ENIGMA OF BASQUE COUNTRY PEOPLE WITH AN ISOLATED CULTURE,
YES, DIFFERENT DNA, LANGUAGE AND YET WITH ISLAMIC INFLUENCE.
The ancient history of Basque people is still under research. Islam had spread over in Spain as well as parts of France, so it was natural that this county, between thee two countries, would receive Islamic influence in one way or the other. A dress code different from Europe was there in the 16th century and there is pictorial record of it. In any case research work starts from a little inkling and spreads else where. People with intact ancient language and different DNA, blood grouping is worthy of research, and it is being done. Researchers say:
“With their distinct genetic make-up and ancient language, the origin of
people from the Basque Country in northern Spain and southern France has long been an enigma. Previously thought to be a population of unmixed hunter-gatherers that survived the influx of farmers from the Middle East around 6,000 years ago, new genetic evidence suggests that things aren’t quite so clear-cut.
Instead, it appears that the Basques’ closest ancestors are early Iberian farmers who were descended from that first wave of Neolithic farmers, which then mixed with the local hunter-gatherers. The researchers think that the Basque people’s unique characteristics survived in isolation as, after this first initial mingling of hunter-gatherers and farmers, the Basque people became separated from subsequent waves of farmers, first from the East then from the South, and continued instead to mix further with the local hunter-gatherers.’
Probably the influence was there in Lahore from Turkish influx, but the Xavier could have brought it fresh from Basque itself.
The medieval state took form around the city of Pamplona during the first centuries of the Iberian Reconquista. The kingdom has its origins in the conflict in the buffer region between the Frankish kingCharlemagne and the Umayyad Emirate that controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula. The city of Pamplona was located amid a predominantly Basque-speaking area. In an event traditionally dated to 824, Íñigo Arista was elected or declared ruler of the area around Pamplona in opposition to Frankish expansion into the region, originally as vassal to the Córdoba Emirate. This polity evolved into the Kingdom of Pamplona. In the first quarter of the 10th century the Kingdom was able to assert itself.’
If one notices the said introduction means that Navarre was a Basque country, and its origin lies with the Umayyad empire, and was a vassal state to Cordoba Islamic Spain. And this takes us to the start of the relation between Basque and Lahore. The founders of Navarre included Ignace de Loyola and Francois Xavier. The third mission of converting Asia to Christianity started from Navarre and the grand nephew of Francois Xavier, that is Jerome Xavier, who stayed in Lahore from 1595 to 1598, and like his predecessors two missions, they too miserably failed to convert Emperor Akbar. Akbar was a full of fun and fond of political gimmicks and he enjoyed giving the impression of being convinced for conversion. But at the last moment he would decline same much to the chagrin of the missionaries. He did allow construction of the first church in Lahore. But he died a Muslim, and recited the Kalma before his death, as recorded by his own son, Nurudddin Jahangeer in his diary Tuzuk.
But here our emphasis is different. We notice some cultural connections between Basque county and Lahore. Recovered heads of figurines from Lahore show costumes which are very much Islamic in nature and direct resemblance to the Basque costumes found in history. Compare yourself and there is amazing similarities in same. Basque female costumes for any European country are truly amazing like our own costumes. Probably the origin for Basque and Lahore in form of costumes is same and need to be researched in total. If one looks at the 16th century Basque costumes, they look like the Burqas of our elderly women of yesterday.
Memories are short but not that short to tear pages from history books. The efforts of a group of Punjabi writers and poets decided to promote the Urdu Language. Obviously they wrote so well that it incurred jealousy amongst others. Particularly the lobbies in UP were against the fame gained by these Urdu writers. M.A. Rahman Chughtai consolidated them all through his designs as well as publications. For two years Chughtai took out the prestigious Art Annual Karawan from Lahore from his residence in Chabuk Sawaran, through his Jahangeer Book Club. So well received in Urdu circles but was difficult to maintain due to financial reasons. All these people you see tried their best to do this and were supported by Sufi Ghulam Tabbassum too, who was another honourable member. Probably there were others too, including the younger brother of the artist, Abdur Raheem Chughtai.
The group was so successful that in reality the adoption of Urdu language was also a result of their efforts. This was endorsed by Quaid e Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan. It had history. Urdu language was a product of request of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. A meeting was in progress under Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia and many people were seated there. The list included Khawaja Hassan Sanjari, Khawaja Saeed Muhammed, Khawaja Saeed Mussavi, Khawaja Syed Rafiuddin Haroon, and Har Dev, along with his three relatives, Sumbal Dev, Chanel Dev, and Sunil Dev. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was of view that a language issue in addressing people of Hindustan was occurring, and it had to be resolved with a new communication tool. We have to devise a language which mixes local language with language of Muslims that Is Persian, and Turkish. Already inter exchange of words are taking place and people are familiar with same. And to teach this language I have written a small booklet by name of KHALIQ BARI. I want that a system of new language should be started and it should be call Hinduvta. But so that people can really know it, I want Amir Khusro to compose songs in same, so that not only people can talk and read it, but can also sing songs in it, so that it really becomes common with use. As Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia lived between 1238 AD to 1325 AD, so the birth of Urdu started in the 13th to 14th century. The language has a history of about 700 years and was avidly used in Hyderabad Deccan.
The British knew that to deflower the Islamic Ideology, the language was to be removed from the minds of people. Quaid e Azam knew that to promote Unity in Pakistan, one language was the requirement of the times. The crisis of Bengali language was master minded and the lovely Bengali people fooled into riots. The result is obvious to us all. The lament of the creation of Brown Sahibs has evaporated with advent of those who wanted to obliterate it. But Pakistan will rise. Do not be taken into this hybrid war. Our Ideology is intact and cunning low moral people cannot silence truth forever. Pakistan forever!
It all started with the painting of the Sistine Madonna by Raphael in 1512 and the depiction of two young chubby boys as little angels. When Raphael was painting the Madonna the children of his model would come in to watch. Struck by their posture as they did, the story goes, he added them to the painting exactly as he saw them. Another story says that Raphael rather was inspired by two children he encountered on the street when he saw them “looking wistfully into the window of a baker’s shop”. It caught on in Western art.
“In the Book of Ezekiel and Christian icons, the cherub is depicted as having two pairs of wings, and four faces: that of a lion, an ox, a human, and an eagle . Their legs were straight, the soles of their feet like the hooves of a bull, gleaming like polished brass. Later tradition ascribes to them a variety of physical appearances. In Western Christian tradition, cherubim have become associated with the putto, resulting in depictions of cherubim as small, plump, winged boys.”
From such diverse imagery, plump boys, as Cupid shooting arrows for revelry. Cherubs started appearing everywhere. But the craze was set in the time of Queen Victoria as images in that period are Victorian Cherubs. And most of them are acting as Cupid with bow and arrows to strike the heart of lovers in revelry mood. These kind of silly chubby boys had no appeal for Mughals, neither the Emperors nor the public. To belittle the Mughal aesthetics, a lot of fakes were being created by the British in Bombay by the firm of Guzdar in the quest to appeal to the Western buyer. M.A. Rahman Chughtai the descendant of the Mughals, knew all this and pointed it out again and again. A worthy read is his book on the same.
The Saint Petersburg album contains assortment of works with fakes. Take the work of Bichiter, this painter had never seen a work of Bichiter to know his style. Input of Englishman, floating beard, and Cherubs to please a western audience. In some of these fakes even the Persian language genealogical tree was written in wrong direction. Even Stuart Cary Welch could see the 19th century border on the work, which is usually hidden from public view. A slap on Mughal portraiture and aesthetics, the work is refused to be judged by western analyst as fake. For a simple pigment test can tell us everything, but no on wants to belittle oneself by telling us that their eyes were closed on their previous judgements. These cherub are even introduced on actual works to belittle judgement. Complexes have started rage against history and facts. Feelings cannot be over turned by rationality. The core of hearts is disheartened by feelings of inferiority. Sad indeed! One should learn to appreciate anything of value and all civilizations have something of value. Their voices in art and culture must be heard by non biased persons.
A point worthy of note is that the group of local painters in Lahore Fort was noted by Van Orlich in 1842, on the pay roll of Maharajah Sher Singh. These people were traditional painters and known as Gumti Bazaar painters. A lot is known and written about them. But the most interesting part is that this group was led by Ustad Allah Baksh, son of Mian Izzat Baksh, who was a tall handsome man, always dressed in royal regalia and often called as the King of Delhi, even by the British residents. In British times he was In charge of all the paintings and naqashis done in the Lahore Fort, and that includes the period of John and Lena Login, and this group of painters is mentioned in the line of Maharaja Duleep Singh, who was getting work done from them. We will add more with time, but till then read Lena Login in Lahore Fort again in 1849:
Lena Login reports same:
“He has painters constantly employed near him at his work, which he watches with the deepest interest, and himself tries to draw and paint a little. I want you to send me out for him, a nice paint-box and material for his use, and a good book of instructions in the art of drawing and painting, till I can get him good lessons.”
Satisfying Duleep Singh was the requirement of that time.