BASOHLI SCHOOL CONSIDERED THE FOUNDATION OF NEW HINDU ART
AND YET BASOHLI ITSELF FOUNDED BY MUGHAL ARTISTS ON DEPUTATION
Generally the British are accused of a DIVIDE an RULE policy, and there certainly can be truth in it. But this division could only be possible for there were two nations here, and however amicably rulers tried, the two nations remained as they were. Unwilling to sacrifice their way of life, one tried to amalgamate, the other did not. The classic analysis of Quaid e Azam remain unshaken to this day.
Last 200 years was spent by the two nations in not writing history, but rewriting history. In fact the Muslims, unlike their ancestors, had stopped bothering about history itself. The Hindu segment wrote their own versions of history and in that respect wrote their own version of the history of Art in this region. There is a dire need not only to rewrite history but to re=evaluate many things taken for guaranteed. The Western world itself is no longer free of bias. Abundant finances have rolled in the coffers of western art critics, for them to lose their independence in analysis.
The father of the new Art is considered to have started from Basohli School itself. Initially called a Pre-Mughal School, a Tibeti School, or even a Nepalese School, the critics are really silent for they really do not even know and do not want to give credit where it is really due. The subjects wear Mughal dresses, are in Mughal environment, but have an Identity all their own. Chughtai Museum has embarked upon a programme of WRITING THE HISTORY OF ART IN THE REGION. It s realized that the works lack inscriptions and when the inscriptions are there, the same are mostly written by Art dealers of Amritsar and Delhi. Till then enjoy Basohli School in Mughals connotations
THE ROMANCE AND POWER OF JULIANNA AT MUGHAL COURT
CHIEF OF HAREM FOR FOUR MUGHAL KINGS AND THEIR LADIES
ATTACHMENT TO LAHORE MISSED BY AL-MOST ALL HISTORIANS
In history we see record of various people and others go missing all the time. The story of JULIANNA is picked from various other sources, but not actually Mughal records. The reason cannot be understood but as she is very much in French Archives, there can be no doubt that she was a woman of great strength at Mughal Court. In an indirect way she was responsible for the attitudes of a lot of Mughal Princesses. In a civilization where actual Slaves became Sultans in this region, it is not surprising that a ten year old slave Portuguese girl won favour with the Mughals.
It is reputed that the army of Emperor Shah Jahan captured the port of Hughlee in Bengal in 1632 AD, and brought back various people from there. One such person was a ten year old girl, Julianna, who by her good luck, found favour with the Mughals and was sent to the Mughal harem. The Mughal ladies liked her very much, because unlike their own skin, this little girl had a very pale complexion. That she was favoured by many is beyond question. Those people who like to call Emperor Aurangzeb bigoted, it is an eye opener for them, that he liked Julianna so much, that he favoured her with Royal presents. In fact after the death of Prince Dara Shikoh, Aurangzeb gave the entire property of Dara Shikoh to Julianna. It is said that she resided in the Red Fort, but references to a Jesus Christ in Chuna and a cross at the Pari Mahal in Lahore of Nawab Wazeer Khan, suggests that even the Pari Mahal in Lahore was gifted to her. Also possibly the Ainah Khana of Prince Dara Shikoh at Lahore.
For a lady who attained the age of 82 years, Julianna saw many reigns within her life time and many Monarchs considered her like a mother. It is surprising that she did not marry a Mughal herself, and reputation is of her marrying an European surgeon n Delhi. Four Mughal rulers were personally indebted to her. And as she was in control of the Mughal harem, so many Royal ladies devoted to her too. Shame on such people who consider the Mughals as a bigoted lot. The audacity to consider Emperor Aurangzeb as bigoted should be stopped by this incident alone.
The palace of Dara Shikoh was burnt in 1739 AD By Nadir Shah, and then again by Suraj Mal in 1761 AD. Lady Julianna seems to have moved to Lahore and Lady Julianna hosted the Dutch Ambassador John Josua Ketelaar on his mission to Lahore. She showed him the Pari Mahal of Wazeer Khan, where Ketelaar discovered a huge representation of Jesus Christ in Albastar (chuna) there surrounded by Angels. It is understood that all properties of Dara Shikoh belonged to her and probably the Aineh Khana of Dara Shikoh in Lahore was hers too. Lost history!
Emperor Bahadur Shah created a new dignity for her and name the same as JULIANNA itself. It was the privileage of placing the golden crown on the head of the Emperor by Lady Julianna herself and after her death, her children would inherit that dignity. A Portuguese slave girl crowning the Emperor himself. AMAZING!
THE NAME AL-MUSSAWAR ONE OF THE 99 ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH
BOOK WITHIN FOR LIVING THINGS BOOK WITHOUT FOR HUMANS
The mating season has begun at Chughtai Museum. Various animals and birds are doing things by instinct. A Woodpecker couple was seen making their nest in a tree on Chughtai Museum. Amazed at the precision of same. Unbelievable at times. But that is the might of Allah Al-Mighty, the Mussawar of infinite qualities. For humans Allah has given us the instruction through the Quran, or the book outside us. That is why we have FREE WILL to choose our DESTINY. For other living beings the book is within, or instincts which govern every aspect of lives of animals, birds, insects and what not? The Quran vouches for life through out the universes, so ALIENS are there too. Of what kind, certainly not our imaginative things. But there! We are waiting to discover them eventually. If they are not human beings, then they work by instinct too. Allah O Akbar indeed!
AN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ROYAL ARCHITECT OF LAHORE
NAMELY USTAD ABDUR RAHMAN SON OF IBRAHEEM MIMAR
Hardly any names from this century known to us
Craftsmen were very fond of writing their own copies of Quran. Many Qurans of architects, artists, etc are known. Their trade delved in line work and calligraphy, and they learnt the same first hand at their homes and their tutors.
Very few names of architects of Lahore of the 18th century are known. This is unique copy of a golden Quran written at Darul Sultanat Lahore. The date is effaced or so, but it can easily be seen as that of being a MIMAR COPY of the Quran. We share unique images for the world related to the heritage of our city of Lahore. Ustad Abdur Rahman Mimar can be credited with the Mughal buildings of Lahore of this period, including the Golden Mosque of Lahore. Enjoy!
A TRADITION OF TOWERS IN ISLAMIC SOCIETY
THE MINARET OF MILL E QASIMABAD IN SEISTAN
The work of Sultan Tajuddin and his grandson
Seistan is a strange place. It is littered with ruins of Islamic civilizations. Various Sultan took control of it and then there were left only ruins of their civilization. Near the village of Qasimabad in Seistan stood a 120 feet high minaret of which only 75 feet were left hundred years ago. It is not known if it still stands today or not. In any case it was an outcome of the 80 years rule of Sultan Tajuddin Abu Fazl i Nasr who was a grand ruler of his time. He died in 559 AH. It was not completed within his reign. It was left to his grand son, also named Tajuddin Harah, to complete same. The grandson died in 612 AH. The tower was probably built between 1250 AD to 1300 AD. A systematic survey of it was undertaken by the British in 1872 AD.
All over the world minarets and domes define Islamic Architecture. But what is usually missed is that huge towers were also part of this urge to be seen from far away distance to announce the presence of Islam in that society. And this image of 19th century is a very rare image in itself.
A MESSAGE FOR MUSLIM EID BY A SIKH CALLIGRAPHIST OF LAHORE
AN UNKNOWN PERSONALITY ATTACHED TO THE MUGHAL COURT
Who has heard of Nidhan Singh? From the writing, it seems 18th century, and from the naqashi in silver, means poor times. It is probably the late period, something like 1740 to 1780 AD. Perhaps less or more. The client is Muslim, or the audience Muslim. It is worth of translation. It talks of a LORI and travel on the Prophet’s (PBUH) horse BURAQ, and also about enemies, and what not? Probably Nidhan Singh was also a poet in Persian.
We know nothing about him. We own the qita. Perhaps it was given to one of our elders by a Sikh friend of those times. Rejoice in breaking barriers!
CONFUSING THE IDENTITY OF MALIKA BILQUIS BY DOUBT
EVEN PUTTING A QUESTION MARK ON HAZRAT SULAIMAN
Conspiracy of questioning immortality of Quranic revelations
Solomon and Sheba we hear again and again. That is Hazrat Sulaiman and Malika Bilquis. Our revelations come from the Quran itself. Not an iota of doubt about such facts. The story of Sheba is also written on stones preserved in pyramids and their culture. It is a modern thing to put doubts on all narratives by speaking of no evidence. And even when evidence is found, putting a doubt on that too.
Researchers have pointed out the possibility of Sheba being African and traced her descent to areas in Africa itself. We will present a detailed blog about it. Her arrival at the Court of Solomon is mind boggling, with the gifts she brought for him. Not only were the same of material worth, but she also brought trees of various fruits for him. He made her walk on a mirror before him, and was able to see her without her knowing about it. Very interesting!
THE KHANA KAABA OF MUSLIMS AND THE TABERNACLE OF JEWS,
A LOT IN COMMON IN VISUAL IMPETUS AS WELL AS IN MEANING
Yahwah, the proclaimed God of the Jews, spoke to Prophet Moses, and instructed for a house to be built for Him. As the Jews were not permanently settled, it was to be a mobile home, and it was called as the House of God. Complete details of same are available in the Hebrew Bible, and we need not recite the obvious. Suffice that Prophet Ibraheem (Blessings of Allah) was also asked to construct a House of Allah, and was a fixed one and called the Khana Kaaba. Destroyed many times with time, as well as fires and floods and other factors, it has a lot in common with the Tabernacle of the Jews.
A TENT OF MEANING and a HOUSE OF ALLAH speak of similar background. The Quran is full of praise for Prophet Moses (Blessings of Allah) and we respect him as one of our own Prophets. It is strange that our illustrious brothers, the Jews, do not consider our version of same. For them the PROMISED LAND is the one they want to force themselves on, and to build the Temple of Solomon. Hazrat Sulaiman is of course our Prophet too. In historical accounts a lot of Jews embraced Islam and even those who did not, co-existed with Muslims happily for centuries. A word of advise for our Jew friends. Perhaps the Promised land would be there’s after all, when they finally realize that Islamic way of life is that of Allahs (and Ell their name for God). They do not realize that one day they will too become Muslims. It would be the start of a new ERA for humankind. Ameen!
THE MANY SIKH FRIENDS OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
LOVING PUNJABI BROTHERS IN ART AND LITERATURE
Around 1920 M.A. Rahman Chughtai got typhoid fever and a stage came when all hope was being lost. It was suggested that he should go to Kashmeer for recovery. In Simla a Sikh Doctor used to come on horseback to treat him. Later on it was found that the Sikh Doctor was instructed by Bhai Vir Singh to treat Abdur Rahman Chughtai. In Simla a meeting of Sikh friends took place, which included Joginder Singh, Dr Thakur Singh, and Sunder Singh Majeetha in praise of the Art of M.A. Rahman Chughtai.
In 1951 Jawahar Lal Nehru instigted the publication of CHUGHTAI INDIAN PAINTINGS. Sardar Kashmira Singh of Khalsa College Amritsar wrote an introduction to it. A beautiful analysis of his works.
Without going into details right now, suffice that in the advent of M.A. Rahman Chughtai struggle for Art his Sikh Punjabi friends were hand in hand with him. We praise their love for the artist. More later!
A MUGHAL DOOR STILL STANDING IN THE CITY,
THE GRAND TRADITION OF THE CITY OF LAHORE
Lahore is full of surprises. But in the wrong hands and the commercialization process, things are really going wrong. A number of Afghans have actually bought most of the inner city and bureaucracy is helpless in front of their hoarded wealth and plans. But the face of Old Lahore still comes out here and there.
There are many houses with old door in them still standing. Many are of British period and some of the Sikh period. Hardly any of the Mughal period or the Ghaznavid Seljuk period. Although some of them still survive to this day in collections. Here is one not only with Mughal engraving but also a Shikar gah on them. Exquisite. The owners refuse to entertain people for it. The most beautiful carved doors were of Jahangeer’s mausoleum but somebody stole them. Maybe we see them one day somewhere in Afghanistan.
The interesting part is that wooden doors of Delhi are quite different from wooden doors of Lahore. Else where city culture reflects aesthetics. Compare Aurangabad, Delhi and Lahore. Different doors but vision same. A blog on Ghaznavid doors is due!