A HINDU FRIEND OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
RAVISHANKAR RAVAL THE ARTIST FROM GUJARAT
The name of M.A. Rahman Chughtai swept over Hindustan and where there was opposition, there was also abundant love from other persons. Ravishankar Rawal, the famous artist from Bhavnagar Gujarat was eager to meet Chughtai the artist. A visit happened to Chughtais home in Lahore, and it was in June, 1939. Rawal Sahib made a sketch of Chughtai asrtist there and then, and it was Chughtai who signed it both in English and Urdu. This happened on 28th June, 1939, at the new residence of the artist.
“Ravishankar Raval was born on 1 August 1892 in Bhavnagar (now in Gujarat, India). His father Mahashanakar Raval was an officer in the British Communication Service. He spent his childhood in several towns as his father was transferred from one place to another. He wrote that he inherited his artistic instincts from his mother. He graduated from high school in 1909. During his first university year, at the local Arts College, his principal asked him to paint the stage sets for the college drama festival. He advised him to join arts by his Parsi professor Sanjana who was pleased with his artistic skills. Against his fathers non-approval, he joined Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay. He was trained under Cecil Burns, the principal of J. J. School.”
Bombay had no issue with Chughtai Sahib and the art of Chughtai was exhibited in Bombay many times and many collectors there collected Chughtai Art. One can only wonder if the sketch exists at anyplace. Obviously Chughtai presented his works to Rawal Sahib. Two civilizations sharing Art generate peace for each other. But one thing new happened. Rawal Sahib left the old realistic School and joined the Indian Art movement and it was perhaps Chughtai Art which brought him there.