A ONE MAN SHOW OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI IN LONDON 1966 COMMONWEALTH INSTITUTE ATTEMPTED SABOTAGE BY INSIDERS
Field Marshal Ayub Khan was very fond of artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai and inaugurated many of his paintings show. A visit of the President of Pakistan was planned in London and the reception at the Commonwealth Institute to be attended by the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II herself. President Ayub Khan proposed a Chughtai’s show at the London venue, to be attended by himself as well as the Queen. This was supposed to be on 24th November, 1966, as everybody new.,
There were people in the concerned Ministry, who held resentment for President Ayub Khan. And similarly they did not like the Art of Chughtai to receive host of publicity in western art circles. Order of Ayub Khan could not be circumvented, but a trick was played by administration. President Ayub was to attend a function at the same place and the Chughtai show was to be at the Commonwealth Institute on 24th November, 1966. At the last moment a change of plans was made and the show was scheduled from 15th December 1966 to 8th January, 1967. S.K. Dehlavi the Pakistan Ambassador knew all this well and told me many stories when I was in Bonn, Germany in 1976. A lot of state secrets were told to me.
In any case the Show was held and although well attended, did not please the artist and he reprimanded concerned, that a place like London, has the capacity for lakhs of visitors, and the attendance was below normal. However the case is on record and we rarely even hear about it from imbecile and jealous art commentators here. We give you a glimpse of same.
A PRINCESS WITH WORDS OF KNOWLEDGE AT HER OWN DOOR STEPS
THE AMAZING INTELLECT OF ZEBUNNISA DAUGHTER OF ALAMGEER
Leaving the world of bigoted locals and farangi bazaar gossips (with dirty filthy minds), there are Muslim writers who have done justice to their job. However much of these books are not available and out of sight of most people. One is a small biography of Princess Zebunnisa done by Munshi Abdur Rahman “Shauk” Amritsari, who relies on Muslim sources of historical importance. Quoting many things attached to the Princess, but one statement is extremely new, and worthy of note.
Zebunnisa was obviously getting the best of education, collected one of the finest libraries in Hindustan, and had various scholars write treatises on subjects with which she was not very familiar. One subject which intrigued her was of Astronomy and study of Stars. It is evident that manuscripts on Stars were collected by her. The details of a book on poetic balancing, written at her request by Imamuddin Riazi, son of Lutufullah Muhandis is well known. Imamuddin Riazi also enjoyed some official position at the court. In a bayaz collected by her of various poets, she has included verses of Lutufullah Muhandis. Imamuddin Riazi at court would have told her many things abut the stars too. Lutufullah Muhandis translate the epic Star book of Abdur Rahman Sufi, the original copy at Aligarh University.
One day Zebunnisa was sitting with her teachers, an elderly lady, who wanted to ask her about the Stars. The teacher herself was stupefied and talking about the Stars. The lady said she has read about many things but never about astronomy. She said you have read a lot about stars, so at what distance are they from earth. Do people reside on these stars? They look so small from far, but what are they actually? Zebunnisa said to her teacher I am certainly not in a position to tell you the exact distance of the stars from earth but can assure you that there is another world there, and certainly in another world life must be there. Allah must have created lakhs of things on those surfaces. Certainly living things must be there. She said that according to astronomy if in a single breath we travel 186000 miles then we can reach the stars in 3500 years. The teacher went into a stupor but could say nothing to the Princess. The answer given by Zebunnisa was both based on knowledge and intellect. And a well deserved answer. The intellectual freaks of today cannot equal the rationality mixed with tenets of DEEN of the past.
“WHAT IS ART WITHOUT THE STRIKING POWER OF THE MOSES STAFF!” THE GAME OF LOBBIES STARTED FROM DAY ONE, MEDIA IMPOTENCE,TO CAPTURE THE SPIRIT OF THE NATION. TAHIR LAHOOTI ALWAYS FREE.
The vision of Hazrat Umar (blessings) and the harassment of people opposed to Ideology, started the charade of defusing clear cut images of life. Vested interests knew that Hazrat Umar (blessings) will never allow mutilation of the Islamic vision, and so by plan he was assassinated and removed from the scene. The second aim was that according to the Caliph, the Quran alone was enough for the Muslims, so subterfuge was created, with ideas which were not in the Quran. The game continues to this day and is forever. But here we are concerned with Art and art alone. Art that consolidates and gives a clear vision to the people is aimed to be contained by counter narrative. It started very early and still very much in practice. Thinkers who could clear this are mostly gone, and never patronized by the holders of the other narrative. Perhaps a few hundred, maybe even a thousand people all over Pakistan, are given incentives through money and influence, to subjugate this vision. They are wasting their time. Even a beautiful woman siting in her home or in a brothel means different things.
Dr Allama Iqbal said few things about Art, and one poetic statement means a lot of things for us: “O Wise one! It is well to have thirst for knowledge,But what is in art that faileth to grasp the reality of things.The object of all art is to attain the warmth of life immortal,What availeth a spasm or two that vanish like a spark!Without a miracle nations cannot rise-What is art without the striking power of the Moses staff!” Art in the past, whether Western or otherwise Hindu was always for religious sake. On one hand Islamic Art was truly Art for Art sake, but it had a function too. In the quest for personality development in life, Art aimed at enhancing the sensibilities of human kind. The aim of Islamic art was that humankind oppressed with vicissitudes of life, comes near Art to replenish itself from the hardships of life. To cool the nerves of issues of life to refresh ones vigour. A young baby grasps the nipple of the mother’s breast to replenish its energy. The grown human being catches hold of the sensibilities of music, drama, and the fine arts to save itself from loss of vision of development and progress. Art and aesthetics consolidates the nation. The artists role is divine in shaping up the nation towards tomorrow. P.S. We will add more. People who seek inspiration from messages of anarchy, unrest, and negative content.