THE SIKH CONNECTION OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
BHAI VIR SINGH AND SARDAR PURAN SINGH’S NARGAS
Ernest Rhys early tribute to M.A. Rahman Chughtai
There was a clash of interests between Hindu Bengal and Muslim Punjab. The Sikh community was attracted to all things Punjabi and hence supported M.A. Rahman Chughtai in letter and spirit. A lot of influential literary figures of Sikh community were in touch with M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Sardar Puran Singh was a great expert on Omar Khayyam and had seen the first published image of Chughtai Artist in Modern Review Calcutta in 1917. Puran Singh visited the house of M.A. Rahman Chughtai and together they visited the house of the Punjabi poet, Baba Hiyadat ullah of Chabuk Sawaran Lahore. The talk related to Heer Ranjha epic, as written by Baba Hiyadat ullah himself. Talks were also conducted on Omar Khayyam.
Sardar Puran Singh translated the work NARGAS by Bhai Vir Singh into English and it was published in England in 1924. It was illustrated with a painting by M.A. Rahman Chughtai. This work is closely knitted to another similar work by the artist which was exhibited at Lahore Museum in 1920 and bought by the Nawab of Bhawalpur for his palace in Bhawalpur. Sold by his heirs and it is some where in the West now.
The book is a living testimony of interfaith relations of those times.