AN ART FESTIVAL IN LAHORE AND JOURNALIST BILAL QURESHI,
A BOLD STEP OF INQUIRY TO ENTER A PARALLEL WORLD OF ART.
It amuses us that there is a world out there who can thrust their norms and thoughts into Pakistan, all with use of media and financial resources. And making a hype of it. There is a thousand years of history of Art in Lahore, but in the 20th century, it was M.A. Rahman Chughtai who put Lahore on the Art map of the world. It compelled Lionel Heath, Principal Mayo School of Arts, to call Chughtai Art a new and modern school of Art from Punjab. The affinity of M.A. Rahman Chughtai with Islamic renaissance and Pakistan, made these mimics of Art highly upset. All that most of these people could do was to mimic Western art movements and trying to proclaim it as their own. They lacked pride in their traditions, and even had snobbish disdain for our beloved country Pakistan. You see tirades against Dr Allama Iqbal, Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Asad, and G.A. Pervez all the time. None had the HIMAT to speak against M.A. Rahman Chughtai, for his brother shoved their ill thoughts into proper places. The challenge in front of me was greater in newer times but as artist Shahida Rahman vouched for us, that we stood the test of time. These foolish people should have known that Chughtai Art was too great a revolution in itself to be stifled by Art gimmickry in Pakistan.
We commend Bilal Qureshi for his bold step to embark upon his mode of enquiry, and he called with speculations rife in his mind. Our world is Art and that world is a world of peace. He told me that in Pakistan there are Art lobbies, and he asked about us. I said no lobby here, except the lobby of Pakistan itself. Who needs a lobby anyway? We are our own lobby, freedom and pride of being Pakistanis with us. A deliberate attempt is made in Pakistan to even isolate references about us. A foolish trial of literally foolish people. When the MOON shines, everybody sees it! The warmth of the SUN cannot be excluded from life. The radiance of M.A. Rahman Chughtai is all over Pakistan. And it is all over the world too. When a gallery will be opened on the Planet MARS, Chughtai Art will be represented there too. So stop the nonsense. Wake up. Yes 43 years after his death, Chughtai Art lives all the more! And we serve Pakistan and we serve the world. We are proud of our heritage and the legacy lives on. Thank you, Bilal, for giving us an opportunity to show you the other world.