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Art and Culture- Felicitation Volume in Honour of Professor S. Nurul Hasan

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Item Code: UAE110
Author: Ahsan Jan Qaisar and Som Prakash Verma
Publisher: Publication Scheme, Jaipur
Language: English
Edition: 1983
ISBN: 8185263825
Pages: 252 (Throughout B/w Illustrations with 4 Maps)
Other Details 11.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 1 kg
Book Description
About the Book
As a scholar of Medieval Indian History, Professor S. Nurul Hasan needs no introduction in India or abroad. His academic achievements and contributions are numerous. This volume is a token of gratitude on behalf of his students to their gum.

This is a thematic volume for which the contributors were requested to confine themselves to the following themes: (a) Art and Architecture; (b) Science and Technology, and(c) Cultural setup and Values.

The names of the contributors along with their contributions are given below: S. P.Gupta, A R. Khan and Deshraj Singh have projected the personality of Professor Hasan as a teacher in the form of homage/tribute; Ebba Koch, 'The Delhi of the Mughals Prior to Shahjahanabad as Reflected in the Patterns of Imperial Visits'; R.Nath,'The Mughal Institution of Jharokha'; S.Inayat A Zaidi and Sunita Zaidi, 'Conversion to Islam and Formation of Castes in Medieval Rajasthan'; A. K. Das,'The Problem of Authentic Portraits of Nur Jahan'; B. L. Bhadani, 'Characteristics and Social Mores of the Banias in Medieval India'; S.P. Verma, 'Origins of the Mughal .School of Painting'; Pushpa Prasad, 'Functions and Status of the Composers, Writers and Engravers-A Study Based on Epigraphs'; A Jan Oaisar, 'The Profane and the Sacred "Judgement of Paris" and "God The Father" in the Mughal School of Art'; I. H. Siddiqui, 'The Attitude of the Chishti Saints towards Women during the Thirteenth and Fourteenth, Centuries'; Madhu Trivedi, 'An Appraisal of the Musical Art at Shahjahanabad During the First Half of the Eighteenth Century'; I. G. Khan, 'Views of Abul Fazl on the "Birth" of' Metals'; Neelima Vashishtha, 'A Note on the Sculpture of the Raj Samudra Lake in' Rajasthan'; Ishrat Alam, 'New Light on Indigo Production Technology During the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries'; Rajeev Sharma and Syed A Nadeem Rezavi, 'Aspects of Hydraulic Engineering in Medieval Rajasthan : A Case Study of Water-system in Jaigarh Fort'; Mohammad Afzal Khan, 'The Mughal Elite, Their Building Activities and Cultural Values'; Mansura Haider, 'A Note on Women in Central Asia, 13th- 15th Century'; S.Liyaqat H. Moini, 'The Hindus and the Dargah of Ajmer, AD. 1658-1737: An Overview'; and A Jan Oaisar, 'The Craft of Gardening in Mughal Paintings: An Abstract'.

About the Authors
Ahsan Jan Oaisar (b.1933) is a product of the Aligarh Muslim University. At present he is Professor of Social and Cultural history in his alma mater. He has authored two books published by the Oxford University Press, New Delhi. The Indian Response to European Technology and Culture, A.D.1498-1707 (1982) and Building Construction in Mughal India-The Evidence from Paintings (1988). He has also published path breaking articles in many journals. Professor Qaisar has worked as a Visiting Fellow for one year at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (India) during 1974-5. He visited the U.K, on a Visiting Fellowship sponsored by the Indian Council of Historical Research (1977-8). Later, he worked at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) during 19~6-7 as a Fulbright Fellow.

Professor Som Prakash Verma (b.1942), an art historian, at present at the Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University, has two books and numerous articles to his credit. His Art and Material Culture in the Paintings of Akbar's Court published in 1978, may rightly be said to be the first authentic treatment of art as a source of history by an Indian scholar. His second work entitled Mughal Painters and Their Work is being published by the Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Essentially a descriptive catalogue, the book is also a critical reappraisal of the works of Mughal painters.

Professor Verma is a practicing artist as well. He is the recipient of two prestigious awards by the Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar ' (1981) and the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta (1982).

In 1986-7, he worked at the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, and Washington, D.C. as a Fulbright Fellow.

As a scholar of Medieval Indian history, Professor S. Nurul Hasan nee Is no introduction in India or abroad. Therefore, it- would be quite redundant if we start enumerating his academic achievements and contributions. On, the other hand, we are not at all interested in his political career. nor in his political status. To us, he is only a scholar, and, our teacher.

To put the record straight at the outset, the proposal to bring out a Festschrift in honor of Professor Hasan was first mooted by Professor S.P. Verma, who is now one of its editors.

His idea was undoubtedly appropriate and creditable since no one in the department, to the best of our information, had ever projected or conceived it. We mulled over the proposal instantly, actually at the very moment it was initiated. And, since we wanted to go full steam from the very first day, we settled over two basic decisions in respect of this volume.

First, we decided to request the contributors to confine themselves to the following themes: (a) Art and Architecture; (b) Science and Technology, and (c) Cultural set-up and Values. The second decision was that we would not accept articles presented earlier at any Seminar, Conference and Congress or previously mimeographed and distributed.

The reason for our first principle relating to themes was simple and pragmatic. Had we opened our volume to every kind of themes, we would have surely been drowned in the unmanageable flood of articles. Moreover, we did not want to brook unwarranted delay. The upshot is that it has evolved into a "thematic volume".

The second principle was fair and logical. If we really admire Professor Hasan and desire to pay our sincere homage to our teacher, then, we must insist that contributors should submit fresh articles, not stale ones or those with worn-out themes. Indeed, in the words of ,the poet Muhammad Iqbal, we should shed some khoon-ijigar.

We are grateful to all who, in appreciation of our proposal, responded warmly. Also, we understand the predicament of those colleagues who genuinely found it difficult to write an article within the matic constraints set by us. We sincerely apologize to them.

We thank Professor A.R. Khan (Shimla) for one important suggestion which lured us, and, which has been incorporated in the volume. We are extremely indebted to our colleague Dr B.L. Bhadani for something which we prefer not to reveal at this moment.

We do not know how to express our gratitude to our publisher Mr Siya Sharan Natani who took extraordinary interest in the publication of this anjali to Professor S. Nurul Hasan with incredible speed.

Before taking leave, it must be pointed out that diacritics have been dispensed with for reasons of economy and other considerations. For transliteration, Steingass's A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary has been often followed.

For Mughal historians, Mughal Delhi has always been synonymous with Shahjahanabad (founded in 1639). This is borne out even by the most recent publications on the subject.' Hardly any scholar in the field has given a second thought to the role Delhi played for the Mughals in the span of over a hundred years between Humayun's foundation of Dinpanah in 1533 and the year 1639 when construction was started on Shah Jahan's new city.? Whatever observations have been made on this point focus on the period of Humayun(1530- 43; 1555-56) and the young Akbar (1556-1605); and even there the availahle evidence has been only parity considered. J.F.Richards sums up the current view when he defines Akbar's relationship to Delhi only in the negative: "For two and a half centuries Delhi had been the unassailable redoubt... the seat of the Sultans of Hindustan. By moving first from Delhi to Agra, and later to his own capital at Fatahpur [sic] Sikri... Akbar" not only "reduced existing associations of legitimate ruler ship with Delhi" hut even "firmly broke with the Delhi-centered political tradition.'? To my knowledge, it was only G.D.Lowry who tried to show that there was more to 16th century Delhi than that: as part of his study on Humayun's tomb, he also attempted to reconstruct its surrounding urban landscape.'

One of the reasons for the scholarly neglect of pre- Shahjahanabad Mughal Delhi seems to be the fact that it features only marginally in the literary records of the period - whether from the pen of the Mughal writers or of foreign observers. When we ask why the 16th and early 17th century Delhi is so poorly documented, we have to take into account that - as has already been indicated above - the Mughals hardly ever resided there. Babur, the first Mughal ruler, established his headquarters at Agra, which had already been the capital of the later Lodis. When Humayun reconquered Hindustan in 1555; Delhi was an agglomeration of successive cities built since the end of the 12th century where in 1533 he himself had embarked on the construction of his own Dinpanah "over-built" in turn by the Suris. Delhi became Humayun's residence, but only for a brief period. After Humayun's untimely death in 1556, Akbar stayed at Delhi during brief spells in the early years of his reign. After that, the Mughal emperors resided mainly at Agra, Lahore or - in Akbar's case - at Fatehpur Sikri, as well as in their summer residence Srinagar in Kashmir. Consequently, these cities received the greater share of attention on the part of contemporary writers. However, the fact that the Mughals did not reside at dar al Mulk Dihli (Seat of the Empire) - as it continued to be officially known - does not necessarily imply that they no longer considered the old historical capital as a potent, political symbol to be taken into account in their definition as the rightful rulers of Hindustan. One also has to bear in mind that during long stretches of the period in question, the emperor and his court (who represented the central government) did not stay in any of the capital cities but moved about and then the capital was wherever the imperial camp happened to be. That means that whenever the court came to Delhi the "mobile Mughal capital" - an Akbari transformation of the nomadic encampment heritage of the Mughals into an elaborate imperial institution" - coincided for the duration of its stay with the ancient capital city styled by contemporary observers "the site of India's throne (pa-i takht Hindustani": and "the original home and source of the Mughal Monarchy."? To this highly charged conjunction of present mobile and ancient historical capital, the Mughal emperors responded in turn with a gesture congenial to their peripatetic style of rule, namely, by a perambulation of certain historical sites of Delhi. Although the descriptions of these imperial visits when seen in isolation provide only the most meager information, but taken together as pint of a whole body of related texts, they enable us to discern highly revealing patterns. An analysis of these hitherto unconsidered" imperial visiting patterns allows us to come closer to an understanding of what Delhi represented to the Mughal emperors, in particular to Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, before the latter established new permanent ceremonial and administrative Mughal headquarters there with the construction of his new capital Shahjahanabad.

II Babin's Visit to Delhi

The tradition of Mughal imperial tours of the greater urban area of Delhi was initiated by Babur. When Babur came to Delhi shortly after his victory at.Panipat in 1526 as the renew Timurid conqueror of the Delhi Sultanate, he "appropriated" its old capital by making a perambulation of what he apparently considered to be the most important of its historical sites:

After we ... had made the circuit of Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya's tomb we dismounted on the. bank of the Jaun (Jam una ] over against Dihli. That same night ... we made an excursion into the fort of Dihli and ... there spent the night ... Next day ... I made the circuit, of Khwaja Qutbuddin's tomb and visited the tombs and residences of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban and Sultan' Alauddin Khalji, his Minar, and the Hauz-Shamsi, Hauz-i Khas and the tombs and gardens of Sultan Bahlul and Sui tail Sikandar [Lodi). ... On Thursday we dismounted on the bank of the Jaun, over against Tughlukabad."

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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