It is very romantic to speak of the twin cities of Lahore and Kasur and link them to perhaps two brothers Loh (actually Lava) and Kasu (actually Kusa), son of the legendary god Ram Chandar of Hindu religion. Certainly Loh is remembered as the son of Ram Chandar, but little is known of a brother Kasu. This Lahore idea was first floated by a Hindu writer Munshi Sujan Rai perhaps in 1691 AD (the amazing fact is that no old manuscript is known, and when it covers 40 years of Aurangzebs reign, all manuscripts have date of death of Aurangzeb too (years later), and the earliest manuscript is dated 1168 AH or 1754 AD and even that has some missing and replaced pages, and even more amazing of the five manuscripts known, not one has his name in it) in Khulasatul Tawareekh, as compared to simple statement of Lahori writer Ahmad Zanjani in Tuhfa Sawaleen in 1043 AD (648 years previous) which ridicules this conjecture. But nowhere was mentioned that his Mandir exist in the Lahore Fort. No mention of same even with Kanhaiya Lal in 1884, and up to the best of my knowledge it was Judge Muhammed Latif in 1892 AD, who narrated the existence of Mandir, and speaks of it being in a deep hollow which is descended by wooden stairs. Or rather ladder if you call it. Not very clear really. Made to mention but no image in his book.
A startling narration is done by Munshi Muhammed Din Fauq in his book Aed i Mughlia Lahore published in 1927. He says that the Hindu lobby represented by Sanatan Dharm Yudal Saba communicated (for some period) with the British authorities in Lahore and as a result of their pressure the Superintendent Archaeology accompanied them to a supposed site of the Mandir. The Sanatan Dharm members were present when they visited the site on 11th December, 1923. Nothing was visible. Digging was proposed. It was found that under two feet of a debris a gumband could be seen and the area was ordered to be cleared and the surface floor reached, which was on level with the ground of Hazuri Bagh. But the startling find on 13th December, was different in all ways. Remains of a GIANT of a person were discovered in it. It was a person much larger than the present generation. Fingers of the hands were discovered which were so large as to be unbelievable. Very sharp teeth were discovered there too. It was the grave of a giant. Sanatan Dharm people were of the view that the bones were of Loh, son of Ram. The Archaeology department could only say that these were Pre-Bhuddist era bones. But what about the architecture of the structure itself.
It was certainly not a prehistoric structure and nor one could call it a Neanderthal grave. It was a combination of Sikh and British architecture for the various bricks used were of Sikh and British period. The Dome was naturally a poor fluted melon dome of the late Sikh period.It was so small in structure with a circular window on opposite end that it actually looked merely like a small well. The depth of the inside was not comprehended, and the inside floor was closed too. No one could enter it nor lit anything over it. No lingam there. It had no match with any Mandir in the world. But it was asserted as Mandir of Loh, thousands of years old. The structure was not even 150 years of age. Everybody wanted to jump to their own conclusions. The pressure of international lobby of Sanatan Dharm, founded by Bhadashi Maraj in Trinidad and Tobago in 1881, was very evidently there. The Hindu lobby was asserting itself.
A little nearby on the same line is the famous MAZAR OF NAU GUZZA LAHORE. It is certainly that the British after the war of independence of 1857, restructured the whole place. The whole area witnessed breaking of walls and making of new walls for security of British troops. A gate of Lahore Fort which came in and housed the commiserate godown closed for ever. In fact the whole wall was broken and made again. Excavations point out Mughal structures even below the surface of Loh Mandir. Very recently a wall came out with a continuous mihrab design of red in white background and pointed out past structures as this was a kind of arena. Or perhaps the Bagh of Nau-guzza. Nobody thought of linking this site with the grave of the Nau guzza. There was a bagh here in which this so called mandir (looks more like a water well, gurki water disposal, or a corner minar for a guard) stood on one end and the other other end is the Mazar of Nau guzza (now outside the Fort walls). It can all be related so easily in reality by even any nincompoop. Here we have accomplished persons making guesses and claims outrageous.
Where did the bones go? Perhaps preserved by the Archaeology department. Perhaps taken by Sanatan Dharm people. No one knows. A look at the newspaper of those times may reveal a lot of things. The Mazar of Nau-guzza has changed over the times too. Only a small portion is left by now. It blocked the road leading to Pani da talab. And there was a trough of water for the horses built by the municipal corporation. We have written a complete book on the Nau-guzzas for the first time ever. The details are fantastic. An iconic image recovered from the depths of Lahore all the time point out the giants, and with a familiar head dress on its head, it surely has Arabic and Egyptian background. Jewish and Islamic history recalled here. Genesis points out the expulsion of giants from the holy land, from where they fled to other areas in the East. But this is a blog only. More research will come eventually!
SECRET LOBBIES HAUNT ANYONE WITH LOVE FOR PAKISTAN
SEASONAL INFO GATHERERS SURROUND US ALL THE TIME
At what time do you feel disgusted? You have a legacy of Love for Pakistan, an endless belief in the Ideology of Pakistan, you do not spare the archaic Mullah nor the bigoted Secular, you thrive on the Iqballian dream, you have an impeccable record of love for Pakistan, and you make a bullshit out of those who can even try to shift your views in any way. You are Pakistan personified, and you defend your country in all ways.
Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan got invitations from USA and USSR. He neglected USSR and opted for USA. A magnificent man ended up losing his life in a conspiracy. M.A. Rahman Chughtai got an invitation in the early years of Pakistan from USA and USSR. He chose none, but Pakistan. But he was open to all. Friends to all, enemies of none. Keeping his views Intact. And yet there were iconic poets, who could shift their views in the blink of an eye. They were made godfather offers, which they could not refuse. Faces receive mask of real ‘lanats’ when they sell their souls.
Keeping the ‘string’ of the link with Allah intact at all times is the key to survival, and knowing that the Law of Mukufat will eventually work in the end. Info-gatherers work on the belief that there are always skeletons in the cup board and the same can be used to blackmail people. I remember the story of a French Ambassador in USSR who was filmed in a James Bond way, for compliance, and flew straight to General De Gaulle and told him everything, not giving a f**k for those exploiting him. This is disgusting and yes, we feel disgusted too. But so what? We love Pakistan, and Pakistan will triumph in all ways. Wait and see!
THE RAVAGES OF WAR ENGENDER THE REALIZATION FOR PEACE
ISLAMIC ARTS HAVE IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND TO STOP CHAOS
SOOTHING THE TIRED NERVES OF HUMANKIND FOR HARMONY
The principles of Allah made life in extremes. Absolute good as well as absolute evil. The granting of freedom of choice for humankind was to conquer evil and generate goodness all over the world. Obviously the task was never easy but Allah promised to test each individual according to his capacity. No more, no less. One of the instruments to conquer negative thoughts was culture itself. The belief that man is harassed in life and when man comes near culture, it should soothe his over tired body and soul and makes him a finer person.
Islamic culture is composed of facets to minimize chaotic feelings in human beings. Our Quran Hakeem starts with the gateway of “Al-hamd-o-lilah”, and it is an appreciation of the proportionate life that Allah has created, and it goes on to say that we are expected to follow that path, which leads us to “Siraat-ul-mustaqeem”. The proportionate perfect life of existence. It is aesthetics which helps us to balance things in life. Everything in Islamic culture takes us towards peace, and Islam means peace itself.
Take music for instance. Sometimes back the frequency of music was changed, and it was music to excite us with foolish sounds meaning nothing. The noble sentiments of songs were replaced by banter, chaotic noises, and sexual innuendoes. Intermixed with pelvic thrusts, the whole meaning of music was lost, as well as the sentiments of love and compassion. Even today, old songs, where ever the same may be from, are so soothing to listen in appreciation. The same carry no subliminal messages or threats. Glorification of human feelings.
Islamic Art and Architecture have same role to play in our life. It has tranquilizing effect on us. The Art of M.A. Rahman Chughtai is about peace too. It is there to calm and soothe us, and make us better human beings. There is no gimmicks here of any kind, just pure line and poignant colour to refresh us. Chughtai art is synonymous with peace. It is tranquility personified in all ways. Visitors access Chughtai art and feel so much at peace. It engenders the finest in us. These narratives of every day a doomsday and hopelessness are satanic in nature. Live your life. Lahori says we are a city of zinda dalans.
THE PROVERBIAL ICON OF LAHORE M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI,
MISSED MENTIONS ARE DELIBERATE OR MERE IGNORANCE
Ms Tania Qureshi is an esteemed lady, writing about Lahore and fresh to this complicated field. We have always found her responsive to new information. Some time back she wrote an article on Kocha Chabuk Sawaran Lahore and mentioned many residents there. But missed mentioning the most famous resident of that Kocha, that is artist Khan Bahadur M.A. Rahman Chughtai. It was very surprising for us. But a day or two back, a new article on important people of Lahore and again name of Chughtai is not there. Obviously if we write a letter to the editor today, editorial people have no room for putting such facts down. I personally think Ms Qureshi is well informed and that there is some bigoted editorial assistant who is allergic to Chughtai artist.
M.A. Rahman Chughtai is no ordinary citizen of Lahore. It is a Lahori family from more than 400 years. Chughtai was born in in Lahore on 21st September, 1897, and died in Lahore on 17th January, 1975, and lived his entire life in this city. He put Lahore on the Art map of the world again. This is Chughtai’s Lahore, who put the word CHUGHTAI ART in the Urdu Encyclopaedia. We can say a thousand things, but one is enough. This is injustice to the memory of an icon of Pakistan and also an icon of the Art world. We are there to correct wrong.
THE NEW BREED OF CULTURAL TERRORISM
REVITALIZE DEAD CULTURE NOT LIVING ONE
THE ENIGMA OF THE PAKISTANI MORON
In 1947 the name of M.A. Rahman Chughtai was the most respectable name in the Art in the Indian region. All recognized it. India did not want to let Chughtai go and tried their best to shift him to India. The artist was Iqballian and knew the PAKISTAN IDEA well, having been with Dr Allama Iqbal for nearly twenty years. But that is a different story. The choice of Pakistan was as natural to Chughtai as anything else.
M.A. Rahman Chughtai was speaking to an audience at Alhamra and whereas many were listening to him, there were others who were sent to needle him. A stupid paid moronic jerk got up and claimed that his Art was not Pakistani Art but Indian Art. He asked Chughtai simply WHAT WAS THE NAME GIVEN TO YOUR ART BEFORE PARTITION? Not to be needled by such morons, Chughtai reply was simple, CHUGHTAI ART. The man who traced his descent from artists and architects of Central Asia, Herat and Turkey, to make and align him with Hindu Art was a ridiculous question. All done with purpose.
Governor General Ghulam Muhammed joined the frey of saboteurs by inaugurating the exhibition of M.A. Rahman Chughtai at Karachi in 1952 and then advising the artist to SHUN THE PAST AND COME INTO THE FUTURE. He was red faced when he saw the subjects of the paintings. Most modern subjects of Pakistani girls, hostels and college compounds. He should have drowned himself there and then in a cup of water, as traditions demand. Why were such things being said? For a want of better word, we can simply say it was CULTURAL TERRORISM to deviate Pakistan away from the Idea of its inception.
Could any power on Earth have deviated Chughtai from his mission of National Identity! Of course not. But morons keep on trying, for they are paid to do so, and they know their next bottle of alcohol would come from such tainted money. And then these rats would pretend to roar like lions.
In our 43 years of struggle we too faced such imbeciles. A famous poetic icon suggested to the Chief Minister Punjab, to cognize that we were not in a strong position and to FINISH US BEFORE WE GAINED ANY STRENGTH. The man went to the grave with his mission to undo Chughtai unrealized and his family keeps his mission alive. But they too realize by now. It was not done and it cannot be done. For we were standing not on a tempest torn sea, but granite blocks of National Identity based on Islamic values. My mother used to recite her favourite verse to me:
AAY THAY JO SANG RAH BAN KAR,
SUB UR GAYE BARG KA BAN KAR.
She always told me be strong, no power on earth can topple you in your tracks. I never faltered. When doubt tried to touch me, the spirit of my mother regained my composure. With such prayers with me, who could stop me? And why? We are in the best interest of Pakistan and we subscribe to an Islamic Pakistan based on Quranic values. Pakistan Forever!
THE BEAT OF CURRENCY WARS BEING FELT IN LAHORE
OBVIOUSLY OUR ART AND CULTURE WILL SUFFER MOST
The company Daewoo was in full swing in Lahore some years back. The owner’s son had died in a car crash in Korea and his mother vowed to keep his memory alive by building a museum in his name. In that respect a Director of Daewoo Korea called on me and we had a straight forward discussion. We talked of his country and ours. He told me that we were very lucky and they were not. In times of war they had no access to food and that is why they lost the war. He told me you have all kind of eating things with you. You can survive any catastrophe. I was amazed at his analysis. Many years back I was attending a course on Economic and the Professor Charles Ratcliffe simply said that they have put a value on human life, and that they do dump wheat in the sea to stabilize market prices and they cannot afford to give this as gift to under privileaged countries as in starving Africa. The result is obvious.
The Quran tells us that Allah will not allow any other system to prevail for long and capitalism is a rebellion against Allah. It was obvious that Communism collapsed and as it was not in accordance with Divine principles. And that the turn of Capitalism would come. We knew it all along and now the internet and rumours mongering is all full of the collapse of intentional monetary system. Should it scare us here in Lahore? An etching by M.A. Rahman Chughtai, namely Dead Shrines tells us the story of wealth.
There are good hard working people all over the world. And that is not true for any single place. Humans know the value of toil. Whether it is Americans, Russian, Chinese or anybody else. Value of hard work is recognized. See the etching by M.A. Rahman Chughtai, namely Kashmeeri Woodcutter. It is hard work personified with dignity of the woodcutter. Nothing like caste, colour, creed or gender comes here. But there are those like King Midas (a great number of our politicians and anchors) with greed running through their DNA and blood. People who like to amass wealth with even realizing that it does nothing for them beyond a certain amount. These people have a lot to worry now.
Currency wars are coming to our country. It is not the Midas who will survive. It will be the hard workers who will continue to work with resilience to carve out a new and peaceful tomorrow.
A VIDEO ON THE MAUSOLEUM OF SUFI SAINT IN LAHORE FORT
FOR THOSE WHO HAD NO ACCESS TO SAME IN RECENT TIMES
Prince Dara Shikoh son of Shah Jahan claims that Hazrat Ali Hujweri is buried in the Lahore Fort. He saysthat he had a beautiful white chaste marble sarcophagus made on it. His munshi Chandar Bhan Brahman goes further and claims that the mausoleum was built all new.
Chandar Bhan Brahman, Munshi of Prince Dara Shikoh visited Lahore on leave of absence from the Emperor and mentioned various things. Originally from Lahore himself, he even had his own house here. The first thing he did here was to visit the Mausoleum of Ali Hujwiri for spiritual blessings. And about the Mausoleum complex of Hazrat Ali Hujwiri in Lahore, he says:
“Even though there are yearly and monthly impromptu performances throughout the city’s precincts, especially at the tombs and shrines of the giants along the path of esoteric Truth (buzurgan i rah i haqiqat), the Thursday gatherings at the blessed tomb of that knower of mystical stages, Pir Ali Hujwiri, creates an especially remarkable commotion. Darwishes and other free spirits, literati, poets, and all manner of people gather there to observe the spectacle of Divine Creation.”
No mention of general public, but Chandar Bhan Brahman goes on to say another remarkable thing. He reports that one Ishwar Dass, the Minister of Architecture “had demonstrated his great competence and excellent taste with respect to every heavenly building”. An Hindu administrator for upkeep of every Mughal monument in Lahore, and as a consequence not only the upkeep but the making of these complexes with excellent taste, including the Tomb complex of Pir Ali Hujwiri. In other words Prince Dara Shikoh had Ishwar Dass make the entire Tomb complex of Pir Ali Hujwiri and overhauled it, and as Dara Shikoh himself says, that he gave it a chaste white marble sarcophagus for same. In other words we can think of that white marble sarcophagus in line of tombs like Emperor Jahangeer as well as that of Tomb of Sahib Jamal (Anarkali). But for a Prince to change a sarcophagus only, was obviously not enough. Surely he had the building of the Mazar made again, or even relocated at some place.
Unfortunately the place for all this is not specified in any way. If a Mughal Tomb complex was designed in the 17th century, where is it now? Where is the grave stone of same? Disappeared in thin air. Although according to Mufti Ghulam Sarwar 2000 buildings in Lahore disappeared under the Sikh rule here, and a number of Mazars are recorded as having suffered the same. But Ranjit Singh was enamoured with Pir Ali Hujwiri. In fact three visits (1833, 1837, 1838) are on record, and he presented Rs 125 as ardas for the beggars and friars of the complex, along with amounts for Chajju Bhagat complex, and Mastan Shah. He is recorded as having prostrated at the grave at one time. One of his wife had even repaired the complex on her own.
But things get more interesting in the next year 1839. There was a need to rebuild the Gates and for added protection trenches outside the gates were to be made. A need was felt to clear the Bhatti Gate area. Outside Bhatti Gate was the area and mohalla of another famous Sufi of Lahore, that is Syed Shah Sharaf, on which was the mausoleum and mosque of that saint too. The mohalla was not that populated in Sikh times, and it was decided to clear the Bhatti Gate area, so both the mausoleum and Mosque of Syed Shah Sharaf were demolished under the orders of Ranjit Singh himself. Faqeer Aziz uddin was given the task of taking the body out of the learned Syed and then reburying it in the Hata of Haji Muhammed Saeed in Dulla Wari area, where the body is still there under a small construction.
In same year (after death of Ranjit Singh) orders were given by Kharrack Singh to vacate all areas within half a mile distance from the Gates and Wall of Lahore (one does not know how many came under the demolition drive, probably many), and as a result orders were also given to demolish the mausoleum and mosque of Shah Muhammed Ghaus Qadri outside Delhi Gate Lahore. An European Delaurax dismantled the mosque and started with the mausoleum. There was a huge hue and cry in the city (strange for Shah Ghaus and not for others), and it is reputed that Kharrack Singh died that very night. And people believed that it was the spiritual might of Muhammed Ghaus which did the same. But all this gives us no view about the Hujwiri quarters in Lahore. The same is also very near Bhatti Gate, and it is probable that this too was cleared. What happened?
Graves relocation is normal in history. It happened with Shah Bilawal of Shah Jahan’s time, too. When the present site of Pir Ali Hujwiri was made recently (only a few years back), a number of graves of holy men were dismantled and relocated elsewhere, and the whole process was done in the night. A number of graves within the site were just cleared and the tombstones sold in the market. How sad that how ruthless can administrators become? No compassion anywhere. But so many other mazars were cleared during the night, ruthlessly. Nothing seems to have changed. Ruthlessness has no religion.
The mystery deepens. Dara Shikoh mentions the grave of Pir Ali Hujwiri in the Lahore Fort. Chandar Bhan Brahman mentions a Tomb complex somewhere. A proper mausoleum made about 1861 (and remade over time) exists to this day. What are the secrets of Pir Ali Hujwiri? Only time will tell or it will never be found. No one really knows! I have seen manuscripts written at the tomb of Pir Ali Hujwiri, and two of them are in our library, one 17th century, and the other 18th century, but again no area is given in the colophon. One of them is by the Mujawir of the complex. Till something comes up, nothing definitely can be said by anyone. Speculation cannot be enough.
But that is a theory only. Research may bring more facts. But complexity remains. Obviously such mischief is left out of the pages of history.
WESTERN EXPERTS LACK EVEN BASIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CHUGHTAI ARTIST
COUPLED WITH ARROGANCE NOT TO CONSULT THE SOURCE OF THE ARTIST
We come across references in Western sources including so called auction circles PROVENANCE statements , and what can we say? An auction coming up in September narrates the presence of M.A. Rahman Chughtai in San Francisco. One can die laughing but we are not amused. M.A Rahman Chughtai visited Europe by ship in 1931 and 1938 and that is on record. Except for a couple of trips to India as well as one to Hyderabad Deccan, and two trips to East Pakistan, he went nowhere else. Around 1951 he was given a grant to lecture at Columbia University in USA but he never accepted that offer. So factually he never went back to Europe or that he ever visited USA. The reference of a meeting to someone with the artist in San Francisco is TOTALLY WRONG. So the provenance is not known or perhaps contrived by someone. We do not know! Anyway check the reference yourself and to read about his foreign trips read and down load EAST MT WEST from our blog and check this direct:
Property from the collection of a friend of the artist, who met Chughtai at a reception in San Francisco and fostered a friendship with him through exchanges of art books for his paintings
Bequeathed to a Canadian private collector by the above
Christie’s New York, 21 September 2005, lot 256
Acquired from the above by the present owner
THE PHENOMENA OF HORSES IN INDO-PAKISTANI REGION
AND HARDLY USED BY HINDUS AND JAINS IN WAR AND LIFE:
IMAGERY OF ELEPHANTS AS HINDU GODS AND IN BATTLES
A study of Elephants and horses in this region is like a study of the two nation theory. The history of horses in this region is an uncharted territory. Some people have written about ancient horses. The Hindu epic Mahbharata mentions horses but as sacrificial animals. And relate them to Bhadeswar, historically known as Bhadvarti. History speaks of a shipwrecked Ismaeli ship in the coast of Rann of Kutch and the survival of seven thoroughbred horses. From these horses sprung the lineage of all thorough bred horses in the region. This reference is more than a 1100 years old. It is strange that in a Surya temple the figure is repeated as Surya the Sun rides a chariot driven by seven horses. That is:
“The iconography of Surya in Hinduism varies with its texts. He is typically shown as a resplendent standing person holding lotus flower in both his hands, riding a chariot pulled by one or more horses typically seven. The seven horses are named after the seven meters of Sanskrit prosody: Gayatri, Brihati, Ushnih, Jagati, Trishtubha, Anushtubha and Pankti.”
Seven a magic word. Strange that the ship wrecked horses were also seven.
The legend was so true that even courtier Abu Fazl in times of Emperor Akbar tells us about the same. And there is no doubt that Ismaelis loved horses, and they happily co-existed with Hindus and Jains as seen in the ruined city of Bhadeswar itself, where mosques and temples exist side by side.
But a study of major battles in the region show that Hindus preferred fighting on elephants and the Muslims loved to fight on horse backs. The fight of Muhammed bin Qasim and Raja Dahir was between elephants and horses. Research work is all possible on this aspect of history. Even the Central Asian Mongols invaded this region on back of horses. And this applies to most of the entrance of fighters to the region, including Ghaznavids, Tughlaqs, Lodhis, Mughals and Durranis. Strange that we hear of horses being used as sacrificing animals in Bhadeswar etc, and the strange part is that sculptures exist of Hindu rajas having sex with horses and these are there is famous temples. That is around 1250 AD, or about 800 years ago. Some images are included but cut to preserve sanctity of our writing. Check original on link:
The foreigners preferred horses for agility and speed of traveling. The Hindus preferred elephants for their might and relative safety for ground fighting. It is also related to class consciousness. On horseback all fighters fought on egalitarian footing, while on elephants the riders were in fact sitting on an upper strata of things. Class consciousness in reality! No comradeship there. In any case horse history is worthy of extensive research.