A FUNCTION IN LAHORE 17TH FEBRUARY 1917 IN COMMEMORATION
KHAN BAHADUR TITLE SIRAJUDDIN PUBLISHER KASHMEERI BAZAAR
INVITATION OF YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER ABDUR RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
Photography was a passion with Abdur Rahman Chughtai. He had got his hand on a wooden box camera and he fitted plates in it, and photographed many famous families of Lahore. Some of them still had plates he made, as well as photographs he did. In a very interesting way his specialty was colouring the black and white photographs with a spray pen of aerograph. His aerographic spray became famous in Lahore. One of his most famous work was that of an Englishman, who was Director Education in Lahore. His colouring of Dr Allama Iqbal’s work is well known.
There was a function at Jahangeer’s mausoleum in Lahore to celebrate the award of Khan Bahadur title to publisher Sirajuddin of Kashmeeri Bazaar. The artist was there in a group photograph but that went missing in time. In any case there is some record left and we can share that in time. A famous family of Mochi Darwaza too retained these plates till some time back, but when they shifted their house, we lost track of them. We do know that the son of that person used to work in united Bank Limited. If they read this. they can get in touch with us.
Lala Mela Ram was a famous son of Lahore. His factory, his house as well as his many things were left in Lahore. The Mela Ram road is still there near Data Darbar Sahib and is called Darbar road now. A huge safe was salvaged by people, which included a host of documents. Stocks worth lakhs of rupees, photographs of his family, invitation cards (including the investiture of British Kings and Queens) from London, an astro globe of horoscope, a Kama Sutra manuscript with illustrations, as well as the certificates of his proclamation as RAI and as RAI BAHADUR. Chughtai Museum just acquired these two documents for record archives, at a great cost. The resources did not allow acquisition of other objects.
The same are presented as a homage of peace from Lahore to the Hindus of India. Live in peace!
THE INSECURITY OF WESTERN SCHOLARSHIP ABOUT ISLAMIC ART OBSESSED WITH TRYING TO PROVE EUROPEAN ART INSPIRATION
AND YET WESTERN PAINTERS THEMSELVES SUCCUMBED TO AURA OF MUSLIM ARTISTS FROM REMBRANDT TO STREET PAINTERS
There is an inevitable jealousy surrounding the analysis of Western art analysts about Muslim Art. For them Western painters are supreme and the history of art starts from their domain. For centuries Chinese art, Japanese art debunked in different ways, but Indo-Pakistani art debunked most at the hands of chauvinistic art historians. Yes, there were great scholars in the Western background, but the present hierarchy of same are oblivious of achievements of regional painters. Everything has a western connotations for them.
Islamic art inspired many Western artists. Masters like Rembrandt and Bellini were struck by the beauty of Islamic art. But even ordinary things saw this effect in place. You see various western paintings with Islamic carpets in them, Islamic naqashi in their background and architecture being influenced by same too. The greatest effect we see in design of churches as well as aesthetics of bibles. We talk more about that later. Till then stop this charade of cultural hegemony. Chauvinism of inspiration taken too literally. We were not far behind but ahead at many places.
AN OFFICIAL RECORD OF RECONCILIATION OF HINDU MUSLIM NATIONS
ATTEMPTED IN COINS ISSUED AT MAHMUDPUR (LAHORE) BY SULTANS
Coins carry history which is normally forgotten. The city of Lahore had the name of Mahmudpur in the times of Sultan Mahmud Ghazni. A recollection of those times occur in the area to this day known as Mahmud Booti. The first coin struck here by Sultan Mahmud carried the legend:
Mahmud (998-1030) Silver dirham, bilingual type, Mahmudpur (Lahore) Weight: 2.81 gm., Diameter: 19 mm., Die axis: 7 o’clock
Arabic legend: Shahada followed by yamin al-daula wa amin mahmud al-milla
(Mahmud guardian of the faith), al-qadir above, billah at left
Date in the margin: AH 418 (= 1027-1028 CE) /
Sanskrit legend in Sharada letters: avyaktameka muhammada avatar nripati mahamuda
(the Invisible is One, Muhammad is the manifestation, Mahmud the king)
Very soon after that Sultan Masud the son of Sultan Mahmud 1041-1050 AD started the HORSE AND BULL series, which were carried for quite some time by the other Sultans too. The Horse represented the Muslims, the Bull represented the Hindus.
Ghaznavid control largely continued in the existing administrative system. Thus Ghaznavid coins issued in North western India have bilingual legends written in Arabic and Sharda scripts . Some carry Islamic titles together with the portrayal of the Shaiva Bull, Nandiand the legend Shri samta deva. The reference in the latter remains ambiguous . A dirham struck at Lahore carries a legend in the Sharda script and a rendering in colloquial Sanskrit of the Islamic Kalima.
A thousand years gone and except for limited times, no reconciliation took place. The Muslims were broad minded enough to be large hearted. That is why millions embraced Islam. We see the same relevance today as both nations are still at war with each other. Give peace a chance! Shanti Maharaj Shanti! Be calm seek tranquility.
Muslims came into this region long long time ago. Arab traders were here even before Islam, and they mixed well in the environment. Ancients mosques existed here. Some of them still exist here. In 982 AD the author of HUDUDAL ALAM states that all the inhabitants of Lahore were idolaters and there were no Muslims here. But Fakhri i Mudahhabir states that Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi built a separate Mohalla here for Muslims and it was called Arab Mohalla and he built a mosque of bricks here called Khusti Masjid, which was a marvel in its age.
“FAḴR-E MODABBER, pen-name of Moḥammad b. Manṣūr b. Saʿīd, entitled Mobārakšāh, author of two prose works in Persian written in India in the late 6th/12th and early 7th/13th century, a book on genealogy with no formal title and the famous Ādāb al-ḥarb wa’l-šajāʿa”.
A segment of Hindu population got along well with them, and there were Hindu Generals in the Ghaznavid army itself. Hindus predominated the Mughal Army too. Many got along well with benefits and a certain segment remained allergic to them as they were two nations even then.
THE ATTACK ON LAHORE (1043-1049) MARTYRDOM AT ITS BEST. A memory of national resolve. GANJ SHAHEEDAIN OF LAHORE. In the year 435 AH (1043 AD), the Raja of Delhi was able to rally other Hindu Rajas to accost and drive the Muslims out of India.
Lahore has seen many attacks on its soil. This was the first important one. The 1965 one when an Indian General proclaimed that he would have his peg (alcoholic drink) in Lahore Gymkhana. And he never got there, thanks to our valiant Army. Today the Army of Pakistan stands to defend our country again, from terrorists who cannot forget the prejudice of 1200 years. Rewriting history and hybrid war cannot erase the complex from the mind or soul.