SITUATION OF CHUGHTAI ART IN INDIA AFTER PARTITION IN 1947
AMAZING GUTTERISH ANALYSIS BY A BOMBAY CRITIC: “IT STINKS”
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru knew the value of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. He started a campaign to lure Chughtai to India. The very first step he collected about 15 paintings of M.A. Rahman Chughtai and made a special room namely Chughtai Room in the National Museum of Modern Arts in Jaipur House Delhi. He also persuaded the publisher Dhoomi Mal Dharam Dass to print a volume of Chughtai Art on Hindu themes which was done in 1951. Nehru had already enticed some talents of Pakistan to India, like Baray Ghulam Ali and Amrita Pritam. He went on a quest to promote Chughtai art and continued to present Chughtai originals to foreign Heads of State (including China) assuming Chughtai as an Indian artist. Actually even in 1960 in Lahore in front of Field Marshal Ayub Khan at Governors House Nehru was still trying go persuade Chughtai to leave Pakistan for India. Not realizing the companion of Dr Allama Iqbal would die before doing anything like that.
On the other hand the Indian Press was doing their natural thing. The same magazine offers different opinion in 1946 and then in 1951. The world changed objectivity of review maker. Some pages of the Illustrated weekly of India shows the sinister things. For instance the reviewer writes of him as:
“What limits his style is something which may perhaps be in his power to overcome- the excessive preoccupation with the formal and a sense of mission or message”
The MISSION OR MESSAGE was what made M.A. Rahman Chughtai the father of Art in Pakistan. But the weekly went further. A Bombay critic simply said of Chughtai Art:
It clearly shows the two nation theory in full perspective. The venom of the sinister Hindu would not come to rest and objectivity was alien to their thinking and feeling. The beautiful aura of a Chughtai’s painting had a paradise aroma and for such Hindu writers it stank. There are many things which actually stink and have charm for them. Obviously they can indulge in drinking stink. Need we say more!
PRIDE OF LAHORE, MIAN SALAH MIMAR CHAUGHATA, ARCHITECT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR DIED 11TH MAY 1858
It is 161 years ago that Lahore had already braved the storm one year earlier of the 1857 War of Independence, or the Mutiny as the English called it. It was an environment of exceptionally talented people. Islamic Ideology was the touch stone of the area. Various personalities were brave enough to rebel against royal decrees. In this Mohalla lived the famous Qazi of Akbar’s time, Qazi Saderuddin, who was so popular in Lahore. Akbar could not do him any harm except to expel him from the city. The same area housed Imam Jan Muhammed who flouted the royal orders of Emperor Bahadur Shah and was prepared to die for the cause. Imam Muhammed Siddique of Wazeer Khan Mosque could ridicule Ahmad Shah Abdali who was saying his prayers behind him.
In this city of Lahore, on 11th May, 1858, an iconic architect of Lahore died a natural death. His name was Mian Salah Mimar Chaughata, and it is reputed that he died at the age of around 120 years. A missing link between two trees of family , he was the direct descendant of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori, the world famous architect of Emperor Shah Jahan. He was also the direct ancestor of M.A. Rahman Chughtai, Mussawar e Mashriq (1897-1975). The ancestral house was in Mohalla Chabuk Sawaran, but this name of Mohalla is derived in the 18th-19th century. The traditional name is Mohalla Qazi Saderuddin, the Qazi who rebelled against Emperor Akbar and was expelled from Lahore. His popularity prevented any harm to come to him. Mian Salah Mimar was also held in esteem because of his knowledge about Islamic life.
It was this very mohalla where other religious workers came to spin their tales. One such person was the Ahmadiyah Prophet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who preached at the Chinay wali masjid, just near the house of the mimar family. The famous Chisti family, the first historian of Lahore, lived here too. The movement for reliance on Quran started here. The modern scholar G.A Pervez had direct effect on many residents of the area. DNA of ijthehad thrived here all the time.
We pay homage to you and your memory Mian Salah Mimar. We pray for your soul, and seek blessings of Allah!
WILL AND POWER BASIS OF VIGILANCE OF A MUSLIM GENERAL
ALL VALUES STEMMING OUT OF THE IDEOLOGY OF THE QURAN
The immortal art work of a Mard e Momen reveals to us the ever readiness of the Muslim General. The sword is out of the scabbard and points to the defenders being prepared for all outcomes. Where as on the other hand, the mother who has lost her husband to shahadat, points out to her son, the will stemming from Quranic teaching and the sword being used to defend the Ideology of Islam. This image repeats itself in the Art of Chughtai all the time. The message very clear.
One of the rarest image in the Art of Chughtai is the work of a lady carrying the dead body of her warrior husband from the battlefield. I do not think this image of a dead person has ever occurred in Chughtai Art but here it is a real exception. And it is not a sign of death but an idea of defiance against evil designs. The sword of the warrior is broken showing that he fought till the last and embraced martyrdom for the sake of his Ideology of Islam. Such scenes evoke one to shout Allah o Akbar again and again. Enemies beware of the warrior unleased against tyranny.