The two nation theory never arose out of a vacuum. It was a fact which the Quran recognizes, as well as the writings of people like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Dr Allama Iqbal. Quaid-e-Azam through a political process put it into reality. Jealousy ran in the veins of some bigoted Hindu writers and when we read their analysis of Art, one can only hope that some sanity could have prevailed in their analysis of things.
Take for instance the famous iconic Hindu writer O.C. Gangoly. We have written about him, but he left a record which will blacken his name forever. A request by Chughtai artist for return of his paintings sent to an exhibition show in Calcutta, evoked a sharp reply from him. We reproduce it for anyone to see. It clarifies what Chughtai wrote about all the time. Calcutta was allergic to Lahore and allergic to Muslims in total.
Tapati Guha-Thakurta is an enigma all her own. Cambridge University Press considered her a professional on the subject but could not see the bigotry she carried on herself. Again Calcutta. In just one book “The making of a new Indian Art”, she felt reluctant to give an image (it would expose her thesis) of even one Chughtai’s work but she mentions him at least three times, in most derogatory manner. Her first remark about Chughtai is on page 291 of her book. She says:
“Abdur Rahman Chughtai’s compositions of the first years, with their recurrent images of flickering lamps and swooning women, cannot rise above such CRASS MANNERISMS.”
“For example, couplets from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam conjured an atmosphere of Persian exoticism and mystique around Chughtai’s images of veiled women, fading lamps and scattered petals. It is not clear whether the quotations from poems came from the artists themselves or whether they were later additions by critics and editors to help in the propagation of these paintings.”
And thirdly she makes fun of the painting FAME based on National leadership, as a ‘symbol of the feebleness and self indulgence of India’s national leaders’. Based on a verse by Dr Allama Iqbal, she had no mood to accept that work. So what? It was Chughtai’s view, not hers.
“The man was very shabbily dressed. His dishevelled hair and unkempt clothes made him look like the domestic servant of a middle class family. An interesting thing about his clothes was that the many colours were splashed on his shirt sleeve. It seemed that he used to wipe his brush on the shirt while he was at work.To me the most striking thing in this conversation was that he spoke in very simple Punjabi and his unsophisticated accent sounded almost like the speech of an unlettered villager.”
There is so much falsehood in his writing that Som Anand is not even ashamed of writing false things. The whole episode is made up of his own conjectures. A senior Professor of GCU, Mahmud Ahmad told me that no gentleman could talk like that. He said if you ever meet Som Anand, just slap him even before you talk to him. I said certainly I cannot do that, as I do not have the inferiority complex these kind of Hindus carry in their hearts. It continues to pain them that Muslims ruled the region for more than 1200 years. They made a mess of their country in a few decades, and triggered, manipulated mess in ours. . That complex does not go away.