DEVI PRASAD ROY CHOUDHURY A GREAT HINDU ARTIST
ECHOES OF CHUGHTAI ART IN HIS WORKS
The proud achievement of India
The Bengal School tree floated over India, both as a new movement and as a menace. These Bengalis knew no compassion for anyone outside their circles. They would tear anybody else to shreds. Abdur Rahman Chughtai survived their onslaught on him with great strength. But the Bengalis were not even nice to their own brethren in Bengal. The young versatile Roy Choudhury was torn to shreds by the Bengal School. In fact when Roy Choudhury showed his art works to Abindaranath Tagore, he called them worthless and asked him, to copy traditional Bengal works to learn about art. It is said that this really infuriated Roy Choudhury and he left Tagore in a hurry. Later Nandalal Bose took credit for his fame by saying that he learnt everything at the feet of their Master, Abindaranath Tagore. Unfortunately he is considered part of Bengal School itself, which initially rejected him totally.
Yes, Roy Choudhury was experimenting with techniques and ideas and sculpture. And like a dreamer he took an Italian Master as his tutor, and the Master trained his student without reservations. Roy Choudhury excelled in many aspects of art. Sculpture including the life size one he made of Maharaja of Jaipur is very famous. But there are certain paintings, which have echoes of Chughtai Art in them. And to us they look very pretty. We have all praise for this Hindu artist and the two nations meet on the cultural round. Art can bring nations together and it is this language, which can foster peace in our region.
Dr Karl Khandalavala just thinks of him as a ‘Decorative artist’ indulging in merely beauty and design. A man without even a job for long time, sought compensation in making stage backdrops and curtains, in the tradition of Master Hussain Baksh Lahori, stationed in Calcutta. Roy Choudhury was doing same in Bombay, as his home city was not willing to patronize him. But all his portraits, including those of the women he makes, echoes his love for his wife, who stood by him in all his distress years. Frail and beautiful, while his men are lone and aggressively male, Roy Choudhury is a proud diamond in a stack of worthless stones.