OUR HYDERABADI BRETHREN IN DECCAN INDIA
M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI AND HYDERABAD DECCAN
Civilized, cultured, educated, loving- Hyderabadi essence
A long time back Lahore was the cultural capital or the Mughals. Then some preferred Delhi for same. But Emperor Aurangzeb beat them all by shifting his attention to the city he founded, that is Aurangabad. Out of a different city, he carved a Mughal city and was obsessed with that area. All his life, from that of a Prince to a King was devoted to Deccan. He even died and was buried in Khuldabad. Even today people remember him as perhaps the greatest Emperor of Hindustan. Where other areas could muddle the history of Emperor Aurangzeb, the Hyderabadi Deccan people always knew better. Even today Aurangzeb is loved there.
The interesting part is that many people from Lahore migrated to Hyderabad Deccan in that period and there are records and mohallas attesting to the Lahori origin of some of those people. Ustad Jameel Baig, architect of the Panch Chakri had Lahori origins too. In fact Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori , Architect of the Taj Mahal, is also buried in Khuldabad graveyard. M.S. Vatts, and his Archaeolgical team has recorded his grave there and the epitaph composed by Lutufullah Muhandis on his father’s grave.
M.A. Rahman Chughtai was so much attached to Hyderabad Deccan, that Beverly Nichols in his VERDICT ON INDIA records him as a Hyderabadi artist. In 1927 Dr Allama Iqbal had written to the Nizam of Hyderabad for financial assistance for the publication of Murraqqa e Chughtai edition on Mirza Ghalib. The letter is still there in Hyderabadi archives. A sum of Rs 5000 was alloted for the publication but in exchange many of the paintings were physically taken for the Nizam’s Palace in Delhi, where they were for a number of years. The book was dedicated to the Nizam himself, but unfortunately the book could not be presented at the Court of the Nizam, and was handed by a disgruntled brother, Dr Abdullah Chaghatai, at the Jamia Masjid in Hyderabad. As a result no grant or gift was given to the book.
Hyderbad could not forget Chughtai the artist. An exhibition on Dr Allama Iqbal was held in Hyderabad in 1948 and inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister, and attended by the Prince Asif Jah, son of the Nizam of Hyderabad. A number of painting were purchased. The Salar Jang Museum had many Chughtai paintings. The National Museum had literally hundred of them. How many are left we do not know? But choice works of the artist were in Hyderabadi museums as well as homes.
Disaster struck Hyderabad when the Indian Government took Hyderabad on verge of accession to Pakistan, and the Army disbanded. Then Hyderabad broken down in different divisions, for it to never to show up her head again. From deep in our heart, we pray that one day Hyderabad be Hyderabad Deccan again and all its son of souls scattered all over the West come back to the land of their ancestrors, where they lived and reigned for centuries. Amen!
We meet a lot of Hyderabadis here even today, as they still come to visit us at the museum and we are delighted to receive them. Many did migrate to Pakistan and many are settled in Karachi. But many did move out to the USA and other places. You can recognize a Hyderabadi by simply his essence, which is unique in all ways.
P.S. With special regards to Ali Hassan from Hyderabad Deccan.