MURRAQQA E CHUGHTAI: THE BEGINNING, THE PROCESS;
COMPLETION IN ADVERSE CIRCUMSTANCES AND SUCCESS.
In 1926 Sir Akbar Hydari, Prime Minister of Hyderabad Deccan was in Lahore, and Dr Allama Iqbal wanted to meet him. He requested the Chughtai brothers to accompany him to the House of Justice Sir Muhammed Shafi, and later to house of a Parsee couple. on Fane road, behind Lahore High Court. Dr Iqbal took the brothers in his own car at that time and a long discussion was held there. In that same meeting Sir Akbar Hydari was told of the proposal to publish an illustrated Murraqqa related to Mirza Ghalib. For details see blog
|THE PRESENCE OF SIR AKBAR HYDARI IN LAHORE – A CAR LIFT BY DR ALLAMA IQBAL TO CHUGHTAI BROTHERS – Chughtai’s Art BlogTHE PRESENCE OF SIR AKBAR HYDARI IN LAHORE A CAR LIFT BY DR ALLAMA IQBAL TO CHUGHTAI BROTHERS An event in Lahore of historical nature The University of Punjab in 1926 invited Sir Akbar Hydari Prime Minister of Hyderabad Deccan to Lahore to preside over its annual convocation and distribute degrees to students. Dr Allamablog.chughtaimuseum.com|
The same was also discussed with the art critic G. Venkatachalam, of Madras, who knew the Maharani of Cooch Bihar well as a patron. The result Rs 5000 came from the Maharani in 1926, and the project started, but as a commercial partnership. It was a business arrangement. But the cost of publication was staggering and the artist ran out of money. This is one of the reasons that the First Edition has different binds to it. In 1927, Dr Allama Iqbal requested the Nizam of Hyderabad to fund the project more, by supplying further Rs 5000 for the same. This help probably never came. The letter is preserved and published in Hyderabad Archives.
The obvious reason resulted in variations in the First Edition as well as variations in the editions that followed. Many paintings were also changed in the process and had different versions. Complete guideline are required obviously. The editions were depending on availability of paper, Rexine, book binders, printing presses as well as the old London based letter press plates. Even the same pigment inks were no longer available. The Press imported never worked, was sold and replaced with another press “Art Falcon” from another publisher, on Mohan road, Lahore. For lack of money, the printing was even done by the two brothers, as well as his maternal cousin. It was an uphill task but the resolute will of the artist carried him through to his first international success as a publisher. The rest is history.
Finally the artist had offered the complete set of paintings to various organizations. One place was Aligarh University and Vice Chancellor Sir Ross Masood (letter there). Others too. But Princess Durre Shahwar came to rescue and bought the whole set for the Nizams Palace in Delhi. The works hung there for very long time. Where they are now, NO ONE KNOWS. Perhaps even in Australia, perhaps in some Governmental coffers in India. Subject to research.