Monday, March 8, 2010

M F Hussain - The Greatest PAIN-ter of India???

“The Picasso of India” says one. “Pride of India” says Nirupama Rao. Now, is he truly what they describe him to be, i wonder.

Yes, he’s a painter, i agree. And Yes, he’s the best India has produced. No doubt.

Let me just ask you one question. If he had been born a non-Muslim and had he attempted to do the painting of a certain religious figure of Islam, how would the Muslim world have reacted?

The issue here is not about religious tolerance or sensitivity. Soutik Biswas of BBC writes (here)

“The story of Husain is one of the saddest of post-Independence India. It is a story of how the country's most famous painter has been hounded out while the state looked on.”

The issue at the core of his plight is his creativity. My point is Mr. Hussain being such a gifted painter that he is, why was he not creative enough to express his creativity in other ways than to paint Hindu Gods and Goddess in that way. Just because there are sensual and sexually explicit sculptures at places like Khajuraho, does not mean Hindu’s are open to it. Its akin to stripping a woman naked just because she lets her husband do it.

The problem with artists is that they take their Freedom of expression for granted. Mr. Hussain is 93 today and has lived through the most painful periods of our history - the partition, Indo-Pak wars etc. What has he done for the country with his creativity? I have not heard of any of his paintings that portray religious harmony. Certainly the media has not highlighted any of it - The Hindu included.

Certainly Hussain could have used his talent to good use. Not in the way he has.

Do you think he deserves all the accolade he’s getting? I certainly don’t.

I cant but wonder what would have happened to him had he used his creativity & played arnd with his own religion. Remember Salman Rushdie?

Clearly, Mr. Hussain is a smart man that he chose to play with the sentiments of Hindus who are tolerant and who even praise your work towards the twilight of your life.

My anger is not towards Hussain - rather the government and its censorship board for doing little to uphold the sanctity of India’ major religion.

1 comment:

  1. its simply impossible for the government to not suck upto the minority. they dont do it for the right reasons, nor is there an outcome; the poor muslims are still poor, the waqf board still has its own laws which the supreme court couldnt do anything about, and so many other things.
    no, we are worried about taslima and mf hussain. you have raised a number of excellent arguments, and i am certain that these would remain arguments only...there is nothing we can do about it.
    a brilliant post. commendable, and brave. i completely agree.