaucrats are reporting wrongly to the Emperor all the time. If a wrong happens, it is converted into a good which has materialized. The whole nation is tired of these state representatives. and all these representative are doing is increasing their share of spoils. If a Kafir is caught red handed, all he has to say is the Kalma and he gets away with it. The muslim caught has no such luck and is punished dreadfully. The innocent sheds his blood to no avail. The Emperor is unaware of the sins of his designated representatives.
Brother takes interest from own brother. The husbands have no loyalty in their hearts but the wives have also abandoned shame from their eyes. If somebody is dying of thirst, no one has the taufeeq to quench his thirst, by offering him a cup of water. In the path of the rich even if a blind person is sitting, he turns his glance and walks away. There is so called restrictions on jobs for Hindus in the Royal structure, but they are comfortably sitting in all jobs and no one can stop them. The Hindus have become so arrogant and hard headed that they do not even look sympathetically towards the Muslims. They insult Muslims all the time and laugh at their folly in believing that things can be corrected. They take revenge on Muslims all the time. People fed up of the Hindu hypocrisy. Muuezins afraid of reciting the azan in a loud manner for fear of censure from the Hindus. Afraid of neighbours complaining. The Quran cannot be read loudly for same fears. The representatives are loud clear in SHAN SHAUKAT The Hindus are sahulat kar to all wrongs being done here and support the person doing wrong. Muslims are misfortunate in front of Hindu doors. The Muslims run after the Hindus in galli kochas for possible favours. The Hindus are in control of power state.
The Muslims feel no shame in going to Hindu company, one can only ask why they do not become Hindus themselves. Curse of Allah be upon these people who have become Munshis of Hindus. Our Emperor is so far away and cannot listen to our plight. Our well being has changed into national despondency. The situation is so bad that Jazziya is even now being given by the Muslims. Safarish is like biting the dog’s ears. People are tired of the cruelty of the State. We need an Emperor. In this dark night we need the flame of hope.”

I could not believe what was written by Meeta in 1689 and yet all that seems to be the same today. The Mughal Emperor and the reign of the filthy democrats all the same. Things have not changed at all ever since. Riots were witnessed through the history. The last big riots were in 1947. Lahore was a witness to that. Cow riots were predominant in Mughal times as well as in British times. Butchers of Delhi Darwaza were murdered by Hindus. And yet we learn nothing. We all want to live in peace without exploitation. Shanti is the key word but this Shanti should not include a dagger between the sleeves. For anyone desiring to read the original can consult the manuscript in the National Archives of Pakistan.

ABSOLUTELY NEW INFORMATION ON EMPEROR AURANGZEB; FROM THE CONTEMPORARY JAIPUR STATE RECORDS UNKOWN: PROVIDED BY MAULANA YUSUF ALI KHAN LIBRARIAN RECORDS.

ABSOLUTELY NEW INFORMATION ON EMPEROR AURANGZEB;
FROM THE CONTEMPORARY JAIPUR STATE RECORDS UNKOWN:
PROVIDED BY MAULANA YUSUF ALI KHAN LIBRARIAN RECORDS.

Maulana Yusuf Ali Khan migrated to Pakistan. He was a Librarian of Records at Jaipur State, which included rarest newsletters from the times of the Mughals itself. He knew how important those records were and certainly not in a position to publish a grand book about them. So, the best he did was publish a book in Urdu in 1951, from Karachi, narrating the valid information he had from them. A copy of the book is in our archives.

Pakistan and India are not one. They represent the two-nation theory . As Quaid e Azam said very aptly, heroes of one nation are villains of the other, and Vica. Our National Poet Dr Allama Iqbal described Emperor Aurangzeb as “Ibraheem (Abraham) of the Indian But-Khana (idols house)”, and loyal Pakistanis deem the role of Emperor Aurangzeb, as no less than Hazrat Umar of the Prophet’s (PBUH) time. Unfortunately, foreign lobbies are quick to employ local pseudo intellectuals to spread their point of view. The Ideology of Pakistan is the bane of foreign lobbies. Sponsor so called intellectual festivals in which the main theme is to embarrass loyal Pakistanis out of their valid convictions. Twenty years with Dr Allama Iqbal, Abdur Rahman Chughtai understood the Ideology of Pakistan well. The legacy of the artist is with us. A country with convictions, protected by a strong ideological army, our steps towards tomorrow.

The usual sources of our knowledge are there. Books like Maaseray Alamgeeri, Alamgeer Nama, as well as the Hyderabad State Records. A worthy edition is that of Maulana Shibli, which has become a classic on Aurangzeb. The hate Aurangzeb literature is led by 83 years old Dr Mubarak Ali, who certainly will be asked by history as to his venom against a great Emperor. As to a horde of Aurangzeb haters in India, who really have only stereotypes at their disposal without factual records. Here in the world Ms Audrey Trustschke of Rutgers University stepped in, and incurred the wrath of Indian zealots against her factual research. Congratulations to her for steadfastly standing on the grounds of truth. I read the factual record of the last day of Emperor Aurangzeb, and the small book of prayers, he wrote in his own hands for a courtier (in my possession), and all I feel is compassion for a great soul of the world. And the greatest shame was the alert issued in Khuldabad of desire of some zealots to uproot the grave of Emperor Aurangzeb, and throw his body out. The same thing as done by Ranjit Singh with the body of Empress Nur Jahan in Lahore. People forget that they will die one day too.

The merit of life of Maulana Yusuf Ali Khan is above reproach. He carried certificates from the Government in Jaipur. He came across newsletters which reached Jaipur and consulted them and took out a book on the unknown life of Aurangzeb Alamgeer. Published in Karachi in 1951, it is worthy of records elsewhere too. A number of new facts come to light.

The Newsletter narrates the arrival of Dara Shikoh in Delhi and the lockup of father and son in Khizarpur prison. The interesting part is that father and son declined to receive food from outside and used to cook their own food. Then there is the letter of Dara Shikoh to Aurangzeb, apologizing for everything, and telling him that he has no desire for the throne and he be allowed to live. Dara Shikoh promised to pray for Aurangzeb and his sons, all his life. It seems that everything as well as arrogance, was driven out of the Prince in this capture alone. The zeal was gone.

Another very interesting feature is the burial of Dara Shikoh in Humayouns courtyard. Aurangzeb Alamgeer had seen to it that Dara Shikoh should be buried properly there. News reaches the Emperor, that the grave is no longer in good repair. Aurangzeb Alamgeer issues orders for the immediate, and proper repair of the grave, as well as appointment of Caretakers to take care of it. Orders were also issued for it to be covered with a proper dignified chaddar (cloth) all the time. Upholding of such traditions, tell us of the attitude of Aurangzeb towards his dead brother. Given honour and dignity even after death.

This may look amazing to some, but then Aurangzeb Alamgeer is the most misquoted and misunderstood Mughal Emperor of Hindustan. There is so much animosity against him, that no one is interested in hearing the truth about him. There is much more in the records at Jaipur. 

ANOTHER INCIDENT FROM JAIPUR STATE RECORDS
SHAH JAHAN PUTS THE CROWN ON AURANGZEB’S HEAD

The work and combined effort of Jahan Ara and others

The English translation of the bigoted Jadunath Sarkar of MAASIR-I-ALAMGEERI of Saqi Mustad Khan jumps at places and there are deliberate gaps there. On 12th May (29th Shaban) 1659, Aurangzeb Alamgeer enters the Delhi Fort. His second coronation is listed by Jadunath Sarkar as being on 5th June, 1659 (24th Ramazan). There is no account of the missing 25 days or so. Some portions left perhaps due to Mustad Khan, others left by Jadunath Sarkar. A lot happened in those 25 days.

Aurangzeb Alamgeer gave the utmost respect to Shah Jahan and the father was told the whole story of his achievements. The reconciliation was started by Syed Muhammed Qanauji and perfected by Jahan Ara herself. In the end she won the day by reconciling Shah Jahan with his son. The result Shah Jahan himself put the crown on the head of the Prince Aurangzeb Alamgeer and got issued a coin in his name on the 1st of Ramazan at Agra. That is 23 days before the official coronation mentioned in Alamgeeri texts. The coin and khutba was generated which called ABU MUZZAFER MOHYUDDIN MUHAMMED AURANGZEB BAHADUR ALAMGEER. (page 134 Aurangzeb Alamgeer book by Yusuf Ali Khan quoting Jaipur State Records) There is even an inscription in the mosque of HUSSAM DIN SAKHTA AT SANBAR JAIPUR, which lists 1659 as first Jaloos of Alamgeer.

In all these episodes Aurangzeb Alamgeer is projected as a villain but it is forgotten by historians, that Shah Jahan was so carried away with his love for Dara Shikoh, that father and son, invited Aurangzeb Alamgeer to Delhi, and had made plans for his assassination. It was Roshan Ara Begum, sister of Aurangzeb Alamgeer, who informed him of this plan, and Aurangzeb declined their invitation. That is why Roshan Ara Begum was so close to Aurangzeb Alamgeer later in life too.

The date of this reconciliation would be very close to the 12th May entry of Aurangzeb Alamgeer into Delhi Fort. Possibly a day or two later. It should be kept in mind that the Jaipur State Records are of that date, not later in life. It is the official newsletter sent to other officials about the working of the Court. Raja Jai Singh and his heirs were very close to the Mughal Court. This is no second hand information from the streets. Scholars are welcome to research on this project. But the bigotry of many Indian writers obsessed with creating their own versions of history without documentation is at the least repulsive to scholarship.

On 5th June 1660 the first year of reign was celebrated at Mughal Court with great enthusiasm. This was the 24th of Ramazan. Official decree was issued by the Emperor Aurangzeb, that the sacred day was the 1st of Ramazan, when his father put the crown on his head, so from then on, the official commemoration day would be 1st Ramazan, and so the jaloos should be calculated from that day. This was his homage to his father Shah Jahan.

I hope someone picks up on these records and goes further. There is much more to it. Best of luck to them!

SEX PARTY OVER EMPEROR JAHANGEER’S REMAINS (1828); COMMANDER M. AMISE AND RANJIT SINGH

SEX PARTY OVER EMPEROR JAHANGEER’S REMAINS (1828)
COMMANDER M. AMISE AND RANJIT SINGH

Looters and plunderers have no qualms. In fact doing the odd taboo thing is an aphrodisiac for them. The British converted the Taj Mahal into a honeymoon hotel and for some time, it also became a suicide point for its jilted lovers. The mausoleum of Rabia Durrani wife of Emperor Aurangzeb, in Aurangabad was also used for ball room dancing. And in Lahore, the mausoleum of Muhammed Salih Kanbo, Court historian of Shah Jahan as a Church as well as mausoleum of Nadira Begum, wife of Emperor Jahangeer as the Main Church too (and making a concubine Anarkali out of her). Examples too numerous to list. The Sikh rule was not characterized differently. The plunder of Lahore is well on record.

European Adventurers at the Court of Ranjit Singh were having their own kind of fun, far away from their homes. Deeds of many are on record. Some did good things, some bad things. Commander M. Amise, French for some, and from Spain for others, was also working for Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh was not bothered about his past record, as others had reported of flaws in his character. The Gujranawalla dacoit sanctioned Jahangeer’s Mausoleum for his troops and the Badshahi mosque for his living place. But he never stayed at the mosque and preferred the Jahangeer’s mausoleum. He had the debris removed, the garden straightened etc and started living his life in the room of the sarcophagus itself. In fact it is said that there was an opening on the roof which Lehna Singh (or Sobha Singh) had covered with wooden planks after removing the marble balustrade etc. In any case Commander M. Amise was very proud of cleaning up his living quarter.

People of Lahore take their sacred places very seriously. Mirza Akram Baig was the descendant of the Emperor and Empress Nur Jahan and he used to hold the ‘PAR DA MELA’ festival there every year. Commander M. Amise went one step further. He not only lived in that room of the grave, he started using it for sexual parties. It is said that the sarcophagus was actually used as a bed for sexual intercourse with nautch girls of Lahore.

How much is true or not, one does not know? Everybody knew that he died on the grave of Jahangeer itself. This one knows that he died a mysterious death. Cholera was only an illusion. Some say it was the wrath of Allah. Others attribute it to the ghost of Nur Jahan herself. It was also rumoured that the shade of Jahangeer had been seen and the Emperor predicted the death of the European rascal. But rational people say that he was probably murdered by a gardener at the instance of the Mutavallis or khadims of the mausoleum. In any case he was actually buried somewhere outside in haste. Ranjit Singh had the building closed and the walls sealed after his death. Captain Wade tells us that the news of the death of Amise reached him on 18th October, 1828, and he worked for Ranjit Singh for two years.Sir Edward Maclagan had not only been shown the grave of Amise, but also shown the desecration of it many times. It was reported by Maclagan that something very bad Amise had done to incur the wrath of the people of Lahore. There used to be a grave in the compound attributed to some BABA SAEN we used to see as kids when we visited the place. Perhaps the grave was of Commander M. Amise himself. No interest is taken by the Archaeological department to solve the riddle of the ages. Here a SEX PARTY led to actual death of the inhabitant.

P.S. Some people spell and pronounce Amise as Ohms.

TOTALLY MISSING LOOK THE FIRST MUGHAL ARCHITECTURE; AN OUTCOME OF THE BATTLE OF KHANWA 16TH MARCH, 1527.

TOTALLY MISSING LOOK THE FIRST MUGHAL ARCHITECTURE,
AN OUTCOME OF THE BATTLE OF KHANWA 16TH MARCH, 1527.

The fascination of Mughals with honouring their dead ones is phenomenal, and our region is full of exquisite mausoleums in honour of their beloveds, as well as loyal followers. The mausoleums of Emperors and their wives are phenomenal subjects in their own rights. But ordinary people also received their attention. In this respect very ordinary persons got a grand mausoleum built over their dead bodies. In Humayouns complex we even have a grand one in memory of the hair cutter of the Emperors. Even wet nurses got grand burial places and are robust to this day. But what about the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the cause of the Mughals.

The battle of Babur with Rana Sanga is one clue. Rana Sanga himself invited Babur, on the belief that  like Timur, he will come and go away. But Babur decided to stay. The result a grand battle started on 16th March, 1527, and alternate historians present the typical two nation theory rhetoric. Babur’s autobiography say something, modern Hindu historians present their own versions. But ours is not a historical version statement. It is about the earliest form of Mughal Architecture in Mughal Indo-Pakistani region. Notice the rudimentary graves of the warriors of Babur’s army. The built ones must be of Generals who lost their lives.

We do know that two Architects came with Babur. One was Ustad Isa Mimar and the other Ustad Yusuf Mimar. Both were students of the Turkish architect Sinan. They belonged to the city of Herat and later settled in Lahore, to be called Lahoris. At the site of Khanwa no one pays attention. The amazing part is that the battleground is still there with hundreds of graves of the soldiers of Babur’s army. But there are built ones too. Obviously built in a hurry, as revealed by the brick laying of the fallen domes. And many sarcophagi exist too in the Mughal style. Our contention was that being the earliest representation of the Mughal architecture, we must pay respect to it. And learn the evolution of its architecture here.

http://blog.chughtaimuseum.com/?p=12317

INFLUENCE OF ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE ON JAIN MANDIRS; REGION ADDICTED TO WRITING STEREOTYPE FAIRY TALES. (without any documentation)

INFLUENCE OF ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE ON JAIN MANDIRS;
REGION ADDICTED TO WRITING STEREOTYPE FAIRY TALES.
(without any documentation)

We are born Pakistanis, and not familiar with situations before partition. Obviously, we were told many things by our parents. There were basically three religions here, and all ancient. We can talk of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Buddhism and Jainism are considered earliest. The picture painted of the three co-existing with each other in peace is a myth. Legends have it of murder of Jains by thousands, and paintings exist of this ruthlessness. Not only that there was massive disruption between the three, but scholars write of thousands of Buddhist and Jain Temples destroyed by the Hindu Kings.  A tradition of destruction of temples very much in vogue. Stones extensively used even in those times. No need to chisel new ones when chiseled available. It is a reality the Mandir-obsessed trolls pay no heed to this truth. Inter religious trouble was there.

Thousands of Jain/Buddha Temple/Viharas Were Destroyed to Make Hindu Temples, Meenu Jain

The Muslims came into the scene. They had their own way of life, and it was so different from the way of life of other religions here, they could not be amalgamated with their belief in one Allah, and a society based on egalitarianism. Conflict would be a natural consequence. Historian speak of relics from Afghanistan in the Holy Kaaba itself, as the first museum of Islam. (Read “Islamic Art Oleg Grabar”).        Records speak of Muslim merchants in some parts of India, arriving by sea for trade. Muhammed bin Qasim dubbed by ignorant as an invader, came to the rescue of Muslim women entrapped by Raja Dahir. People who do not read history, will not know that he was so much loved in Sind, that the Sindhi made a statue of him in the main city to commemorate him. And his son ruled Sind after him.

http://blog.chughtaimuseum.com/?p=3392

This is merely a blog, but the subject requires a thesis in itself. Suffice the stereotype starts with Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna. Independent researchers have pointed out that Sultan Mahmud had Hindu generals in his war machinery, and for them, he even built a Mandir in Ghazna itself. Even more strange is the appreciation of the architecture of the Mandirs by the Sultan. 

“In Muttra the town was teeming with imposing temples, the glittering spires of which towered above the house tops. The Sultan was so struck with their massive beauty that in a letter of victory, to his Amirs in Ghazna, he gave effusive expression of his appreciation of Hindu Architecture.”

As an act of war for political reasons, he destroyed some of them, but not for religious sake alone.

“The Hindus rejected Islam as their national religion because of the fundamental and irreconcilable differences between Islam and Hinduism. To regard an idol as a helpless piece of stone, instead of a source of life and death, and to believe in one Omnipotent God instead of myriads of deities, one of which could be played off against the other, was diametrically opposed to Hindu way of thinking. The fear naturally was the propagation of the democratic principles of Islam would undoubtedly bring about a social revolution and breakdown of the caste system.”  

There are still surviving Jain Temples in our region. Personally, we pass the now the poorly restored Jain temple without any proportions, on a busy road link, and certainly enjoy the ghazal recitation of the Jain singer, Maneel Jain on the internet. But yes, we are told of still existing Jain Temples in Pakistan, and hardly any Jains around. But Mandirs exist in Pakistan and are being restored at great pace. Islam guarantees freedom of religion. Nobody sane can mind that, but the two nations cannot be one, simply for very different ways of life.

A study of Jain temples shows mixture of inspirations. The famous Gori Mandir in Nagarparkar Sind boasts on its plate as being made with Muslim domes. In any picture that is very clear. Domes exist in other temples too, but the whole structure being Islamic is best represented in the Jain Temple in Haryana, made famous in the Lodhi style, is a structure basically Islamic but with Jain symbolism. The temple had the deity image of Thirthankra. Later it was removed and placed it in the Jaina Temple at Firozpur Jhirka.

Scholars have noted that its direction is the same as a mosque, and reputation is there with people on site that there was a Kalma written on the stairs. But there is a clear statement of an inscription on its main gate, and possibly it has been removed and cannot be traced at this time. But this is sure that it was made in 1451 AD. People confirmed something written on it but are reluctant to share it as can be heard in this video link. Afraid of repercussions by authorities. Makers of same Sultan Bahlul Lodi and wife were of different ways of life. Result same.

https://www.facebook.com/MewatKalAajKal/videos/672126863819130/

Following the reign of the Sayyids, the Afghan Lodi dynasty gained the sultanate. Bahlul Khan Lodi

reigned from (1451–1489) was the nephew and son-in-law of Malik Sultan Shah Lodi, the governor of Sirhind Punjab, in India and succeeded him as the governor of Sirhind during the reign of Sayyid dynasty ruler Muhammed Shah. Tracing the background of Bahlul Khan Lodi on comes up with other details. The reputation is that he had a Hindu wife, but it could very well be a Jain wife.

In his youth, Bahlul was involved in the trading of horses and once sold his finely bred horses to the Sayyid dynasty Sultan Muhammed Shah. As a payment he was granted a pargana and raised to the status of Amir. After the death of Malik Sultan, he became the governor of Sirhind. He was allowed to add Lahore to his charge. So being a Governor of Lahore and having a wife of different religion, it can safely be presumed the reason for this Jain Temple in Haryana, when he ascended the throne of Delhi. A co-production of great dignity. Possibly between a Muslim architect and a Jain iconic expert. The result a production which sways us with its splendour to this day. Certainly, everybody involved here was of broad-minded nature.

Yes co-existence between different ways of life is possible, with mutual respect and according of dignity. Art and architecture best way of bridging gaps. But violence results in violence only. Love begets love.

THE FIRST AUTO BIOGRAPHY OF ARIF RAHMAN CHUGHTAI; LIVING EPISODES OF FIRST 25 YEARS IN “I SING MY SONG!”

THE FIRST AUTO BIOGRAPHY OF ARIF RAHMAN CHUGHTAI;
LIVING EPISODES OF FIRST 25 YEARS IN “I SING MY SONG!”

I have written things all my life. Serious prose, romantic poetry and incidents concerning my life. But I restrained myself/. In the world I lived in, humility was the key to life. A long time back someone told me about the saying “Pidray man Sultan Bhoot”. It reflects the philosophy to speak of yourself not speak of your ancestors being Sultan some day. I stuck to it. But this humility drive you in a corner. My father Abdur Rahman Chughtai artist was with Dr Allama Iqbal for nearly twenty years, and except for a few letters and endorsements, there is not a single photograph of them together. All the more sad when Chughtai Sahib actually photographed Dr Iqbal many times, even coloured his black and white photographs with aero spray in colour. The obsequious get their way by putting their face in front of the cameras all the time, the dignified lose history in their humility.

I thought my life has always been private. We never even mentioned our father in school, college or university. We were allergic in being caught having to say things like that. We also knew the issues will be generated as people will request meetings and my father would deny same. And we will be red faced in the end. So my life remained private, and famous for being a shy person.

It was high time I wrote something about myself. This PART ONE is about the first twenty five years of my life. Next year it would be the next fifty years of my life. Before I become history, I must write my history myself. And present photographs never seen before outside the house. Enjoy!

QAZI LUTUFULLAH DECIDES TO LEAVE KABUL FOR CITY OF LAHORE; RENOWNED FAMILY OF MUSSAWARS KNOWN AS GUMTI BAZAAR ONES.

QAZI LUTUFULLAH DECIDES TO LEAVE KABUL FOR CITY OF LAHORE;
RENOWNED FAMILY OF MUSSAWARS KNOWN AS GUMTI BAZAAR ONES.

Those were strange times. Many people of talent could think of leaving their city for the well known cultural capital of Lahore. One was Qazi Lutufullah. Obviously his role as a Qazi did not prompt him to leave, it was his other role as a professional painter which made the journey a must for him. A seal as a Mufti in Lahore proves that he was in the city in 1138 A.H. and had bought a Tafseer of a very famous Qazi family of Lahore, Qazi Kamaluddin. That is dated 1071 A.H, by Muhammed Salih. But his personal signature, along with his seals, prove his calligraphic skills in a beautifully designed one. Really beautiful tughra in all cases.

The family had settled in Lahore and were famously associated with Mochi Darwaza, and the Mohalla known as Gujar Gali. They started their profession from a shop in Gumti Bazaar, and were famous portrait makers. Sikhs used to come to their shop and have their portraits made riding horses and other things. They also used to work for the Englishmen, with portraits jnside the Lahore Fort. One of them was known as King of Delhi, for his resemblance to same King. The artist Abdur Rahman Chughtai has written extensively on this family. Indeed his first wife belonged to the same family, and had also indulged in besides “Moorti” making, into the advance jewelry making known as Bindri ghars. For a number of generation they were the epitome of professional painters of Lahore.

The families still exist in Lahore belonging to the same family. But in these times, with obsession of Mandirs on mind of researchers, no one is concentrating on the real Muslim Culture of Lahore. The artist Chughtai did it, and we do it too. Our aim to prove that from the last 1000 years, Lahore is the cultural capital of the region, and the Muslims made Lahore Lahore, from the days of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, to the times of Abdur Rahman Chughtai himself. We will write more on it soon.

However one thing is documented. That Ayaz Governor of Lahore under Sultan Mahmud, invited 200 craftsmen from Afghanistan into Lahore, to set the tempo of the culture of Lahore. And that was a 1000 years back.

P.S.

The book by Abdur Rahman Chughtai, being “Lahore ke dabistan Musawari” can be had from us free of cost anytime. Be proud of your Muslim heritage!

CULTURAL POLICY OF PAKISTAN THROUGH FOREIGN AGENDAS – REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO DIFFUSE OUR IDEOLOGICAL FOOTING

CULTURAL POLICY OF PAKISTAN THROUGH FOREIGN AGENDAS
REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO DIFFUSE OUR IDEOLOGICAL FOOTING

The advent of Pakistan was a shock to those who had to relinquish control over same. The first policy of culture was defined by the British with the release of the book “5000 years of Pakistan” and this agenda stuck like a leech with the bureaucracy who were to muddle our advance into ideological realms. A country which came into being based on Islamic Ideology was being bombarded with different ideas of a long cultural history, starting with the Buddhist Civilization. Amazing it was! Suddenly cultural experts started pouring in with French beards and smoking pipes in their mouth. On one hand 5000 years history charade and on the other getting into the band wagon of the West by meticulously following western narratives of existence. Made a ball of culture and knocked it clean bold. Cultural policy was indeed a Western agenda.

For years nobody took the liberty of putting a cultural policy down on paper and then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, recruited a Cultural Adviser Faiz Ahmad Faiz and he inducted a geographical policy for Pakistan. Our culture was to be found within our geography. Faiz simply said that the Taj Mahal may be beautiful but it is not our culture. In simple words “Pak sar zameen shad bad” was considered simply a ‘Sohni Darti”. Culture was to be tailored to that end. The Muslim Umma was a dangerous word for foreign lobbies with agendas of their own.

The zest for devising a new cultural policy for Pakistan is still here and a new group based in Australia is charting out one for us in 2030. It is not known on what basis the same would be. One can read the manifesto and find out. Their announcement is like this:

“Youth Revolution Clan in collaboration with Cultural Infusion Australia is going to Organize “Lahore International Conference on Culture “.

Culture is a set of rules and behavioural patterns we learn with socialization. However, in a globalised (and multicultural) world culture became subject of discussions from various points of views, and its importance is not loosing strength. In the past century, we witnessed many attempts to foster cultural agendas using popular culture where identities were formed in a way to present one nation to other nations in a favourable way, and where audiences were confronted with various messages that are sometimes blurred with first-hand experiences. States indeed invest funding in their cultural policies, and particularly in their cultural policies oriented towards abroad via external cultural institutes, or tourist offers where culture is emphasized as an achievement of a certain nation (most notably, in art and music).

Cultural relations, on the other hand, are centred on creating mutual recognition and understanding, however, many scholars and practitioners expressed criticism calling western countries as imperialists imposing their cultural patterns over less advanced countries just via peaceful means and not through colonialism anymore. On the other hand, culture is often a subject of discussion when minority groups are in stake because minorities find themselves surrounded by different culture, and in a dilemma whether to assimilate or to preserve their culture while still trying to lead average lives. The latter is then subject of criticism from conservatives and the Far Right that insist on integration, an unclear term that sometimes seems more like forced integration.”

We hear a new term coming up with reference to globalization and that is a Post Islamic scenario. Now what does that mean? A situation where Islam is gone. Really! Who subscribe to same? Outsiders yes, but Pakistani Muslims? Unbelievable.

A Pakistani Cultural Expert, Malik Shamas (Retired Curator Lahore Museum) showed me a draft of a cultural policy and it was an amazing draft. I am sure his son teacher Tanveer Hussain would have a copy and it is worthy of being published in any form. It really defines us.

But the direction for cultural policy of Pakistan was given by M.A. Rahman Chughtai at time of partition itself and the manifesto still stands. It was narrated in Urdu, so I am taking the liberty of summarizing that idea in simple words, which was:

“Islamic culture is dynamic with positive energy. In all ways it is timeless, as it grows from the past to the present and takes into account the future too. A time comes when culture stagnates and in an new environment, it jump starts a new existence, based on old, but very much new. This was the case of Islamic conquest of Spain. Confronted with new crafts people who embraced Islam and brought new ideas into the realm. This jump start happened with Muslims in Spain and that is why I propose the name of ALHAMRA for the Pakistan Arts Council. In my view the advent of Pakistan will jump start our culture forward into newer realms. My Art is simply following the same lines. I have relinquished older traditions of miniatures as well as its style as well as its technique, even compositions, and formed a newer school of art that is Chughtai Art, and that too, is actually timeless in spirit. Newer directions on older foundations that is my case for the new cultural policy of Pakistan. “

Anyone or a bunch of stray people cannot devise a cultural policy of Pakistan. Here again in any democratic spirit, the people matter, for culture strengthens them, both in belief as well as implementation. The Cultural policy of Pakistan has to come from within not from without. How can others mean good for you and your Identity? Diffusing your Identity is the only reason for same.

NOTIZIE STORICHE FAMOUS PIETRA DURRE BOOK BY ANTONIO ZOBI; FIRST WEST ADMISSION OF USTAD AHMAD MIMAR WITH TAJ MAHAL 1841.

NOTIZIE STORICHE FAMOUS PIETRA DURRE BOOK BY ANTONIO ZOBI;
FIRST WEST ADMISSION OF USTAD AHMAD MIMAR WITH TAJ MAHAL 1841.

Somehow or the other, the Mughals created wonders in Art and Architecture, and incited jealousy in other nations. The sickening attitude of extremists Hindus trying to assert it as a Hindu temple, one side. Even the Europeans could not maintain their composure and went into the coma of European influence in Mughal creations. They not only created European architects for Mughal creations, they were reluctant to give any credit to local people. Antonio Zobi inquisitive about things, wrote to the British Resident in Delhi, Charles Metcalfe, for information about things. Letters were exchanged. We have the exact translation done of the information started in  1841 and printed in detail in 1853. Roughly it said two main things:

“Chales Metcalfe reported that archives and traditions report that most of the buildings in Agra of Emperor Shah Jahan, including the Taj Mahal, were the result of the efforts of architects, Ustad Ahmad and Ustad Hamid.”

When this was clearly said in Western circles, European circles and even bureaucrat W.H.Sleeman went on creating legends of Western architects. Jealousy went to the extent that the British destroyed monuments after monuments in the region including Delhi, and even offered the Taj Mahal for auction for its marbles. They even stole the golden pinnacle of the dome of the Taj Mahal (Joseph Taylor 1810s). If Lord Curzon had not come to the rescue, they would have flattened all monuments to the ground.

So the assertion of a British resident to Antonio Zobi is not a joke, and why was it not taken seriously? Giving credit where credit is due, does not happen with jealous people.

The second important thing mentioned by Mirza Dilawar Shah was that the Italian works behind the Throne of Shah Jahan were not there from the time of the Emperor but were added later in the time of the occupation of the Fort in 1760 by Bhao Biswap Roo, and Sadashiv Rao. These were ready-made floral reliefs exported by Florence to the world, found for sale in many places, and the Mahrattas made them in the background of their Lion Throne. This information is resented by these jealous Europeans. They would ascribe Shah Jahan to be an idiot in getting his works done. Some of the courtiers assigned the name of Ullan Koora to these reliefs. But the man making this Mahratta claim is no ordinary person. He is a direct descendant of the Mughal King himself. Remarks led astray by illusions. These kind of records are simply ignored by these European experts as they do not fulfill their expectations of degrading the achievement of the Mughals. We will handle it in more detail later on.

P.S.

This very important book and its reference about Ustad Ahmad Mimar was available in cheap reprints, but I wanted access to the original one. It was very rare and not available anywhere. Then some avid writer and collector died in Italy and his library was sold. This was there amongst it. I grabbed the chance to buy it immediately. It was even then very expensive, but dealers quoted it at many thousands of dollars. In any case my passion resulted in my getting it at a better price. Our archives became richer!

COLLECTING LOST CREDENTIALS AND TESTIMONIALS; MIAN RAHEEM BAKSH MIMAR IN HISTORY OF LAHORE.

COLLECTING LOST CREDENTIALS AND TESTIMONIALS;
MIAN RAHEEM BAKSH MIMAR IN HISTORY OF LAHORE.

Mian Raheem Baksh Mimar was grandfather of artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai. There are plans to write a detailed account of him. We came across a printed copy of testimonials of a society made in 1890 in Lahore, which printed testimonials of various craftsmen of Lahore. The printing was done by the Army Press in Lahore. Mian Raheem Baksh has a printed set of certificates issued by various British administrators in Lahore. Some of the certificates certify his attachment with the Railway Station Lahore under actual work, the first Freemason Hall, and even with the Punjab Regiment of that era. Worthy of study.

There are other records available related to the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh, actual inscriptions to Katra Abdul Ghafoor, construction papers of Haveli Raja Dina Nath (now in Record Office), and many yet to be discovered with research. Even a lane in Old Lahore named after him. So enjoy the new discovery!