THE THIRD PUBLICATION OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
VARIOUS EDITIONS OF CHUGHTAI’S PAINTINGS
MOST OF THEM OUT OF PRINT FROM A LONG TIME
The two publications, Murraqqa e Chughtai in 1928 and Naqash e Chughtai in 1935, brought a lot of fame for the artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai, both on National as well as International level. But both the first books had their origin in the Urdu language and there was required an English version for the world. After his tour of Europe in 1938, the artist came back with ideas to print a fresh book on his paintings, and it was done around 1939-40. The exact year possible cannot be determined for it is not printed on the book. The World war upset this publication and it is so rare, that hardly any one even knows about it. Even the Museum copy was obtained after a search of 37 years and it was found in the private library of a scholar of Peshawer.
The second edition was more widely distributed and can be found in old homes and old libraries but often not complete, with pictures torn by people over the times. The third edition was printed at the Print Printo Press (owned by the artist) in 1960 and went around, and sometimes copies do turn up, here and there. The final edition was printed later and is more found in the world.
All editions are different in some ways. Paintings got replaced with time, for the ownership changed in due course of the years. It is one book with a variety of printed works. But most of them are still same, with an Introduction by the lady of substance, Ms Razia Sirajuddin, wife of the famous Professor Sirajuddin, a friend of the artist. Dr James Cousen’s essay is in all editions.
Our effort is to acquaint people with the books of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. If you own one, do let us know. Some people talk about bringing new editions of Chughtai’s works. When the Government of Pakistan as well as the Provinces are zero interested in such projects, other publications get printed for political reasons and foreign funding to undo the Ideology of Pakistan. The books printed by M.A. Rahman Chughtai before partition were financial successes, but books printed after the birth of Pakistan, suffered financial losses for a variety of reasons. The cheating of publishing houses was also one of the main reasons. Book trade is a simple KICK BACKS trade like any other. No honest person can continue to indulge in it without suffering colossal losses. We pray for a corruption free Pakistan to usher in honest trading and living in the country.