M.A. Rahman Chughtai made National presence felt in 1920, but in 1924 it was the world in the Wembley Show in London, where millions saw the exhibition. International Art magazines were reviewing his work after the publication of Murraqqa i Chughtai in 1928. The trip to Europe in 1932 introduced him to Western Art circles all the more. He was now an internationally recognized artist and accepted artist by Western critics. The British Authorities understood that well and ready to recognize talent at the earliest.
In 1933 an idea of knighthood was being floated, but opposition from Sir Shadi Lal prevented its completion, although records in the Civil Secretariat show that development. B.A. Qureshi Sahib had explored those files. In any case the title of KHAN BAHADUR was approved by the Committee and Sir Herbert William Emerson, Governor Punjab put his stamp on it. The award ofcourse was sanctioned by Viscount Willingdon himself. All that record is there and we share some of it for the very first time. Enjoy!
THE USE OF WORD INTELLIGENCE BY INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES
IS THE WORD INTELLIGENCE BEING PROPERLY USED OR MISNOMER
DEGRADING THE QUALITY OF INTELLIGENCE IN HUMAN BEINGS
WE always heard the phrase “CUNNING AS A FOX”. Well that animal must be cunning indeed and Aesops fables define the quality of various animals to us. Indeed even a “CLEVER CROW” is well known to us. Albert Einstein is considered to be the world’s most intelligent man, and we can wonder if he could have ever functioned as an Intelligence Agent in any way. So why use the word Intelligence for Information gathering and Intelligence Agencies as the top in the world. The gaffes of Western Intelligence Agencies are well known to us. Even ordinary people have outsmarted them many times.
Nowadays we openly hear discussions on TV saying that the Rickshaw Driver of USSR and USA ended up as an agent of MI 6, and that agency is behind that fat sick body to this day, with the intention of dismembering Pakistan. I do not know the truth or falsehood behind it, nor is it my job to know, but this I know that there is an old saying that “IF YOU DIG GRAVES FOR OTHERS, YOUR OWN GRAVE IS DUG UP TOO”. This Europe referendum is pointing out to the possibility of UK breaking into four countries, as Scotland and Ireland do not want yo be with them anymore. Indeed we never sent any ISI agent to break UK, although our loyal Pakistani helped UK to stay together by cajoling the Scots. So when we mean well for them, why do they not mean well for us? And they are supposed to be intelligent and rational people.
Recently a mouse attacked a small finch of ours. We are trying our best to nurse the finch back to health. We do not have the capacity to hurt anybody, and yet intelligent people are playing havoc with the world, with millions of death just in recent years. Which imbecile goes and bomb innocent people out of existence? Carrying hatred to the extent of elimination. We are not rats and dogs to be trained by Pavlovian experiments. We are human beings. We have a mind and a soul, and Allah teaches us CO EXISTENCE by living in PEACE AND HARMONY on Planet Earth itself.
We are not dogs who salivate by looking at a bone. We are sensitive human beings alive to the responsibility of a stable world, where all can optimize their life. We are egalitarians. Regardless of cast, colour and creed, we are the soul of the world. Satans will do their best, we will over come them towards a better future for our world. On vulgar assumptions to destroy the world is playing havoc with our own selves. Maybe we need to balance Intelligence Agencies with Emotional Agencies to teach us the value of love and compassion again.
It was funny. Reference to two Ravi daryas always accosted us. The River Ravi and Buda Darya, the older course of river Ravi. We were always amused to think that there could be a river which had the nomenclature of being old. Of course the river Ravi is very very old, but these references dated in the last few centuries. We needed not refer to the times when there was no Lahore and the river flowed and the NAU GUZZAS came from Iraq to settle here and there and bought the Jewish culture with them. Punjab the land of five rivers and home to various civilizations always stood proud of its heritage. Many dead civilizations are found on river beds and banks. But Lahore was a living culture all the time.
Strangely Nur Jahan in her Diwan (recently discovered in Lahore) talks of the danger of the river as well as floods which made the Jahangeeri complex an island of its own. She uses the word Darya, Khatra and Jazeera as news of inundating River Ravi. We know that a large portion of the Mausoleum of Jahangeer was damaged in the course of time. The threat became so acute that the river was routed away again and again.
The first big attempt was of Emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb ordered a bank to be built around Lahore for its protection. Wells were dug from Masti Gate to Mahmood Booti, and wooden planks thrown inside. On top of it a high wall was made and embankment which was tested with time. In recent years one could still see signs of it near the village of Bhogiwal, as well as outside Masti Gate. In extension of Lahore more and more of past being obliterated with time. The Mughal courtiers were so fond of the BAND I ALAMGEERI that they built their gardens on it for enjoyment in floods themselves.
The British also tried their best to give the river a new route. We have a map dated 1877 in which tree spurs were used to block the river from going to unwanted places. No tree spurs near the mausoleum of Jahangeer, because they were not bothered with same. After Pakistan was made huge floods were witnessed and Lahore was inundated with water for days. Our own house was safe and we reached school in time, but many could not make it. The old bed of River Ravi on Mohni road and Ravi road were full of river water as well as Badami Bagh area. The river was remembering old times. We have photographs of those floods and will find them.
It was on a boat on river Ravi that Emperor Aurangzeb came to inaugurate the Badshahi Mosque Lahore, and a mad man, threw bricks at him. The Emperor was safe and instead of having the assailant beheaded as would be done today, he was caught but set free. Those Monarchs were really democratic people while our democrats are Monarchs unlike the Mughals, and more like tyrannical Hindu Rajas of the past. It s a resentful word people comparing the present rulers to Mughals. The Mughals were so fond of INSAF that even today INSAF I JAHANGEERI is a household word in our city.
DAUGHTER OF AN EMPEROR LIFE DEDICATED TO COMMONERS
MOTHER BURIED IN TAJ MAHAL, SHE BURIED IN SINGLE GRAVE
Books can be written on Jahan Ara and books have been written, but she herself wrote books and also wrote verses. No Diwan has come out so far, but her takhallus was BEGUM SAHIBA and verses have been recovered from various sources. Some of her books are found here and there, mostly on Muslim Saints of our region. Chughtai Museum is proud to possess one of her books, written probably by Dara Shikoh himself and the final copy, her presentation to her father Emperor Shah Jahan in Jamia Masjid, Delhi. All this is recorded on the manuscript itself.
The calligrapher is AINEE. No Ainee is known, but we do know that due to her love for brother Dara Shikoh, she used to call him Ain, or in more personal terms as Ainee. The reference to Dara Shikoh in the book is written simply and she in her own hands has corrected the attributes, which shows that Dara did not regard his name in a royal way and she corrected it.
The Manuscript of Munis Arwah is only one of three 17th century manuscripts known to exist. As the book was written in 1049 AH 1640 AD, the two others found are different. An Autograph copy is known to exist in Lucknow but of a later date. There is a beautiful Ms in Azamgarh dated 1068 AH. But ours is the earliest Manuscript known and is dated 1051 AH, although the presentation part to Emperor Shah Jahan is later, both in Ajmer as well as in Jamia Masjid Delhi. Ours stands as the rarest and very very beautiful and elegantly written.
A lot is said about Jahan Ara and we will write more but where we introduce a rare manuscript of hers, we also reproduce the verses she wrote on the death of her father:
“Oh thou Sun of mine that hast hidden thyself from my eyes,
Will there ever be a morning to this night of separation.
Thou monarch of the world and qibla of existence,
Open thine eye of mercy and behold our condition.
I cry in sorrow and it availeth me nothing,
I burn like the candle in anguish and there is smoke in my head.”
Jahan Ara is the epitome of our women hood and to this days fathers love to name their daughters after the spiritual goddess of Mughal kingdom.
PSYCHOS MUMBLING THINGS AGAINST PAKISTAN AND ITS IDEOLOGY
SATISFYING LOBBIES FOR THEIR REQUIREMENT OF THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL
ALCOHOLIC CONSUMPTION BECOMING RAMPANT IN PAKISTAN
Someone should pay attention. Someone should do something about it. Alcohol consumption rising in Pakistan. And when it rises, people become addicted to it. And more so for free alcohol. And who provides it. Foreign lobbies bent upon taking our rational minds away.
A psychological study in USA was done long ago and we have its report. It says a rat realizes that he is not a lion and consumes alcohol to present himself as one. And after consumption he becomes a lion for some time and when the effect withers away, he realizes he is actually a rat. So he drinks again to become a lion, and the obvious circle starts again and again., The result total loss of rationality of mind. The result morality gone down the drain. A soul sold and bought by Satan. Even our religious priests do not protest at all, for they are themselves part of this devilish consumption. In fact once a famous religious scholar was known as Maulana Whiskey. A Prime Minister could present naive honesty by saying that he takes alcohol now and then, better than taking halwa all the time. The shame is abundant.
We have seen upright fellows ruined by bad company. And slowly the malaise follows and there are no solutions. When regular consumption goes out of the pocket, the smiling saboteur steps in with his presents of bottles. And for those who may believe this is not so, we have seen the evidence with our own eyes. In the 1970s, diplomats carried crates of Vodka in their big black cars. Dinkies used to be opened in front of people and they wold be asked to pick up the bottles of their choice. We are witness to this, we have experienced this. And we have proudly said NO to all this.
The Western image of the artist as a a habitual cigarette smoke and drinker is there and told to us all the time. That creativity requires consumption of devilish drinks. This is not so. Our Islamic artists have abstained from such things. In fact they used to start their day in a wozoo like way, with clean clothes, bath, having a prayer like attitude with clean presentation. Our history of creativity is not based on drinks. The artist Abdur Rahman Chughtai roamed the world but never fell into this trap anywhere. He never smoked all his life, nor did he ever drink even a drop alcohol. His life was as clean as a baby and it reflected in the magnanimity of his face. He was a lion and he never wanted to become a rat.
So remove this devilish drink from our fe and we will see more and more patriotic people, sincere to our Ideology and our country. If not then by Laws of Allah, such people do die early deaths in utter shame. A famous poet of Pakistan died such an alcoholic death at Mayo Hospital and the doctors gave a verdict that alcohol had eaten all his inner self. A famous Pakistani artist could claim in a PTV show that he cannot draw Quranic calligraphy till he has consumed alcohol. No Hazrat Umar here to take action. Just smug faces of many faced people and bureaucrats out of their mind. Make Pakistan Pakistan. Outlaw this mischief to our souls!
GROWING UP IN PAKISTAN WITH AMERICAN LEGENDS
FASCINATING WORLD OF COWBOYS, INDIANS AND DETECTIVES
Nothing parochial about Pakistan with universal view sight
The One thousand and one nights is our fascination of the past story telling in full depth. Alif Laila tales are those we grew up with craze in our mothers laps. Then we graduated to comics and there were plenty to choose from at book stalls. For those of us who could not afford to buy all new stuff, there were second hand vendors to satisfy us with expenditure of few annas at one given time. And then we shifted to Western novels, and the dream of riding the sunset into a new town of bandits with our six-guns intact at all times. The yippie of the Wild Red Indian would be behind us. Not contented with that we jumped to Detective novels and there was no better spin master than Mickey Spillane himself. Yes we went further into a world of Carpetbaggers with Harold Robbins or absorb the failure the American dream with Norman Mailer. And finally could suck the world with Robert Frost and the Road not Taken. We traversed this journey with an open mind and heart. Contrary to the hulla balloo of today, we loved Americans and American outpours.
Who can fault the Idealism of the American Constitution? It moves even those who cannot be moved by mere words. Read George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln and you move into a world where human values are cherished as ends to their own self. You had thousands of people from different cultures enter the United States of America to become the melting pot of the world. And then the Neo-cons took control of the American values. Imperialism invaded America. It made Field Marshal Ayub Khan speak of the USA in terms of FRIENDS NOT MASTERS. The American people lost track and control of those who governed America, The sacredness of the American Constitution was questioned by the Neo-Cons and they tended to flout it all the time.
It is actually for the Americans to realize that vested lobbies have taken over the American dream and made it into an international inferno. Bring American values to America. Even the Americans have no control over America. The democratic process is no longer in their hands. Satan is destroying all of us from within. The Islamic Ideal of World Peace is all that is there to follow.
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.
AN AUTOGRAPH MASNAVI NUR JAHAN BARAI YADGAR JAHANGEER
A COLLECTION OF VERSES IN MEMORY OF EMPEROR JAHANGEER
REVOLVING ON THE MENTION OF BAGH DIL GUSHA IN LAHORE
A Mughal Manuscript was presented to us. We were told that it was of a Mughal lady and her takhallus was BAQANA. We were told that Baqana came from the Arab word Baqa and Baqana mean a wailing person. Another scholar told us that BAQANA was a Turkish word and meant GUARDIAN, one who overlook things. Both fitted the poetess well.
The Manuscript was of 102 folios, missing pages from front and back. But by the binding and compression, we could analyze perhaps a page or two from front, same from back. Although a Persian scholar tells us that it is missing 20 pages from front but this was conjecture, not evidence. 204 pages of silk paper, with gold and silver sprinklings on some pages. At least three seals. Two completely not readable. One reads like Mir Bahram 1131 AH. this year is change of at least four Mughal Emperors and Muhammed Shah came to the throne the same year. Baqana tells us that she found a number of books in Masjid Nahr Wali on Nahr Lahore.
The Manuscript mentions many names like Jahangeer, Ismat, Dilawar Khan, Sheikh Fazil, Mulla Tatawi, Mehr Afroze and others. The name of Bagh Dil Gusha comes again and again. Lahore is thee too. Words like Shah, Mehr, Bano, Alam Ara, Nur, Jahan, are used again and again. Even at places the word Nur Jahan as well as Mehrun nisa are used.
The writing is very bold, very Royal, and very difficult SHIKASTA. Some words are easy to read, some impossible. It is not writing of any ordinary person. The manuscript was in terrible condition, spilling at places and repaired and bound in 1131 AH. Some child started making doodles on it too. One other bad thing happened then. Mir Bahram gave a red and blue outline to the verses of his time. Very crudely done, lowering the regal nature of the manuscript. But that is history.
We came to the conclusion that it is the DIWAN OF NUR JAHAN and contains a number oi Masnavis she wrote after the death of her husband and her 18 years stay in Lahore, before she died here on 18th December, 1645 AD. It is one of the rarest documents of Mughal history and tells us the feelings of a woman who rose to the highest position the region and then fell to an all time low. This kind of narration was a stuff of dreams, now we can read it from the heart of the woman in her own versified history.
Why Autograph? Simply it is not a Katib or calligrapher of any kind copying these verses. The poetess has deleted verses, added verses on her own. A copyist cannot do that. These changes can only be done by the poetess herself. The other fact is that it is written in different moods. Sometimes the writing kalam pen is thicker, thinner; at times quickly done, at times slowly. No single approach to same is dependent on different moods of the poetess. The manuscript has seen a part of history of Lahore, nobody ever saw or will see. We owe it to Nur Jahan to translate, publish, print this valuable piece of history. Make it well known. Any volunteers!