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Shawwaal 1, 1438





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Architectural Style





The mausoleum of the Quaid is the first of the kind built in Pakistan. It derives its general inspiration from the Islamic architecture of the past tradition, but it is not a reproduction of any past model. The inspiration can further be particularised as originating from the Indo-Muslim style, and it can be illustrated by the battered walls, geometric patterns of the screens, floral carving on marble grave covers, the delicate craftsmanship in silver and copper, and above all the technique of marble laying and dome construction on high drum. Yet the facilities of reinforced concrete and cement have given an advantage to the modern architect to vary the traditional design, construct a massive tomb chamber with highly exaggerated tall walls and take in the dome without undue emphasis on the phase of transition. But again he uses the old device for breaking the mass of the structure by providing tall arched ways on the four sides. His originality is also seen in giving corner projections above the parapet line, which serves no other purpose but to break the monotony of the horizon and at the same time to reduce the heaviness of the monument before one could adjust the high dome on drum. All these architectural devices are trickeries of the architect to make home his real concept of a grand building.

What has been achieved is a monumental structure, which derives from old but is not a slavish imitation of the old tradition. Actually it partakes of the Muslim spirit of the past but it is created to meet the new demand of the present in the technique of the present day. Hence the style is original and may lead to further creations on its model. The mausoleum has been conceived all by itself to stand all alone in its silent majesty. It is therefore not possible to characterise it as a garden tomb (rauzah) as we get during the Mughul period. In composition it must be seen alone standing high above the vast multitude of buildings that surround it at a lower level.

In this original idea, the architect probably liked to single out the personality of the Quaid above his contemporaries. Certainly, by the creation of a massive structure, the greatness of the Quaid is automatically emphasized and he stands out high in the living memory of his faithful followers. This concept has been developed further and it is a great departure from the permanent pleasure-abode of the Mughals in a garden (rauzah). Here the monument is perched high at the far end of the enclosure and the approach to it is provided by a kind of ceremonial passage from the main entrance, gradually rising, step by step, to the foot of the massive platform, where again a visitor finds himself dwarfed before the huge monumentality of the building. Even when he goes up and stands before the high arched portal, he fares no better and realises his own humble position before such a huge creation. All along, this aspect of the building is never lost sight of. On the other hand, the gradual rise of the passage adds to the grandeur of the monument that it so well deserves.

This is entirely a new concept introduced in Muslim architecture with the sole aim of imparting sanctity to the building. As far as the architectural detail is concerned, one can note the domination of three basic units - square, octagon and ovoid. The square is seen in the external form as noted in the shape of the platform, the plinth and the outer plan of the tomb chamber. But octagon is concealed within - in the interior plan of the chamber, that of the basement and also of the arrangement of the marble pillars in its middle. But both squares and octagons have been adopted in the decorative panels for embellishment. They are seen in the strong lines within the high archway, in the brick design copy of the marble setting on the outer face and also in various combinations to make the window screens. The ovoid shape is seen in the arches and domes and also in the door leaves with the sole aim of reducing theeffect of great bulk. The style is certainly traditional, but its derivation, particularly of the high archway, is dictated by the battered profile of the massive wall. This could be further developed with decorative pattern, but that required greater imagination and hence the ornamental design on the sarcophagus and elsewhere follows the traditional taste except the chandelier which speaks of Chinese original idea.

Courtesy: Prof. Ahmad Hasan Dani, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

 
 
   
   
M. C. RAJAB
Leader of the Hindu Untouchables


Hindustan

All religions hold the belief that God sends suitable men into the world to work out his plans from time to time, and at critical junctures. I regard Mr. Jinnah as the man who has been called upon to correct the wrong ways into which the people of India have been lead by the Congress, under the leadership of Mr. Gandhi. The Congress did a great service to the country so long as it followed the lines of critical cooperation and cooperative criticism towards the British Government, as laid down by Dadabhai Naoroji and Gokhale. But it took a wrong turn when it adopted wholesale the non-cooperation programme of Mr. Gandhi and assumed an attitude of open hostility towards Britain, and tried to infuse in the minds of the people a spirit of defiance of law and civil disobedience, more or less thinly veiled under a formula of truth and non-violence. Moreover, by 'Mahatamafying' Mr. Gandhi, it appealed to the idolatrous superstitions of the Hindus, thus converting the religious adherence of the Hindu section of the population of the Mahatama into political support of his non-cooperation programme. While this strategy was of some avail in hustling the British Government to yield more and more to the demands of Congress, it divided the people into Hindu and non-Hindu sections.

In these circumstances a man was needed to stand up to Congress and tell its leaders that their organization, however powerful numerically and financially, does not represent the whole of India.

I admire Mr. Jinnah and feel grateful to him because, in advocating the cause of the Muslims, he is championing the claims of all classes who stand the danger of being crushed under the stream roller of a [caste] Hindu majority, acting under the inspiration and order of Mr. Gandhi.

Birthday tribute paid to the Quaid in 1940, summing up the greatness of the latter's leadership

Hector Bolitho, Jinnah
pp. 133-4
 
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