FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ AND M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
POLES APART AND YET INTERACTIONS MANY
GEOGRAPHY VERSUS IDEOLOGY A DIVIDING LINE
M.A. Rahman Chughtai never became controversial ever. He was the greatest painter of the region of his times and the world had acknowledged that. But he was also a thinker, a philosopher, deeply ingrained in the teachings of the Holy Quran. About twenty years spent in the shadow of Dr Allama Iqbal, he could be nothing else. At those times even before primary school, children went to the mosque for Quranic education and Chughtai was a student of the Quran from day one. In fact his desire to be a Hafiz ul Quran like his elder brother Muhammd Hussain, could not be fulfilled in his life time., He had memorized the Quran, about half of it, but could not complete the venture as he was involved in so many other things. Pakistan, unlike others, was a dream come true for M.A. Rahman Chughtai.
Jawaharlal Nehru lured many Pakistanis towards India and some did migrate there after partition. Some had both feet in both areas. One foot there, one foot here. The feet of M.A. Rahman Chughtai was firmly implanted in Pakistan. It was a sad thing that controversy surrounded Faiz Ahmad Faiz in many ways. We need not comment on that for the present, but Faiz Ahmad Faiz was in Jail in Hyderabad Sind. No doubt about that. As he was in jail, M.A. Rahman Chughtai did not let him down, and wrote a letter to him. The reply, initially torn by Jail Authorities, and later sent to the artist. It is part of our many archives and we felt we could share that. M.A. Rahman Chughtai designed many dust covers of books of Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Known by some, not known to others. But this letter I do not think anyone has ever seen. We like to share it with the public. Writing a letter to a person in jail and designing his dust covers with obvious hints was not an easy task. It was an act of courage. And Chughtai naturally had it.
Lobbies try to project the image of the Intellectual as an incessant smoker and drinker. It is a proud fact to state that M.A. Rahman Chughtai, forgetting about alcoholic consumption, did not even touch a plain cigarette in his whole life time., His mind was free from the smoke of life. That is why he clearly saw Pakistan as the first step towards an Islamic State. Through peace be a mover and shaker of Pakistan was his goal in life, and he achieved that and remained free of any negative remarks about his life.
More on Faiz and Chughtai in other blogs