YOU HAVE HEARD POLITICAL CHANGES ARE PLANNED IN LONDON – DO YOU KNOW CULTURAL CHANGES ARE ALSO LONDON PLANNED! – ART DEVOID OF ISLAM AND PAKISTAN, CONFESSED MR G.M. BUTCHER
The allergy to Islam and Islamic Civilization of the Western world is well understood. But definite interference sometimes forgotten. It took Quaid-e-Azam his life to make Pakistan. And lobbies were ready to undermine the Ideology of the country. Schools and Universities were created before Pakistan to undermine such concepts, but this became more latent after Pakistan came into being. The Ideology of Pakistan was a threat word to outside lobbies.
The famous Keeper at the British Museum, Basil Gray, was our guest here in 1977, and at a period post retirement, in a jovial mood to spill the beans. Of all the lobbies, he talked of British Intelligence. He said he was sent to India in 1946 to disappear the art treasures and he was successful at most places. The only person be could not seduce in his official venture was Chughtai artist, who refused to part with his art treasures. He was amused that Chughtai artist survived the ideological crisis generated by the same sources.
The very first onslaught against our Islamic character was the term of 5000 years of Pakistan civilization. Is that what the Quaid-e-Azam was fighting for? 5000 years. 1400 years of Islam generated phobia in these bigoted scholars who rewrote our history. And that did not end then. A modern lady scholar bemoaned my statement that the National spirit was in the blood of Chughtai Sahib. She said that is what we are trying to remove all the time. By giving scholarship to those who would toe their lines, they generate a new idiom of art in Pakistan. And that is what they did in 1958, by devising a Pakistan Arts Group, which would toe their lines. Read this in the language of the person, who started it all. In their own words:
Five Pakistani artists, at present in London, who have formed the “Pakistan Group”, held their first composite exhibition at the Woodstock Gallery, London (November 10-22). It was formally opened by the British High Commissioner in UK, Mr M. Ikramullah.The following critical appreciation of the work of these painters is from a student of Indo-Pakistani painting at the Oxford University, Mr. G. M. Butcher, who is at present doing a thesis on the same subject. He observed “Although it is reasonable to think of the various idioms of the modern movement in painting as having an international character, it is also the case that artists frequently do come together along national lines for group undertakings. The rather sudden emergence of the Pakistan Group in London is a case in point. And even though individually the five members of the Group might perfectly well fit in elsewhere, many visitors to the present exhibition, will be curious to try to discover whatever it is that gives the Pakistan Group, as a Group, its special identity. “As it happens, these five painters are among the dozen or so in all of Pakistan, who are leading the way in an attempt to make painting an integral reflection of the real life of their country today. They are interested neither to take part in the self-conscious revival of traditional forms, nor to copy, as such, the methods and the problems of European painting, old or new. But, equally, as they are on the edge of the de facto frontiers of their particular cultural situation, there are no rules for them to follow. Each step forward implies a dozen steps wasted. And, as the present exhibition is the first of its kind ever to have been organized in Europe, we may well be witness to some of those wasted steps; but we are also certain to find tendencies towards the future of painting, not only in Pakistan, but throughout the newly emerging countries of Islam from Morocco to Indonesia. “Now it is a curious thing, that when questioned, not one of these five painters seemed conscious of anything particularly reflective in his work of either Islam or of Pakistan. This is partly attributable, of course, to the ‘evolve’ background of these particular artists as individuals. All of them have been exposed to the very Western modes of thought which dominated the schools and universities of British India, and all of them have lived for varying periods in London itself. Nevertheless, to myself as an interested outsider, there seem certain definite characteristics which these painters hold in common, and which are in some way interpretable in terms of the many incursions of Islam into Greater India.
Shakir Ali Shemza. In Giza Egypt various mummies of Pharaohs are studied every day. Newer and newer research is done. But the mummies are dead. Their art keeps interest in them alive.
Read for yourself how the outside lobbies work. This is not our sentences, these are sentences from outside. Crushing our Ideology their aim of life!