KARAVAN ANNUALS 1933 AND 1934 THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS ART CRITICISM
IN URDU LANGUAGE BY M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI AS REAL BOLD INITIATIVE
Professional Art writings come to our National language by Niazmandan Lahore.
The love for Urdu language was phenomenal in Lahore, representing Punjabi writers who preserved and promoted the language. There was hardly anything here related to Art in our National language. M.A. Rahman ChughtaI felt the need to break this barrier. The idea of an annual magazine was formed and it was given the name of KARAVAN by M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Not only did he design the cover of same, he collected most of the material that was to be used in the same. Most of it was in his archives. He gave the task of editing this annual to his friend Dr Muhammed Deen Taseer. The annual was a stupendous success in the art and literary world.
Dr Muhammed Deen Taseer declined to do the next year annual unless he was paid a stipulated sum well in advance. (Letters in our archives). The artist was not in a financial position to so. When Taseer declined, he convinced his friend of long standing, Colonel Majeed Malik to do the same for him. The second Annual was edited by Majeed Malik Sahib, a friend whose loyalty to the artist was unquestioned under all times. Again it was much appreciated by all.
The annual could have continued for a long time but there were no financial resources for same. It was designed and published at a grand scale. Anything else was not conceivable. One thing the annual Karavan did was to bring Dr Allama Iqbal back into writing in the Urdu language. Dr Iqbal had shifted to Persian language and was not inclined towards Urdu in any way. The three Chughtais and Dr Muhammed Deen Taseer convinced Dr Allama Iqbal to write a verse for them in URDU for the annual. Dr Iqbal finally succumbed to their demand and wrote some verses in Urdu. Designed by Chughtai, the verses were published in the 1933 annual, setting a new trend for Dr Iqbal’s writing. We reproduce those verses here for those who did not know about that. In short the two annuals of KARAVAN were trend setters of their times.