ART FOR HARMONIOUS CO-EXISTENCE BETWEEN NATIONS
M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI’S HOMAGE TO KRISHNA
Abundant of Hindu friends in region
(Dedicated to memory of Prakash Sahib)
Contrary to retold stories, the Muslims were not unwanted in India. They came here to trade and were busy in their profession. The oldest mosque in India is attributed to these traders here in the region. It was the capture of some Muslim ladies by Raja Dair that things went out of control. They wrote to the Caliph for their release, who sent a request for same but Raja Dair paid no heed to the request. The result Muhammed bin Qasim.
The Muslims wanted to know about Hindus in this region. A study of their books for references and legends was there. Emperor Zainul Abedeen was the first Muslim Emperor of Kashmeer who commissioned translations of Hindu texts in Arabic and Persian. This was long before Emperor Akbar, who is unnecessarily given the credit of the start of these translations. But Akbar went one step further. He had their texts illustrated too. Did the Hindus like this? No, never. They did not like the idea of sacred texts going into the hands of everybody and their clergy deprived of the manipulation of masses. The concept of emancipation bought by the Muslims was a death blow to the class ridden societies of this region. Muslims introduced egalitarianism which is the song even today.
It was obvious that the greatest Muslim Artist of this century would try his hand at these illustrations too. M.A. Rahman Chughtai treated the Hindu subjects in the Central Asian tradition. Various Hindu woks were made before partition but these he continued to make even after partition, and some of them were done in his last days too. Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned a CHUGHTAI INDIAN PAINTINGS book in Delhi in 1952, published by Dhoomi Mal Dharam Dass. Nehru collected 15 of these works and put them in the National Museum of Modern Arts in New Delhi, a separate room for Chughtai’s works. There is so much more here. Suffice to say we present some Krishna themes of M.A. Rahman Chughtai for our Hindu friends. Two nations can have their own way of life, and yet be happy in co-existing with each other.