JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI AND ANNIE BESANT
THE REBEL PROPHET
Detached from Freemasonry finally
The story of Theosophical movement in India is like the Freemasonry ideas. Annie Besant, a dedicated Freemason, reared up a young Hindu boy, to cultivate him as the new Prophet of India. She was dedicated and tried her best, but Jiddu Krishnamurti was no stooge. He was an intelligent boy who became more and more well versed with the issues of life. In the final episode, Annie Besant was totally disappointed with Jiddu Krishnamurti. A sad event, but it spoke of the actual greatness of Krishnamurti, who refused to recognize in other words, Satan as the ultimate god of life. A idea which is there in full force even today, as every thing good to humankind is credited to Lucifer himself. Devil incarnated!
Dr James Cousin, the first critic of M.A. Rahman Chughtai was attached to the Theosophists too. He took a painting as a present for Jiddu Krishnamurti and he sent a reply to the artist. We thought it would be good to present this for the view of the present generation, who hardly know about all this. The race for intellectualism was in full vogue in the British times, and it was there that D Allama Iqbal presented his thesis about Ijjtehad in Islam. Well done, Sir!
THE IMMORTAL HEADMASTER RALLIA RAM
MISSION SCHOOL LAHORE AND HIS CHARISMA
In memory of Lahori boys all the time
Reverend Forman came to Lahore. Most people say that he founded the Rang Mahal Mission High School, Lahore. Others say that it was Chandu Lall. Lala Chandu Lall had been involved with the St. Stephen’s School which later became the prominent St. Stephen’s College of Delhi University. Family sources say that Lala Chandu Lall joined the Government Education Department in Lahore and there was involved with the starting of the Rang Mahal School which later became the renowned Forman Christian College. He was an educationist and a disciplinarian even though he was a loving father to his children and all his children did exceedingly well for themselves. Our object here is not to refer to DR Forman or Chandu Lall, but to the man, who ran the School for decades as Head Master, and who became synonymous with the school in all ways. Ask any other old student of the school, and he would swoon with the memory of Rallia Ram.
No cars, no bungalows, an average man obsessed with education as well as other things. He loved to ride his bicycle everywhere. History was his passion and he wrote a text book on Punjab, which is there in our archives. He was also fond of music and loved to play the piano. He had many students in the field of music too, and Muhammed Afzal Khan, son in law, of Dr Yar Muhammed, was his pupil too.
Very near to the Mission School, was the Mohalla Chabuk Sawaran, Lahore. In fact this area was part of the old Rang Mahal, palace of Mian Lutufullah Khan son of Mian Saadullah Khan, Prime Minister of Emperor Shah Jahan. In that mohalla lived, M.A. Rahman Chughtai, and as he became famous, so Rallia Ram was attached to the new artist of Lahore. The success of the book, Murraqqa e Chughtai, was a pleasant surprise for Master Rallia Ram, and he wrote a letter of congratulations to the artist, which we attach here as an image. A lot of children of the Chughtai family went to the Mission High School, Lahore, and my cousins recall Master Rallia Ram, with great fondness.
RANA CHANDRA SHAMSHEER JANG AND M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
THE PASSING OF SHAH JAHAN
The Nepalese connection
We plan many things. Interactions are beyond all plans. There is a long story behind the CHALLENGE OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI TO THE BENGAL SCHOOL OF ART, and I have discussed it at many places and it will be continued as talk when art history is a subject of discussion. The work was obviously not well received in Calcutta and Abindaranath Tagore did criticize it. That is a separate matter. It did win a prize at Bombay Art Show in 1921. But then it was exhibited at Mussorie, a hill station beyond our comprehension these days. Not much activity there at all, lest art sales and things like that. And the work THE PASSING OF SHAH JAHAN was priced at RS 1500, a phenomenal sum for that times. A young man who made it around twenty, was asking a fabulous sum at a mere 25 years of age. Facing the bigotry which was self evident even at that time.
The strange part is that Nepal is a country marred by contradictions to this day. On one hand there is the intelligentsia who believe in Westernized concepts of democracy and on the other is the traditional people of Nepal, who always believed in the divine power of RANAS and RAJAS are part of their folk lore. We receive comments on our site of Nepalese who like to ridicule their RANAS but let us be fair. Democracy itself is a concept which has bombarded us with hopes, little else. Even England does not plan to give up their CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY, another trick of the trade. We hear that Rana Chandra Shamsheer Jang gave up his Monarchy and became the PRIME MINISTER OF NEPAL. There is no doubt about that. And if so, the man must be considered with compassion for his far sight into the future. No one give away power without a struggle and this man indeed did so. So we pray for his soul with compassion too!
I heard from my father that the beloved wife of Rana Chandra had died and he was in deep grief, as he went to the hills to console his soul at the loss. There near the Christ Church, he attended a show in the Parish Room, and there he saw the work, THE PASSING OF SHAH JAHAN. He immediately felt attached to it and not only did he buy it, he wrote a letter to the artist in Lahore, in appreciation of same. Well done, Rana Sahib!
Our archives are full of history of Art of our region. We take the facts and figures out to enrich this history ever more.
MULLAHS ALWAYS OPPOSED THE TRICHOTOMY OF PAKISTAN
DR ALLAMA IQBAL, QUAID E AZAM AND IJJTEHAD IN ISLAM
A minority who got enriched by opposing the Creation of Heaven on Earth
It is fashionable with Mullahs these days to rave about Dr Allama Iqbal. In fact they hate his very soul, due to their own Satanic urges. Who put them on the TV screens? Meaningless discussions to confuse people and spread anarchy of thought. The dynamism of Islam their fossilized brains cannot even understand. Halwa Puri is their key words of success. The man in the mosque always used to be poor and dependent on his food even to the neighbours of the area. I remember regular food going from our house to the poor man administering the mosque rituals. The posh life these Mullahs lead now proves that they have undisclosed treasures and hordes of wealth. Where it comes from? The foreign lobbies who are allergic to Pakistan.
I know that Dr Allama Iqbal’s message was revolutionary, to go back to the ORIGINAL ISLAM of the Arabs, by reference to the Quran alone. The issues picked over the years should be discarded and ijjtehad done. A serious blow to Mullahs. I came across a PRESS CUTTING of the lifetime time of Dr Allama Iqbal, when the Imam of Wazeer Khan Mosque issued the FATWA of KAFIR on him. This was of course made possible by influx of the NEW MUTAVALLIS OF THE MOSQUE, engendered by Deputy Commissioner Charles Aitchison, later who became the Governor General of Punjab too. Of course the same man, who founded the Aitchison College Lahore, and was determined to raze the Mausoleum of Emperor Jahangeer to the ground as its new site. See my book “The Legacy of Nawab Wazeer Khan Lahori”. Most of these civil servants were Freemasons, and Aitchison was present when the Freemason Hall was built in Lahore n 1859 (separate blog).
The spirit of Dr Allama Iqbal these Mullahs have undermined all their life. It is time to put some common sense in them.
INDOCTRINATION CAMPAIGNS GOING ON ALL THE TIME
TO TAKE US AWAY FROM OUR PAKISTANI IDEOLOGY
Why does Ideology hurts people so much?
We curse Mullahs all the time but even they have some sort of Ideology, however corrupted it may be with time. In contrast the BAYGHAIRAT SECULARS have no Ideology at all but materialistic desire to emualte foreign lobbies for cheap gains. No commitments to higher thoughts in life. They are proud to be atheists and agnostics and fashionable words for shameless character people. Heavy amounts are poured in their system every year by foreign lobbies. One thing they forget, that the common citizen is already indoctrinated with the love of Allah and his prophet and nothing on Earth can shake his faith in his life. Yes he is uneducated and not worth much, but when defending the country, he is hundred percent golden hearted.
Seculars develop an itch for EASY LIFE. Easy life and mostly alcohol to hide their characters from their own selves. They probably look at the mirror in the morning and the hangovers drive them mad. Material pursuits on their own, and cursing those who hold ideas about their country. It is thankful gift of Allah that besides these common people, our Pak Army is beset with Ideology too. This is Allah’s bonus to us!
How bout indoctrinating the Indians across the other side? Perhaps to tell them not to indulge in rhetorics which are driving us mad. Hard Core Hindus on other side sticking to their Ideology and not one secular has the dare to tell the other side to refrain themselves from their Ideology. No on in Pakistan bothers to put money in such foolish venture. Everybody believes in something. It is their natural right. For someone to come and tell me that your Ideology is wrong, I would use more than four letter words. Expletives not enough for Satans bred to their soulless existence.
EXOTIC ANIMALS IN ISLAMIC ART
NOTHING WAS BEYOND THEIR IMAGINATION
Muslim Masters at usual work
The Art of M.A. Rahman Chughtai includes animals and birds. Lovely animals were in the domain of the imagination of Muslim Masters. Their imagination captured animals which they had not even seen in real life. Imagination of these painters was rife with observation as well as imagination. The behavioural element of animals captured their fantasy. The world of animals was within their reach.
Sultans had their personal zoos filled with exotic animals from all over the world. The more exotic the source, the more it intrigued their imagination. Even residues of dead animals they loved to possess as Emperor Jahangeer was himself fond of collecting daggers with hilts made of Rhino’s horn.
Griffins and Harpies also fascinated these artists We find Griffins in works of many Muslim Masters. We here present an assortment of M.A. Rahman Chughtai as well as other Muslim Masters, depicting animals of all kinds. Enjoy!
A woman ahead of her times. Our contact with her was the printed word. We grew up in an art environment and the books of M.A. Rahman Chughtai were ever there to mesmerize us. One book which fascinated us was CHUGHTAI’S PAINTNGS which had an Introduction and notes by Razia Sirajuddin and a foreword by DR James Cousin. Both people were like spiritual Masters, floating in some air, we could not ever imagine.
Another artist of that period Miss Razia Feroze too had a personality like that. But she never went into the experimentation of marriage. But Razia did, and got married to another icon of English literature, being Professor Sirajuddin, and we do not know what happened or how. But Razia ended up in London. And we do not know any details.
However our letter archives show that M.A. Rahman Chughtai and Razia Sirajuddin were in contact with each other. Her letters from Oxford also include a NEW foreword and NOTES on a proposed SECOND EDITION of CHUGHTAIS PAINTINGS. Unfortunately that never happened but we still have her Foreword. In fact the next book that got printed in 1952 was CHUGHTAI INDIAN PAINTINGS and that is another story. Her letters are dated around 1949 to 1955. The 1955 one is from Ormonde Hotel, Berlize Grove, London N.W. 3. Others are from Oxford itself. She expresses her thanks for the artist’s kind words on her own works.
In any case the original Notes she wrote for the book of M.A. Rahman Chughtai, at the suggestion of Pitras Bokhari to the artist, still keeps her on the scene of Pakistan. In her life time she was remembered by many, and made her presence felt. But the society is fickle and today she literally stands forgotten by time itself. Our tribute to her is ever there. May Allah bless her soul!
Thanks to her niece Ms Amna Omar for sharing her images with us. Perhaps someone has some art work of her too. Contribute!
TWO INDIAN GIRLS IN TOWN
FIRST INDIAN VISITORS TO CHUGHTAI MUSEUM
A tale of late 70s in Lahore
M.A. Rahman Chughtai was loved by many communities. Hindu and Sikhs had also great regard for him. The Sikhs because he was Punjabi and the Hindus for he indulged in Hindu Mythology too, free of any prejudices on the aspect. In 1979 we invited the Maharani of Jaipur to our museum and asked her to inaugurate our show. She could not but I had a talk with her on the phone. Later she visited us twice on her own and resented being shadowed by Indian Intelligence. But before that we had Indian visitors.
First came Gogi Saroj an artist from India. She was a young girl then and today she looks totally different obviously with age. We gave her a grand reception here. Then came Promilla Luthra for research on her PHD on M.A. Rahman Chughtai from Guru Nanak University in Amritsar, who awarded her a PHD on same. We ofcourse remember them both.
Promilla spent about seven days here researching at Chughtai Museum and on the last day called with Ms Marcella Bedford when she was on the verge of ending her research. She wanted the letters of Basil Gray to Chughtai, and vice versa. We obliged her with what we could, but did not want partition discussion to loom in front of us. After all we were the strong believers in the Two Nation theory and she lamented as to why Chughtai had opted to remain in Pakistan and not move to India on instructions from Jawaharlal Nehru.
Of course we had Sikh and Hindu visitors later in life too at Chughtai Museum, and we have a host of enquiries from India which come to this day. Yes we are two nations but we can live in love and peace with each other and Art and Culture can help in a big way. But the Indians have forgone the Congress party and the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru and ended into extremism. Fortunately we never gave the Mullahs a chance here. No Mullah has ever been elected here, nor ever will. India got mystified with their own Pandits! The venom of a tea seller is destroying the peace and tranquility of the region. Allah forgive!
A note from history is in order. Imad ud din Muhammed son of Qasim sent a petition from the Hindus of Sind to the Caliph of Islam, who gave this reply:
“It appears that the chief inhabitants of Brahmanabad have petitioned to be allowed to repair the temple of Budh and pursue their religion. As they have made submission, and have agreed to pay taxes to the Khalifa, nothing more can be required from them. They have been taken under our protection and we cannot in any way stretch out their hands upon their lives and property. Permission is given to them to worship their gods. Nobody must be forbidden or prevented from following his own religion. They may live in their houses in whatever manner they like.”
Consider it for a moment. What can be more secular than that?
The usual stereotype is that fighting man is not a thinking man at all. Because he is taking the recourse of physical combat, he has no capacity to think at all. Traditionally army boots were snubbed in the sense that those people have no capacity for finer thought. To be honest this may be true for many armies of the world. The most fascinating thing is that charged with Islamic Faith, we have perhaps the only army in the world which is a thinking army. And with thought is coupled the ultimate character of Allah itself and that is COMPASSION AND EMPATHY. Imagine the enemy Army firing on the border regardless of consequences, and our Army considering the consequences of firing at people on the other side. Regard for the other side reminds us of our own Salahuddin Ayubi, who could think of talking care of Richard the so called Lion hearted on the other side. A hand of compassion on the terrorized was the need of the times and our Chief showed it to our people.
In my lifetime I have met many army guys, many were my class fellows, many friends, many seniors. I communicated with many too. And what I saw amazed me that these people were thinking people, with their combat abilities, they had not lost their capacity for finer thoughts. Once army boots meant end of thought. Here the Muslim armies were always obsessed with their DEEN and never let down their Allah in any way. Sultan Muhammed the conqueror of Constantinople through fierce battle, ended up doing the first thing he liked, getting portrait made sniffing at a flower. Amazing the Western critics would say. General Tipu Sultan was a connoisseur of Art and Culture. Many Chief of Army Staffs in Pakistan were so obsessed with reading latest books as well as decorating their homes with Pakistani Art and otherwise. So that was new in history, isnt it. A thinking army!
Yes the army must be thinking right now. What to do? But what they will decide we have hundred percnt faith will be in the best interest of the country. They know how to protect geography, and they know how to protect Ideology too. Our politicians with their corruption have let down the masses and the din of democracy has become piercing shriek of utter pain in our ears. Whereas fear of death sends a chill through the hearts of fighting men, it sends a ripple of emotional warmth through the hearts of our fighting and thinking Pakistani Army. After all we know losing ones life in the pursuit of Allah’s justice is not losing anything at all but gaining a life of permanent happiness.
THE INFILITRATION OF CHUGHTAI ART
IN ORDINARY LIFE OF PAKISTAN
Many miss the point of aesthetics
The aim of M.A. Rahman Chughtai was to create a National Identity. For this identity, he did not merely desire the recourse of exclusive exhibition shows for the elite of the society. He wanted to create an ideological movement. That is why we see Chughtai Art in the 1950s and 1960s sweeping everywhere. Every national emblem or insignia, he contributed a design. To the designs which repulsed him, he offered suggestions to people in power. This is theme of another blog but suffice to say that he tried his best to inculcate a timeless quality about our aesthetics.
In those times most of the literary work created by our great writers had the design on the cover by M.A. Rahman Chughtai. These dustcovers are a phenomena on themselves and there must have been hundreds of them all over the region. The museum has archived nearly 200 images of such jacket design for the record.
In cinemas in Karachi as well as Delhi, commercial painters painted Chughtai’s works on the huge walls of the theatre. We used to be so impressed with seeing these and many movie goers of Karachi would recall this well. But the latest is an image of Chughtai Art on the sale of CONTRACEPTIVES in Pakistan. This is really new. We were not asked for same but we did notice this use, and we thought we like to share it with our art lovers. The Art of Chughtai is ingrained in us for all times.