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Does India deserve MF Husain?

Soutik Biswas | 18:29 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

MF HusainIf you believe one recent report, MF Husain is no longer an Indian citizen. "It is all over. I've just completed the final formalities," the celebrated painter is supposed to have told an "anguished" Indian fan at the airport in Qatar's capital, Doha. The fan had asked Husain - Forbes magazine once called him the Picasso of India - whether he had accepted an offer of Qatari nationality.

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.

Thirteen years ago, hardline Hindus attacked Husain for his paintings of nude Hindu goddesses. In 2006, he apologised for a painting in which he represented India as a nude goddess. Hindu nationalists accused him of defiling their region.

They didn't stop at that. They vandalised his exhibitions and filed law suits all over the country. Husain reckons that there are 900 cases against him in Indian courts. His lawyer in Delhi tells me he is personally aware of seven such cases. Four have been dismissed, in three others judgement is still pending.

For the past three years, the 95-year-old maverick painter has been living in Dubai and London. When news washed up earlier this month that he was contemplating taking up Qatari nationality, there was predictable outrage from the arts world in India.

"This is not the first time we have thrown away our geniuses," said fellow painter Anjolie Ela Menon. "In India, we recognise our national treasures only when they are gone." Film actor Sharmila Tagore urged the need for a "movement" to bring back the painter to India since "isolated voices" will not help.

To many, this sounded like a case of too little, too late. Most galleries have been scared to exhibit Husain's work for some years now. A big art summit hosted by India two years ago did not exhibit a single Husain painting. Unbelievable, but true.

Many say the Indian government could easily promise Husain security and coax him to return to India. But that wouldn't necessarily allow the painter to live in peace. As his lawyer, Akhil Sibal, tells me, there's nothing to stop more cases being filed against the painter in remote courts or even getting a judge somewhere to order his arrest. The misuse of judiciary to settle scores is rampant in India. "So Husain is not enthused by the prospect of returning to India which he easily can," says Mr Sibal.

The Supreme Court ruled on the controversy two years ago. It said that Husain's paintings were not obscene and that nudity was common in Indian iconography and history. It was sad that a court had to remind a people of their own traditions.

Conflicting ideas and ideologies have thrived in India for centuries and the country's ability to manage diversity has been its greatest strength. What value is art if it does not provoke, stimulate and trigger debate?

Many believe that Husain's treatment is a shameful indictment of India. It is also seen as a telling commentary on how the country's antiquated and slow-moving justice system can be subverted to harass people. Many people I meet ask why one of India's brightest talents should suffer such indignity. That begs the question: Does India really deserve MF Husain?

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  • 1. At 7:25pm on 02 Mar 2010, PeeYat wrote:

    There you go again. Mr.Biswas writing blogs for the sake of publicity. You recent blog about India and Pakistan and now siding with a guy who repeatedly insulted Hindu goddess. It is OK if Muslims burn down and kill people if Allah is portrayed as a cartoon, but its wrong if Hindus kick out a painter who repeatedly paints nude Hindu goddesses. I guess hardline muslims are called secularists but hardline hindus get named as Nationalists. But I guess this is what folks like you call Art I am actually happy that this Hussein is finally not an Indian anymore. I am just sad to see this coming from someone like you. But again your article on India Pakistan and SRK's insult to Mumbai sums it all and what sort of views you hold.

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  • 2. At 7:31pm on 02 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Radical Hindu..radical Islamist...no difference in intent or motives.
    When each is born they are naked. It is the ideas in the mind that judge things right or wrong. In earlier times the young men and women were encouraged to mate in the fields as example for a good harvest. One must always question the motives of those who believe that God needs their help.

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  • 3. At 7:41pm on 02 Mar 2010, BakedBeans wrote:


    Is there any reason why he did not choose Allah for nude picture ?

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  • 4. At 9:44pm on 02 Mar 2010, BakedBeans wrote:

    He absued his freedom and hope he draws nude picture his own god from
    Qatar .

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  • 5. At 9:54pm on 02 Mar 2010, Steezy wrote:

    It would certainly be interesting to see what would happen should he choose to paint nude images of his own Islamic God/prophet. Not that it's an excuse for the actions of others, it's still a shame that people react in the way they do. It does, however, provide much needed perspective.

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  • 6. At 10:41pm on 02 Mar 2010, Amulya Gurtu wrote:

    I am not sure who is paying you to post this kind of one sided blog. Why is there so much hue and cry is Jesus is shown smoking and drinking in Indian text book? Why did not you write anything about hard line Christians living in India? Why do you see only one side of the coin all the time? Why is that secularism excludes Hindus in India?

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  • 7. At 00:37am on 03 Mar 2010, Nate wrote:

    Goodness Gracious, He is gone.
    Check out this article, it is more unbaised
    http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/counterpoint/2010/03/03/portraits-of-the-artist-as-a-qatari-citizen/

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  • 8. At 01:11am on 03 Mar 2010, Shib Das wrote:

    Soutik,
    It is sad that Mr. Husain cannot return to India due to reasons you have described. One does not have to agree with Mr. Husain on the choice of his subjects but that does not mean agitating against him or vandalising his exhibitions.
    As you write this blog, there is another violent agitation going on in India against Tasleema Nasreen. Surprisingly, there is not a single National News papers or self appointed protector of secular society have come up and made any statement condeming this mindless violence. May be you can write a blog about that also? or, is it politically inconvenient?
    The duplicity of of the so called liberal media in India is making many ordinary Hindus to hardline Hindus. Do you not see that?

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  • 9. At 02:39am on 03 Mar 2010, Maayavi wrote:

    Congrats Hussain. Enjoy your freedom in Qatar. I sincerly hope you choose to paint Allah nude and still remain as a resident of Qatar.

    What a treasure for Qatar. Too bad that India missed the genius in you

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  • 10. At 02:42am on 03 Mar 2010, Pallavi from Sydney wrote:

    I am a hindu, with a healthy respect for the arts and freedom of speech. however, i find this form of "art" to be absolutely offensive. I don't support these hardline extremist hindus who call for this "death" and other extreme measures but i really don't care if he ever comes back to india. he has continued to ignore the public's outrage over his offensive "art", and i find that to be despicable. i don't care if he has some sort of "deep meaning" hidden in his artwork. to the average person looking at these "artworks", he has demeaned our gods and goddesses. even though india is a secular country, hindus have a right to protest against this work. if some "artist" depicted allah or jesus in such a manner, i would be equally outraged. the recent outrage over the depiction of jesus with a cigarette is warranted. artistic licence does not give the artist the right to offend millions of people. i say good riddance to bad news.

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  • 11. At 02:47am on 03 Mar 2010, Parag wrote:

    Mr. Biswas

    I am a Hindu atheist. All religions are false.

    However, let me challenge Mr. Hussain to paint a picture of the Prophet of Islam, fully clothed. Let us find out how long he can survive in Doha.

    Hinduism and Buddhism and Jainism are the least evil of all religions.

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  • 12. At 02:47am on 03 Mar 2010, TypicalIndian wrote:

    "Many people I meet ask why one of India's brightest talents should suffer such indignity. That begs the question: Does India really deserve MF Husain?"

    Mr Biswas, how about we spare a thought about the 'dignity' of a billion ordinary people whose ideas may be anachronistic to you but are sacrosanct nevertheless in a civilized world. Its called 'popular sentiment'...its what makes a Susan Boyle, an overnight diva..and Amitabh Bacchan, the BBC Star of the Mollinium. You've inadvertantly hit the right note when you conclude India doesnt deserve MFH. We deserve better..and have them..including hundreds of super talented artists, players, businessmen, scientists, writers, and yes, painters..from all communities, including the one that Mr Hussain is but a weak apologian.

    Now, do we really deserve a more balanced, dignified stance? One that respects 'people' as much as an eccentric artist?

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  • 13. At 03:17am on 03 Mar 2010, girisha wrote:

    Well said Mr.Biswas,
    I completely agree with you on this one. M.F. Hussain's work has been misinterpreted by a good section of our country. Nudity in art can never be derogatory. Even in Hindu culture itself, hasn't nudity been used for ages to depict Gods and Goddesses? So it has become an issue only because the painter is a Muslim? Would that have been the case if M.F. Hussain is a Hindu? Also,who says that M.F. Hussain did not ever offend the sentiments of Muslims? His movie: Meenakshi- a tale of three cities was pulled out of theatres because The All-India Ulema Council complained that one of the Qawwali songs was 'blasphemous'. Does that make everyone feel better then?
    For an artist, painting something or someone in the nude is an appreciation of its form and nature. 'Art is made to disturb'..so said Braque...leave the poor old man alone, please for Art's sake!!

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  • 14. At 03:31am on 03 Mar 2010, Hawk wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 04:13am on 03 Mar 2010, Rajeev wrote:

    Nudity is not vulgar - it is a matter of perspective and acceptance. In Indian art it has been acceptable and celebrated. Pre-Islamic India was always liberal about sexuality and I think that was a positive trait of Hinduism. (@Hawk - I don't think you'll understand because you come from a conservative inward looking culture of false modesty)
    Indian Hindu right wingers are just as backward as the Taliban. They make the same self-righteous claims to being guardians of virtue as the Islamic extremists in Pakistan. There is no difference.
    I worry about India's future as a multi-cultural society. Partition notwithstanding, India needs to assimilate its Muslims better and Indian Muslims need to be more vocal as Indians not as Muslims.

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  • 16. At 04:17am on 03 Mar 2010, Aditya wrote:

    I don't know how many people in India are really sad after hearing that MF Hussain is not an Indian citizen anymore. Just go to a poor villager in India, explain her that a person who depicted Indian Goddesses in nude is not an Indian citizen anymore and measure her reaction. Mind you, that person is not a Hindu "fundamentalist", she is just an ordinary citizen of the country. Then, Mr. Biswas, come back and rewrite this blog. Those who do not know much about Hinduism, it is one of the most flexible religions in the world; it does not ask you to worship everyday; it does not ask you to follow a higher authority like Pope or Imaam; it does not even care if you have never been to a temple in your lifetime; all it says is respect others and live peacefully! And when someone is not able to respect others' feelings, I do not think that person deserves to command any respect from the others. Therefore, barring a few people like Mr. Biswas, I can barely think of 1% of the Indian majoriy's population who would really be sad by Hussain's departure.

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  • 17. At 04:20am on 03 Mar 2010, Rudy2 wrote:

    I wonder if Soutik Biswas would say a similar thing about Taslima Nasreen who was hounded out of India for "offending" Muslims. And, if he said it with as much consistency as he writes against Hindus, I wonder how long you would let him write on your site.
    The truth is, there is a rather pernicious law in India that states that one cannot hurt "religious sensibilities", whatever that may mean. This law is used to browbeat and censor free speech. These lawsuits against Hussain are just blowback.

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  • 18. At 04:38am on 03 Mar 2010, Arvind N wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 19. At 04:39am on 03 Mar 2010, Ankur wrote:

    The point in the article is not about hindu or muslims or freedom of expressions or hardliners among the society. the main point is somewhat easy and somewhat prsonal. are we tolerant enough to think that what we say n do affects a lot of persons around us. democrasy and freedom does not provide us sufficent moral strength to carry them forward, that we have to earn. we hav to learn to live ...with each other..with individual dignity. It is simple n obvious that i ll not do anything which hurts 80% of family members ,in name of freedom,But even if it hurts 1% it should be avoided and discussed properly. there is no question of right or wrong here..it just family n we have to live together. I dont think MF hussain ever defended the danish news paper which put a cartoon on Muhammad sahib....neither did i. and these painting too are no different. there is no question of debating that whether paintings were offensive or not. The main reason for this whole incident is that in our society we didnt learnt to respect others as they are, we have our own standards of good and bad. we dont see person..we see them with their identities and culture, we see them hindu(brahmin or dalit) or muslim(siya or sunni), rich or poor, white or black.. with this we attach them with our past graviences. we put a line of differences that is ever widening and it goes on. so the only thing is that we must respect everyone...including his feeling and expressions.

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  • 20. At 04:39am on 03 Mar 2010, Walker Thon wrote:

    Mr Husain is a typical hypocrite, who would not hesitate to use someone else for his own benefit. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet the society cannot accept everyting. Take for instance, if he were to now paint the Queen in the nude on the basis that she is nude when she takes her shower and display it in his art gallery. Will Mr Biswas or BBC have the guts to eulogise it? So decorum is expected in all societies. This is nothing special to India or even Islam. If he was intent on painting on something as sensitive as religion in India, then he should have started with his own religion. Then atleast we won't be complaining about the Hindu bigots. At best, he is a dim-wit who did not understand the consequences of his actions or at worst his intent was to provoke. If he feels it was neither, then he should try his luck with his own religion in Qatar. In my opinion, Mr Husain is nothing more than an overrated buffoon compared to the illustrious sculptors of the past centuries from Ancient India - whom he seems to have been trying to imitate.

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  • 21. At 04:39am on 03 Mar 2010, shonty wrote:

    Soutik,

    In my opinion we Indians like to have a status quo on a lot of things. Tough talking/loud mouth culture (like American CEOs/tycoons/movie stars) is totally despised on. Throughout our history, revolutions and rebels rarely found larger public vote (Gandhi vs Bose for example). We always have been doves and very feminine however we may want to deny it.

    The 70s saw the religious guru Rajneesh tamper with the orthodox Hindu leanings and he was put through fire by the same pseudo Indians. Hard to believe in a country where Siva lingam is venerated in neighborhoods, who can object to nude Goddesses who already are sculpted the same way across all ancient Indian temples.

    PS India will never have a Putin, Hitler or Donald Trump for that matter. We have had robust masculinity interspersed with caring feminine traits (Gandhi, Budhha, Mahavira) throughout our history and continue to do so. Hussein happens to be too bold and true artist.

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  • 22. At 04:54am on 03 Mar 2010, Sydney_South wrote:

    We Indians are hypocrites. All of the ancient Indian sculptures and painting depict Indian Goddesses in topless or nude.

    These Hindu radicals live in a world of their own that it is much more in line with their arch enemy the Islamic radicals.

    For a nation that invented Kama Sutra, I don't understand the what part of Hindu religion these radicals are trying to promote.

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  • 23. At 05:11am on 03 Mar 2010, jaytirth wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 05:21am on 03 Mar 2010, manju wrote:

    Ask him to paint nude picture of P.Mohammed and then we can see reaction from Muslim community around the world. No he cant do because they are strong everything works on hindu because they are soft.

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  • 25. At 05:28am on 03 Mar 2010, KETAN_VYAS wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 26. At 05:29am on 03 Mar 2010, Arvind N wrote:

    Biswas

    You are champion of freedom of expression. So you are trying to defend MFH.

    You please defend Taslima Nasreen also. Write something about how brutally Swami Laxmanand Saraswati was killed by Christains in Orissa. Write about plight of common man in India who is speechless and shocked by the deceiving by the Central Government on the issues of price rise and security. The best thing for you to write will be declining media standards in India. Media in India is biased, manipulative and unfortunately representing the establishment than common man and sufferers. I personally feel there is no freedom of expression for common man in India. MF Hussain is just one of us.

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  • 27. At 05:37am on 03 Mar 2010, Prasad wrote:

    Who cares if he is a citizen of India or not.We have million other things to worry about. This is what is the commom man's view on this I suppose.
    And guys please dont draw any geographic boundries, India or Quatar all belongs to this world.hope in 1000 years from now.. these geographic boundries are erased and everybody live in hormony around the world as "Citizens of the World" and not just "Citizens of country"

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  • 28. At 05:42am on 03 Mar 2010, Neeraj Bhushan wrote:

    Where the mind is without fear: Both MF Husain and Taslima Nasreen are welcome to my home in Indian capital Delhi. May they live and continue to live at my place and make it their workplace too.

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  • 29. At 05:42am on 03 Mar 2010, Rahul G wrote:

    Would you have same feelings for him, if he would painted nude someone you loved personally? He may have a eye for finding beauty in nudity, but he has no place in society like India where we treat women as incarnation of God. He suits better outsides and so be it.

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  • 30. At 06:05am on 03 Mar 2010, Mir Arman Faruk wrote:

    Well first of all I am a muslim and I am not an Indian rather from the next door Bangladesh. Hope I am not poking my nose in neighbor's business but Mr. Biswas your article is a shame in name of India. It consist all the reasons and problems between Hindu and Muslim communities across sub-continent. And that is lack of respect for each other. I don't support a radical Muslim idea and of coarse supporting radical Hinduism has never came in my consideration. But from bottom of my heart I don't support so called 'Liberals' or 'Seculars'. You guys do not have enough liberty in your heart to respect sensitivity of others. Among billions of Indians and 150 Million Bangladeshis there are probably 500000 radical fanatics. and like another 500000 called themselves as liberals. I believe other then this all the people are moderate and believe in there faith and want to breath peacefully. And we do not want either of you.

    Many of the comments suggests what would happen if Mr. Hussain portray a Islamic figure? I have my answer and hope the person in charge of giving him the Qatari citizenship has the answer. And if a person gives away his citizenship for whatever reason he never deserves that country. It is never the question about 'does India deserves MF Husain' rather it is 'does MF Husain deserves India'. And from a neighbor's voice; NO, He does not. Husain, Rushdie, Nasreen they do not deserve their homeland because they went away from the most basic requirement. And that is to have respect for others faith.

    Personally I think Religious figures and national heroes should be always kept apart from this kind of non sense.

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  • 31. At 06:10am on 03 Mar 2010, koolness wrote:

    Would a Hindu artist be allowed to portray a nude Hindu God? I doubt such an instance would even make the news. If you strive to be a secular nation, why not rise above the fray and practice some tolerance?

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  • 32. At 06:24am on 03 Mar 2010, pbiswas wrote:

    In Hindu religion, parents are regarded to be the practical form of god. Husain's act was synonymous to an artist painting a nude picture of her mother and showing other!. Shame. What he did was not for the sake of art but for cheap publicity stunt and disrespect of others religious faith and belief. This and any other attempt by any other artist to disregard other's religious faith and belief should always be condemned. I know Indian communists disbelieve in god and they enjoy such assassination on people's religious faith and belief. Like Husain, Indian communists are also shame of India.

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  • 33. At 06:26am on 03 Mar 2010, Sihtric Anilla wrote:

    This may digress from the theme of the article but had to respond to Shonty. Bose had a great following. The reason you think he didn’t is because he presumably died in an air crash and the axis powers were losing anyway. Second, what makes you think Gandhi was not revolutionary and rebellious? Also, it’s insulting to associate dovish behaviour with feminist traits. Indira Gandhi, for example, wasn’t. You should thank your stars that India has not and hopefully never have Putins and Hitlers.
    A sincere question for Mir Arman Faruk (and no, you’re not poking in your neighbour’s business. Some things in life are everybody’s business). How does Husain, Rushdie, and Nasreen affect your faith? Does your faith depend on them and what they do?
    Koolness: a Hindu artist will have the same experience as Husain.
    And Soutik, though I was dejected at the reception Husain got at the hands of Hindu zealots, I encountered the following description of unsuitable posting (while registering for the BBC id): Text & images likely to offend most people.

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  • 34. At 06:48am on 03 Mar 2010, Pallavi from Sydney wrote:

    Those who are condoning the degradation of islamic/christian religious figures to "see what happens to the artist then" are acting absolutely immaturely. this type of behaviour can only increase communal problems.

    I can accept that Hinduism does show nude goddesses, etc on temples. however, it is the positioning and the depiction of these nude goddesses in his artwork that is offensive. it is culturally and religiously insensitive.

    To the poster: Hawk, I would recommend that you exercise restraint when commenting on blogs, and not spout hateful vitriol.

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  • 35. At 07:01am on 03 Mar 2010, Mir Arman Faruk wrote:

    @ Sihtric Anilla: I never said my faith depend on any one else. It solely depend on me. But these liberal (to me idiotic) ideas cause disrespect to others faith. Just a matter of fact I will give you example many of the commenters have pointed their finger with a obvious question; 'what would happen if husain portray a islamic figure?' I am for sure many of the muslims will just feel offended by that little question.

    My whole point was it is extremely necessary to be sensitive and respectful to each other's faith for not creating a religious chaos ( yes I have seen innocent Hindus suffered because thousand miles away there was a riot in Mumbai). In my observation almost everyone have these but chaos like a stupid nude painting disturb that.

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  • 36. At 07:05am on 03 Mar 2010, Seshadri wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 37. At 08:15am on 03 Mar 2010, mitty_w wrote:

    I don't approve of fundamentalism, but shouldn't Mr.Husain be a little more sensitive? Will it kill him if he doesn't paint that particular potrait? Mr.Biswas, stop being so highbrow ,and take up issues like Taslima Nasreen. That is the issue where secularism should be applied.

    Look, I floated this issue among a bunch of educated, 'liberal' friends(who spit on BJP), and they were like, "dude, i don't understand this nobility of art thing at all". They didn't like the Muhammed cartoon either. Older people say, "hope he finds peace in Qatar. India is too 'conservative' for free men like him")

    Maybe we should replace secularism (with religious harmony?), if secularism means we can write whatever we want and hurt people, who can't defend against those who hurt their beliefs.

    They had caste in ancient times too. Is that acceptable now? Why do we hold some ancient norms to be good and some to be bad? On what basis? Social norms change with time. Norms on nudity have changed now. Why doesn't Mr. Husain or Mr. Biswas accept that?

    As for hypocrisy, everyone is a hypocrite. To tolerate others, you need rational hypocrisy. We are titillated by erotica, but does that mean we are hypocrites when we protest against obscenity? If ideals are rigid, the world will go up in a huge mushroom cloud.

    How do you define what is art and what is obscene? What is cheesecake and what is elegance? Films are rated, even banned, shouldn't 'art' be rated? Why this highbrow BS?

    All over India, the 'philistine' little men going to daily wage jobs, pray to an 'imaginary' deity, placing faith in something vague, holding it to be his salvation, deriving his hope, basing his struggles against drudgery on it. Blind secularism, in this case, is bullying the little man.

    (P.S. I disagree with Mr.Biswas on Jyoti Basu, too. I should have commented this on the relevant post. Mr. Biswas said, when Mr. Basu introduced land reforms that put out the 'beauty' of Calcutta. By the same token, when the neo-liberals build roads on agricultural lands, it destroys our food security, and disrupts the life of the villager. Why the double standards? And why are we so intent on denigrating every bit of communist failures while ignoring the capitalist failures? Are we reactionary? Why can't we accept that socialism will succeed one day, when Capitalism running on for a thousand years hasn't salvaged humanity yet?)

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  • 38. At 08:58am on 03 Mar 2010, sujathar wrote:

    to all the liberals here - just curious to know,with no offence meant -would you be ok if mf hussain painted artistic and creative nude portraits of your mother/sister/daughter?

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  • 39. At 09:00am on 03 Mar 2010, Samfromicon wrote:

    Dear Mr. Biswas,

    I am a Muslim and Pakistani. I agree that no person has the right to provoke a bad feeling among the people he/she is representing. Mr. Hussain owes everything to India. Without India he is nothing. If he accepted everything good that was ushered on him, why to run away from something that is unpleasant. There is a general and common rule that you don't provoke if can't face the heat. Art for the sake of fame and money is good but why the artists cry when it back fires. Face it or leave it. Diversity is a good word but this diversity is always encircled by certain limits. There is no limitless diversity.

    On the issue of Indo-Pak talks, I am in favor of them as there is no other option. We have to talk to each other, no matter what. Both the countries have accumulated so much military skill and power that they are afraid to provoke a conflict and they understand that it would just like shooting oneself in the Head.

    I am still not able to find one answer to the question: If we were living together for almost 1000 years , what went wrong in just 100 years that we are not able to find a single compromise???

    Hope you might have some kind of simple explanation in easier words :)

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  • 40. At 09:26am on 03 Mar 2010, Rohit wrote:

    Being offended because of religion- an artificial, non living, invisible belief. This proves that India is still a low level primitive society.

    I can create my own religion, own belief, who cares!

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  • 41. At 09:28am on 03 Mar 2010, mitty_w wrote:

    "Conflicting ideas and ideologies have thrived in India for centuries and the country's ability to manage diversity has been its greatest strength"

    So why did it take so long for caste reforms to come along? We had a running ban on sea voyage for years.(With the notable exception of the Cambodian expeditions)How many conflicting 'ideologies' "thrived"? Chola kings persecuted Alvars. Buddhists were persecuted by Pallava kings. Aurangzeb hated Hindus. India has no better record than most other countries. A bit less harsh, that's about it. Nothing equivalent to the Jewish persecution.

    "That begs the question: Does India really deserve MF Husain?"

    Does Mr. Hussain deserve India? (He has simply left for a country where religious tolerance is considerably lesser). We also ask, 'does India deserve talented scientists?' I ask, "are our talented scientists grateful for their cheap education?"(try to get the same quality for the same money in America).

    Scientist, artists et al are what they are because they were given physical, mental and moral privileges. They must pay those back by working to reform their country, however pointless it may seem.

    I'm not against foreign education, but no country, other than India, would be proud of Mr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan who so gracelessly calls his country "red-taped" "slow" "fame-chasing". He is so focused on his work that he finds his own country "irritating". He may sponsor kids to appease his conscience, but we would expect a bigger gesture (like heading a bio-tech insti, like Homi Bhaba did).

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  • 42. At 09:29am on 03 Mar 2010, Sydney_South wrote:

    Sorry Sujathar. Your comparison is absurd.

    My comment is that if you're offended by nudity, do not see his paintings. I particularly didn't think his painting was very good. But, I don't like the idea of religious zealots telling me what I can do and cannot.

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  • 43. At 09:48am on 03 Mar 2010, Nishant wrote:

    See you or me might be liberal in our outlook. We don't bother what they paint or laugh when 'not in our Indian culture' argument is advanced for the most bizarre of protests. Yet the thing is that the majority of our society is deeply conservative and not bothered at all about our liberal past, if there was such a thing. It is easier said than done trying to start a movement to make our population more open to matters of sex and stuff, this openness is a slow process and hopefully over time it might take effect. But in the meanwhile Hussein was playing with fire painting these nude pictures and he's paid for it. Sure it might be artistic for some but try explaining it to the person there who has an ingrained sense of morality.

    That said at least our bigots don't go about head hunting. One can't compare anything with the Moslem right because they are at the absolute pinnacle of the bigotry game. There are other things much more disturbing and of much deeper consequences than this -- the banning of James Laine's book on Shivaji for example. You probably think of yourself as a liberal intellectual; sometimes you should not think for the masses but think why the masses are doing what they are doing. If you are really deeply bothered about this start a mission to make our population more open. But then it is easier to write blogs and act aghast over cups of tea with your friends.

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  • 44. At 09:54am on 03 Mar 2010, arjun_upadhya wrote:

    i'm glad that so many fellow Indians n few people from other countries like mir arman faruk came out here openly against this shameless hipocracy by so called "secular" n "liberal" people like mr.biswas... i'm glad hussain is not called an indian anymore... he doesn't deserve it...

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  • 45. At 09:59am on 03 Mar 2010, 69playmate wrote:

    Mr Biswas, you are always one sided,if you write about something,just tear it along,,why try to cover somebody's face.and please be neutral,and not in a political view behind you.
    indian govt should do the needful for him.why dont you say that,and why do you blame others exept one.I could always find,,you support the dynasty centered rule in india.in Hussians issue,why do they keep silent,
    all know in india,they rule and control all apex courts in india since decades,so why cant they take a decision.

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  • 46. At 10:41am on 03 Mar 2010, Arvind N wrote:

    Interestingly my comment No 18 is moderated and not displayed. I would like to protest against this. BBC should be neutral. When Biswas can put before a point, counter-argument must be allowed to put before.

    I have been regular reader of various BBC blogs including ones by Biswas. As maximum number of readers point out, I also think that Biswas writes one sided stories and always compromises with viewpoint of Hindus.

    "That begs the question: Does India really deserve MF Husain?"

    The question is so offending to common Indian. MF Hussain has not done a single thing that makes India feel proud. He has painted pictures to offend feelings of one community. He has produced movies to offend feelings of another community. He has collected huge money by selling pictures, not on the basis of quality but for controversies attached with. Moreover this ungrateful creature is running away now without spending a single penny back for community. For such tinpot, how can you put whole country at stake? If a politician has one case registered against him, we people cry that he is criminal. This man has hundreds of cases pending against him. Isn't he a criminal?

    Not only INDIA, he doesn't deserve any civilized society, for that matter world as a whole.

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  • 47. At 10:59am on 03 Mar 2010, Kiran Varanasi wrote:

    I am a very liberal person and would really want absolute freedom of speech in my country. At present, this freedom of speech is restricted in the constitution through the strange clause of "decency and morality". This clause is what encourages miscreants to appeal to courts, on the ground of religious defamation. I think this is anachronistic in the 21st century, and frankly, we don't have enough judicial resources to cater to these kind of cases anyway.

    I also think that nudity is an essential component of Hindu art, just as it has been in Greek art. It is stupid to feign outrage at nudity, when it should actually be celebrated as a cultural heritage, as in the temples of Khujaraho and Konark.

    However, I have seen the paintings of Hussain which are under question. And I highly doubt the intent of the artist. I don't see any way of interpreting them except as obscene and insulting to Hinduism. Take, for example, his painting of Sita riding on the tail of Hanuman. Modern art can be very hard to interpret, but this painting can only be understood in sexual overtones, which is indeed absolutely taboo in the context of these mythological characters. It is like depicting incest, since Hanuman always considered Sita to be his divine mother. This makes Mr. Hussain an artist of extremely bad taste. But still, that is not grounds for censorship.

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  • 48. At 11:10am on 03 Mar 2010, 0507097k wrote:

    Dear Mr. Biswas,

    Firstly, I believe that you need to get the facts straight for tyhe public and those that have commented on this blog. MF Hussein depicted Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the nude which is correct and you argue as acceptable and that is open for debate. What you fail to tell the public is that his painting also depicted the Gods and Goddesses in sexual positions. This I'm afraid is unacceptable. His painting showed Mother Sita gyrating on Hanuman's Tail. This is blasphemous and actually sickening to think that he could alter such a beautiful relationship between a Mother and Child and between a Guru and its devotee.

    Secondly, you describe India as being intolerant and as Hindus being intolerant. This is false and disturbing how little you know of Indian Hindu history. Hindus in India are very tolerant of other faiths and even in events of adversity where other Hindus are being persecuted and murdered (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan) Hindus rarely retaliate towards the Muslim population. Unfortunately, the opposite I'm afraid is rarely true. Hindus believe in the concept of live and let live which has meant that India's Hindu population at times has been found wanting when other armies have invaded. The Government has banned the teaching of Moghul history as not to cause social unrest. Movies like Jodha Akbar have had their factual content completely changed in order not to offend the Muslims in India. In museums exhibitions of the torture and the murder of Hindus under Moghul muslims is not allowed. India is far too tolerant to the point where the truth is being erased slowly.

    Thirdly, no man is bigger than a nation. And a nation as great as India which has produced Bhaskar, Goswami Tulsidas, Shivaji and other greats, will never be at a loss. India is a sacred country in which religion is revered and God is praised. MF Hussein is a discredit to India. You mention freedom of speech as a birth right which it is but the freedom to offend isn't. Also I might add that if you feel so strongly about the lack of freedom of speech in India then you should join MF Hussein in Qatar and practice freedom of speech there. If you had a spine you would correct the factual content of your article and provide an unbiased and fair argument. For example, why have you not mentioned the Danish cartoonist as a comparison? Why do you not try to publish a similar article with regard to freedom of speech and the Danish cartoonist in Qatar?

    I am glad that the Hindus still have a spine and a voice in India. I say good riddance. Those that are wanting to lie about and offend the Hindu faith in Hindustan are unwelcome.

    Jai Hind

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  • 49. At 11:35am on 03 Mar 2010, ramesh reddy wrote:

    common guys ,there is no point in blaming mrbiswas ,it is these media houses which are responsible ,they employ people who can reflect their views ,fair and balanced journalism has died long ago we now have only mediahouses which represent their political bosses unfortunately now there are only media houses which support only ruling party. and regarding hussain mrbiswas india deserves better than hussain please don't post lame articles to please ur bosses and to show ur eloquence in the language.

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  • 50. At 12:21pm on 03 Mar 2010, bipinbhatt wrote:

    THE QUESTION SHOULD BE THE OTHER WAY ROUND. DOES M F HUSSAIN DESERVES INDIA? THE THUMPING ANSWER IS NOOOOO.

    SOUTIK SHOULD ASK THE QUESTION WHEN AND WHEN ONLY HUSSAIN PAINTS MOHAMMED AND ALLAH TILL THEN HE SHOULD KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT.

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  • 51. At 12:58pm on 03 Mar 2010, TypicalIndian wrote:

    Mir Arman, I hope your comments are actually read by Mr Biswas of BBC, and sensitize him to the dignity of the common man. I hope too Mr Biswas notices that at the bottom of EVERY single Comment, on the right, is a hyperlink to "complain about this comment". So much for "freedom of expression"??!! I am sure Mr Biswas and all else have to comply with an even more rigorous fine print of what is and is not acceptable in any article in BBC. There are rules and regulations, norms and conventions, basic respect and not to mention, common sense guiding all civil discourse. MFH desertion in the light of popular dismay (and mind you no well deserved Fatwas) is mighty well deserved. Only, articles like the one we are responding to suggest, newer frontiers of mischief...whats to stop MFH from indulging in cultural pornography from a distant land?

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  • 52. At 3:17pm on 03 Mar 2010, ramesh reddy wrote:

    mr biswas when u and ur media house didn't feel anything vulgar about mf hussains art and u advocated strongly about freedom of expression , why the damn moderation of peoples comment what happened to their freedom of expression ,do u think freedom of expression is subjective opinion of pseudointellectuals like u thurst upon the remaining people ,please dont write articles with half baked truths.

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  • 53. At 3:23pm on 03 Mar 2010, icyfromdelhi wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 54. At 3:31pm on 03 Mar 2010, ramesh reddy wrote:

    mrbiswas when ur media house has number of rules and guide lines {moderation} for publishing a comment, do you think u people have moral right to talk about freedom of expression.

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  • 55. At 3:33pm on 03 Mar 2010, sujathar wrote:

    @sydney_south - didn't understand why the comparison should be absurd.the point trying to be made is that for most people gods and goddesses are as revered as their parents, and just like you see your mother/sister/daughter only in one particular way.if they are portrayed in a different way e.g in the nude or with sexual undertones,isn't it normal that the people who respect them,will feel offended?if it is a question of not being allowed to be told what to do and not to do,then i suppose anybody is free to paint,write anything or even abuse anybody and anything you revere or respect,whether it is your god or your loved ones.

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  • 56. At 4:54pm on 03 Mar 2010, madhu wrote:

    Supreme court's judgement looks to be out of context.

    It is true that ancient temples and caves were abound with nude sculptures and paintings.

    But they reflected the times and the society at that time. Common man/womman was also semi-clad.

    Now the ethos have changed. People are well dressed. So the art should reflect that aspect of the society.

    If an artist still reflects on the old, he is plagiarising and not being creative.

    And the issue with Husain's paintings is nothing to do with Religion or nudity, but to do with pornography.

    You have to see it in the context, like "Sita on Hanuman's tail" "hanuman and Laxman watching Ram having sex with Sita" etc.

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  • 57. At 5:35pm on 03 Mar 2010, Elton wrote:

    A number of people here have wrongly interperted this article. MF Hussian in his drawing of nude Hindu Godesses has merely imitated an art form that is seen in many Hindu temples all over the country. Him being a muslim should be overlooked, many here state why can't he draw Allah in this form, for one muslims have never really represented their Gods in a nude form, and we're not trying to match the muslims, everytime we hear something bad about India, a quick reply is that atleast where better than Pakistan, what the point of consistenly comparing ourselves to an unstable country ? The Supreme court has found him not guilty. This event is a representation of the government unable to protect its citizens from radical Hindu group, these radical groups are now setting the law, with complete disrepect for our democratic institutions. This is what this article underscores but throw in a muslim name and people are completely baffled.

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  • 58. At 6:08pm on 03 Mar 2010, JackTheLad29 wrote:

    Look back into history all great artists presented their work in form of anonymity and left it to the public to make their own mind. But Mr Husain depicted deities of one particular religion and that’s always in nudes. Was it for the sake of popularity or personal pleasure... god knows.
    He is not an artist but a socially inept sick man.
    I have only one thing to wish for him….go to hell! And die.

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  • 59. At 6:43pm on 03 Mar 2010, Dazzy88 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 60. At 9:25pm on 03 Mar 2010, MP wrote:

    Hinduism is not so lame or so easy to defame by mortal human, why would somebody point fingers at MFH? Like wise Islam is not as low that some one can defame it with cartoonish depiction, people who burned effigies of the cartoonist are not the real identity of Islam I presume. So coming back to Hinduism, we were a very liberated religion, how can one forget the carvings on temple of explicit women in all forms and postures ?

    My question is, if this was done by a Hindu painter would there be a similar outcry? The so called pro Hindu groups and people, are you really pro hindu ? do you know the meaning of being a Hindu ? dhárma, kárma, ahimsa and saṃsāra, Vedānta and yoga are any of these followed by the so called pro Hindu ?

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  • 61. At 10:34pm on 03 Mar 2010, Elton wrote:

    This entire incident is actually about respect for our democratic institutions. The supreme court has found MF Hussain not guilty. We should respect its verdict, even if we disaaprove of it. If the Indian government is unable to uphold the law what good is it. Many here have miss interpreted this article its not really about Hindu or muslim or about his painting. He was found not guilty by our supreme court. MF Hussian's inability to return to his homeland actually underscores the failure of our government to uphold the supreme courts verdict. Its a failure of our democratic instituions this is what this article and incident actually points out.

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  • 62. At 10:56pm on 03 Mar 2010, Human2010 wrote:

    Soutik,

    Nudity is portrayed in some Hindu Temples, even 'Kalidas' has described ' Nude Verbal portrait' of hindu goddess. BUT it is to bear in mind that the people who created such 'art' this was a way of worship for them. Did Mr Hussain had similar intention! If so did he revelead his intentions (of worshiping hindu god-godess)to Qutari authority!! I am sure he hasn't otherwise he wont be offered the citizenship.

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  • 63. At 02:47am on 04 Mar 2010, rajesh bhagat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 64. At 06:03am on 04 Mar 2010, Pankaj Chopra wrote:

    Good Riddance.. we have other things to worry about...Mr. Hussain looses a nationality to gain another is the last thing on a common man's mind. Indians are more concerned about rising prices, corruption, law & order and condition of roads after 60 years of independence. M F Hussain should have experimented with his own religion before venturing into another..will Qatar let him live if he portrays Prophet Mohommad even in clothes..leave apart undressed. It talks a lot about this Muslim state.. they have zero tolerance for their own religion and can go up to any extend to demean others...wonder if they will extend a similar invitation to Tasleema Nasreen if they are so worried about freedom of art and expression.

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  • 65. At 06:43am on 04 Mar 2010, Gyaninaah wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 66. At 09:53am on 04 Mar 2010, Manoj Singh wrote:

    He is the same Mr. Hussain who once submitted a written apology to the RAZA ACADAMY (a Muslim Orgenisation) upon using a holy Muslim word in a song of his movie called “Meenaxi”. And after painting nude hindu Goddess, he was crying -freedom of expression!!!! M.F Hussain was a very powerful, influential and filthy rich person in India and he could have used it get rid of the court cases!!! I think he was dying to get a citizenship of a Muslim country and have all tax free income!!!! He is a thankless creature. Good he is gone

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  • 67. At 1:44pm on 04 Mar 2010, seek wrote:

    There is always a limit to anyone's freedom of speech or freedom of expression. In the western world if someone says 'Bastard' not a lot a of people get offended. But in the east, you use the same phrase and you are dead man. So one should always choose their words or expressions.

    Yes, Mr Hussain has every right to express himself. But having said that, a tag line follows 'as long as you don't offend anyone'. As soon as you offend someone with your expression, you lose your freedom of expression. This is something one needs to keep in mind.

    Mr Hussain may have thought about the anger he would create while he was painting the Hindu goddesses nude. But he might have though 'I'm an untouchable and I don't give a damn what others think'. Any work of art cannot be completed in a split second, so is Mr Hussain's work. So he would have a lot of time to think about this.

    I'm not encouraging any attacks on Mr Hussain. But he should have stopped this a long time ago. But not go on painting even India as a nude goddess. He is a great artist and I used to like him for that. But after this incident he's lost my respect and I don't care what happens to him.

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  • 68. At 1:44pm on 04 Mar 2010, rajesh bhagat wrote:

    Dear Mr. Biswas,

    Is this the quality of Journalism for which I pay my TV licence fee. Your articles are biased and always under researched and not well thought out. I hope we get some proper discussion rather than corrective reactions that your articles seems to generate. I hope you take trouble to read all the feedback. Best wishes.

    Rajesh

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  • 69. At 2:03pm on 04 Mar 2010, Laxmi Gupta wrote:

    It is indeed shameful that MF Hussain can't live and paint in India. The protests coming from the followers of a religion famous for its erotic iconography and worshipers of the phallus of the great God Shiva are indeed ironic or should I say moronic?

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  • 70. At 2:45pm on 04 Mar 2010, seek wrote:

    One point of advise for Mr Biswas. In your process of catching attention in the west and being hailed as a great blogger with open mind, at least try to be unbiased. You are more worried about a filthy rich artist than the feelings of every Hindu. For your information I'm no Hard-line Hindu activist. I'm just an ordinary Indian.

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  • 71. At 3:54pm on 04 Mar 2010, MonicaUSA wrote:

    As a Pakistani Muslim - to my Hindu brothers and sisters - I completely understand the offense taken. Some of the posters have challenged the artist to render paintings of an Islamic nature portraying the prophet and Allah, and see the consequences of that. I agree with that as well. To take it a step further, let me just say that such artwork is not allowed in Islam (the rules are of the strictest of any religion). Sounds like India the secular has to come to terms with India the religious....It is not okay to offend.

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  • 72. At 5:05pm on 04 Mar 2010, CJ Vasani wrote:

    There are a bunch of Hindus contemplating what would've happened if Hussain had painted nude Islamic figures. Well, I think this is a classic issue of people forgetting their history. While the Hinduism roots has nudity and open sexual expressions written all over and it's easy to imagine Hindu goddesses and gods in nude (just visit Ajanta & Ellora caves), it's almost impossible to even remotely imagine nudity in 'any' of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and their dear sister Islam).

    The Hindu religion went through a permanent change after the Islamic invasion between 1250-1500 AD. If it ever remotely close to its roots, this would be a non-issue.

    disclaimer: I am a non-practicing Hindu of Brahmin / Kshatriya lineage.

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  • 73. At 8:13pm on 04 Mar 2010, kobieroxx wrote:

    Bye Bye Hussain. No one is greater than the country. And please don't return back to India again, coz you have nothing here except the shame.

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  • 74. At 8:51pm on 04 Mar 2010, Elton wrote:

    The Indian government especially the CPI(Communist Party of India) is lobbying to have Maqbool Fida Hussain be brought back to India. This entire incident is not about the painting but to ensure that India's democratic instituions will not be trappled on by a few. MF. Hussain was found not guilty by the Supreme court therefore he should be able to stay in the country. MF Hussain's departure actually shows how ineffective our democratic institutions are. The Supreme Court has made a verdict but the Government of India is unable to uphold the judgement. Our Democratic Institutions should be respected by all even if we disapprove of its verdict. MF Hussain should be brought back to India, simply to prove, that the Indian government cannot and will not be intimated by a few unruly people.

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  • 75. At 9:13pm on 04 Mar 2010, sajjid zeeshan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 76. At 9:27pm on 04 Mar 2010, sajjid zeeshan wrote:

    by the way is india a multicultural country or just ( onion bargee, vege ) indu country.
    it seems anyone that is not Hindu you bounce on him like wolf packs for that reason nothing can stop india from breaking up sooner or later unless you start respecting others.

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  • 77. At 11:12pm on 04 Mar 2010, Elton wrote:

    Sajid you should state where your from. Actually i already know where your from, you have got to be from Pakistan, you really have no right being on this forum and teaching us about tolerance and so on ...you should leave.

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  • 78. At 02:21am on 05 Mar 2010, H Zadoo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 79. At 05:59am on 05 Mar 2010, Syed Sajjad Ali wrote:

    No!

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  • 80. At 10:10am on 05 Mar 2010, Prasad Reddy wrote:

    I second Mr. Walker Thon.
    Laxmi Gupta, pls do not be a moron, there is whole lot of meaning to
    shiva lingam, not just a phallus symbol.

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  • 81. At 10:56am on 05 Mar 2010, sajjid zeeshan wrote:

    @Elton
    see you are stupid boy again just because my name is sajjid you think i am from pakistan well then where would you be from with your silly name by the way i am not from pakistan and my views were not as from india nor pakistani and what gives you the right to tell me leave if anything i should be here then you as i am british and so is bbc

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  • 82. At 11:22am on 05 Mar 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    I respect the erudition of Mr Hussain.Though it can been obvious that contrmporary Art does have some nudity and should not be a concern for Indians,but when this genre ventures into depiction of Hindu Gods and Goddesses who are revered,certainly is not appropriate.
    I would rebuff the argument that Hindu idolatry actively has amorous depiction and thus any form of artistry of such a nature shound not be panned.

    Mr Biswas ,I totally differ when you say "country's ability to manage diversity has been its greatest strength.
    What value is art if it does not provoke, stimulate and trigger debate?",Topics to debate are aplenty in the Indian political and socio-economic landscape.

    As a heads-up..managing diversity is not appeasement.It cannot be one sided where an Indian cannot buy land in Kashmir and an Indian Kashmiri can buy land anywhere in India.It cannot be the injuction to keep away from a Uniform Civil Code where a Hindu cannot have two spouses but a Muslim can.

    I dare ask Mr Hussain that can he be a free painter in Qatar if his art ventures into tenets of Islam and at times if not intentionally,offends
    the islamic sentiments.Will not such an artwork provoke protests? Did we forget the Danish cartoon protests in the Middle east or the objections of the Vatican to Da Vinci Code.The movie was banned in India just for appeasement ,despite being released in the West

    India has been and till date managaing diversity with its pacifist constitution and egalitarian values.It has inherent shock absorbers to
    keep the nation going despite upheavels,bad governance and corruption.Mr Hussain's contemptuous depiction of our Gods, as I see it will provoke an objection .In a country of a billion people it will stir up protests.Media should report and be sang froid about it.

    India today confronts major problems of corruption,terrorism,rural backwardness,political orgy and climate change.Lest we forget these issues and our Media turns our attention to this,statements from Mr Hussain that "India failed me" are deplorable.India is too big a country to fail a single person.One must have insightfullness to manage criticism and plaudits and carry on with what one likes to do,In this case just plain Art.

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  • 83. At 12:34pm on 05 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    I agree with most of the comments here that do not agree with your insensitive views, Mr. Biswas. You should really consider being a bit more sensitive towards ordinary people of India before defending someone who has been grossly insensitive to the majority of his own countrymen. Even this BBC website says that one is not allowed to post any comments that hurt someone's religious sensitivities, then why should a painter be allowed to do it in the public exhibitions, and not have any regret for his actions.

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  • 84. At 1:52pm on 05 Mar 2010, nitya wrote:

    My only concern is why he was not sent out of India sooner. Such artists who think they have a license to potray 'their freedom of expression', even though it means trampling on others beliefs, deserve to be sent out of all countries. I want to see him doing such paintings of his God in Qatar. His ilk are hypocrites who don't have the courage to show their expressions in a similar manner to all. He is not worthy of a country like India, and I am happy he is gone for good. His son can leave too if he doesn't like the country.
    The author of this article is as all others in the media, biased. He has not uttered a word about Taslima who is being hounded by radical Muslims in India. This sort of journalism is pathetic.

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  • 85. At 4:57pm on 05 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    People are always offended by this or that and the idea of their being offended seems to be some justification for actions against the offender. The media looks for offended people and they are easy to find, someone is always offended about something. The freedom of human beings is what is important and if your own beliefs are so weak that the actions of another test your beliefs than you have weak beliefs, don't blame them. Everybody sees the world through their own mind and senses and this is the problem....we cannot create 6 billion worlds to make everyone happy. Tolerance...it worked in the past and will work today.

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  • 86. At 8:21pm on 05 Mar 2010, DG wrote:

    Mr Biswas, Can you substantiate any 9 claims out of much hyped 900 cases that you mentioned ? Have you verified those numbers before doing cut & paste ?

    I wonder how come a responsible media like BBC putting up such a magical numbers without any explanation unless it's done purposely for some vested interest & hidden agenda ?

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  • 87. At 8:55pm on 05 Mar 2010, DG wrote:

    It's very strange that some people complaining about Hussain being criticized for nude painting which is linked with Hinduism !

    Well, though nude portrayal may be allowed in Hinduism but it dependents on the context & intention . Just like calling a blind by name blind will offend him/her. Logically there is no problem but it was intentionally done that matters.

    The same person in this blog claims that since Judaism, Christianity and his beloved islam doesn't permit it, so doing it would offend them.

    May be this fellow is living in stone age and haven't heard of google.
    Just google Christianity & nude art, you will get plenty of it.

    This fellow calls Islam as the dearest sister of Judaism & Christianity in this forum....in other forum he will call to kill them wherever they were hiding after the holly month was passed !

    And interestingly this fellow is defending M F Hussain !!

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  • 88. At 9:42pm on 05 Mar 2010, Max wrote:

    Very immature, myopic and hastily written article. Mr.Biswas why don't you read this article to broaden your knowledge?
    http://sify.com/news/Grow-up-M-F-Husain-news--kdfp6fgaaig.html

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  • 89. At 10:54pm on 05 Mar 2010, ismynametaken wrote:

    Dear Mr.Soutik,

    Very well written. I completely understand your stance, as a journalist, to try to cash in on a hot-topic. And I am forced to believe that you had strong views on the muslim protests all over the world when Prophet's nude cartoons appeared in Denmark. I am pretty sure you wrote some erudite article supporting the artist then. Can you please point me the link to that , would love to read it ?

    And yes, I completely respect M.F.Hussain for his mastery of his art. First time when he drew some nude paintings of Hindu gods, he may not have meant to offend anyone and I give the benefit of doubt to him. But when he realised that he has offended many people by doing so, why would he have to do it again and again ? Why not try painting the prophet nude ? I doubt, if people would have dragged him to court then. The verdict (read Fatwa) would have bypassed the court, and come directly from an Imam.

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  • 90. At 11:39pm on 05 Mar 2010, bujy wrote:

    Mr. Biswas,
    I am an Indian and not a follower of Hindu religion and still I dont think M F Hussein deserves Indian citizenship. He abuses another persons religion in the name of free speech and expression.Let him live a long life in his new found home.Not a good article at all even though you got me to express my opinion about him.Maybe thats why it's called create a controversy.

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  • 91. At 11:43pm on 05 Mar 2010, shikari shambu wrote:

    "Those who sow the wind, reap the whirlwind." True for Hussain, Salman Rushdie, the Danish newspaper, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal etc...

    Hussain showed bad judgement and a lack of respect for others beliefs when he did the said painting. Then, he did it again. Maybe he had gone senile. Maybe he should be held under house arrest - danger to himself and the society. BTW, wonder by how much his profile/ price of his "art" went up thanks to these games.

    One could argue that his painting was the visual equivalent of inflammatory speeches that Bal Thackeray and co give. So, what gives. I find it is a trifle amusing that "artists" and media folks (incl. journalists like you) think it is ok do such things if it can be couched as intellectual stimulation.

    Hussain's decision to live in Qatar (or, "gutter" as folks in the US say) is his own. Hopefully, he will not paint Allah or Prophet Muhammed. That would be death sentence.

    The sad story is not that of Hussain, it is of people like you who think it is ok for artists and media folks to disrespect others beliefs.

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  • 92. At 00:55am on 06 Mar 2010, Soumya Sen wrote:

    It is surprising to see how irrational most of these comments are, one would have expected somewhat more refined and logical arguments coming from these readers. The bulk of these opinions can be classified into one or more of the four categories, each of which can be shown to be nothing more than the common illogical and reactionary sentiments that have been hurting India's social progress:

    (1) Some readers seem to feel that Husain should have depicted some Muslim or Christian Prophets in nude so as to balance out his 'offenses' in the eyes of Hindus. Their claim is that Hindus are more tolerant and that Husain has exploited this tolerance.

    - This is by far the most ignorant and illogical argument. It seems that our standard of tolerance has gone down to such a level where Hindus think that they are being more tolerant as long as they don't end up killing an artist for his artworks. Extremism is not the benchmark against which tolerance is to be judged because in that way any fundamentalist action, no matter how damaging and disreputable, can be passed off as a mark of tolerance. Such incidents have happened even in the past with Deepa Mehta and Taslima Nasreen's works, and their recurrences only prove how intolerant the Indian society is, no matter how fervently one claims otherwise. Indians should not even approve, encourage or justify such behaviors, irrespective of what other countries and religions do. Husain should be free to paint anything he wants, and in similar way, all bans on Rushdie's 'Satanic Verses', Taslima Nasreen's books should be lifted. Those who don't like an artist's work can write a rebuttal or review, but have no right to stop him or her from creating their art, or prevent others from enjoying it. Only a psychologically repressed society advocates violent retribution, and unfortunately, India is one, as amply demonstrated by most of these comments. How did it all come to this is a question that one often wonders when they look at the creativity of our predecessors. For India to truly develop, advances in technology must be accompanied with much needed social reforms.

    (2) Some comments argue that Husain's art goes against Indian 'morality'

    - This too is entirely meaningless, since morality is not an absolute concept; it is subjective, and above all, it continuously evolves over time, and rightly so. In fact, it is the duty of an artist to challenge the prevalent notions of morality, and to make people question them so that we don't get stuck with false, yet well-accepted, notions about morals. In any case, it is not some abstract notion of morality that Husain's art poses a threat to, if at all, it just exposes the fact that the idea of morality, at least among a large portion of the Indian population, and certainly for many commentators here, is too closely associated with religious beliefs or simplistic sentimentality, as opposed to conscientiousness.

    (3) A few commentators suggest that as an artists, Husain should have been more 'sensitive' about general public opinion.

    - Artists are perhaps the most sensitive and conscious beings in the first place. Over the course of mankind's progress, it is the artists, scientists, and philosophers who have mostly held ideas that were extremely unpopular, if not downright unacceptable, to the general public at the time. And so they made many enemies, but that didn't stop them from provocating the public again and again, not out of malice but out of the sheer need to seek truth, and to enlighten the masses. If the argument that one should not express oneself out of sensitivity towards the general public opinion was justified, then we would have lost most of the writers, painters, playwrights, and in fact, we will still be believing that the earth is the center of the solar system. Public opinion cannot be a consideration at all while expressing oneself, if the public doesn't like it then they can simply turn their back. If an art form is unaesthetic it will die out naturally.

    (4) Many reviewers have been critical of Soutik himself for writing this article which they perceive to be biased.

    - Soutik was right in his analysis and in pointing out that the slow Indian judicial system was an easy tool to be misused by the zealots to harass the painter by piling up useless cases. The laws need to be revised, but at least some recent bold judgments by the courts need to be duly credited. Those who are criticizing must realize that Soutik is reporting this as his take on the subject, that is why it is in his blog section and not as a part of the news story. Therefore, questions about bias are baseless, a writer is entitled to his opinions. If readers have differences in opinion they might consider refraining from personal attack or lecturing him about media ethics, and instead put forth some rational arguments.

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  • 93. At 01:29am on 06 Mar 2010, Liliput wrote:

    It's hilariously funny that while Indians and their Govt, media-intelligentsia-politicians-bloggers-MBposters and what not, give their hearts out to host, protect and promote a foreigner - Taslima Nasreen - in the name of freedom of expression, etc, even at the expense of the lives of their own citizens (quite a number died, recently 2 in Karnataka), they cannot and do not want to do the same for one of their OWN most famous citizen, artist & compatriot. Although both are basically responsible for similar sorts of activities. In fact, they want to do/have done exactly the same to him - their own compatriot, what was done to the foreign national by her own countrymen and whom they have been hosting and promoting and using for so many years. What unbelievable hypocrisy and duplicity ! Absolutely mind-boggling ! This seems to be possible only in one place in the world. Thank god though, at least Soutik sees the hypocritical contradiction here; or does he ?

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  • 94. At 10:00am on 06 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    @Soumya Sen:
    You have written "Artists are perhaps the most sensitive and conscious beings in the first place.". So, all artists by definition are "sensitive and conscious beings"? This will be a Gross generalization.

    In every profession and society there are people who act in ethical and sensitive way, and some who are just the opposite. Mr. M.F. Hussain has amply proved that he belongs to the latter group, through his actions. I don't think there is any need for anyone to force everyone to accept him as one of the 'Greatest artists India has ever produced', when majority of the Indians don't consider him as one. There is nothing wrong in peacefully protesting against someone, who chooses to repeated hurt the sentiments of a large number of his fellow citizens, and without any provocation. And universally the religious sentiments are considered very important to human beings, and no one should have a right to hurt these sentiments without a reason. I want to know what point did Mr. Hussain want to make by painting the Hindu goddesses naked??

    Just because he is famous, and is an "artist", does not mean that he is entitled to act in an insensitive way and hurt the sentiments of a large community without any reason. I also don't think that there is any need for all artists to defend the actions of another artist, just because he is an artist. Imagine if a medical doctor does some unethical practice, and all other medical doctors come to his defense just because he is one of them¨! And even more ridiculous will be the argument that "Doctors are the most sensitive and conscious beings in the first place" -- sure most doctors are not, but it does not mean that there cannot be any doctor who is not.

    Moreover, I don't see anything wrong in people filing cases in the courts of India! So, Mr. Biswas wants to say that he does not have any faith in the Indian judiciary! And people should just be gagged, and not be allowed to even approach judiciary, if they think something wrong is happening. It is for the courts to decide, and not for the ilk of Mr. Biswas. I think this is a gross disrespect to the judiciary of India, and more than that it is a gross disrespect to the fundamental rights of the citizens of a free and democratic country like India.

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  • 95. At 1:07pm on 06 Mar 2010, Ananya78 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 96. At 2:57pm on 06 Mar 2010, Rishi wrote:

    Dear ananya for your rich upper class information and what you did not learn when you got your PHD in culture & art is that Laxmi and Ganesh are sister & brother and a painting of them in sexual position is bound to ofend a practing hindu like my self. I can appreciate the fact that upper class like your self incest is not a big deal and perhaps you folks encourage it but FYI in my semi litrate culture we find it offensive.

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  • 97. At 3:01pm on 06 Mar 2010, pj80 wrote:

    India will surely miss Mr Hussain, but will try to do without him. May be that is Allah's wish afterall. There in Qatar, Mr Hussain should try painting the events from Prophet Mohammad's life, nude paintings of Khadihjah, Zainab, Ayesha and may be some other interesting events from the Prophet's life. I am sure the great and highly tolerant Islam and the government of Qatar would sure support him.
    Good luck Mr Hussain, keep painting. Only this time paint something-evrything nude that has to do with Islam, Koran and the last prophet.

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  • 98. At 3:14pm on 06 Mar 2010, Rishi wrote:

    To CJ VASANI THE non-practicing Hindu Brahmin WITH Kshatriya lineage... nude sculptures in Ajanta & Elorra are not hindu god and godesses. Those carving depict mostly buddhist, jain sculptures some are hindu however non depict god. I think you need to get your facts straight before you open your ignorant mouth.
    And eve if they were god non of them depict incest!!!

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  • 99. At 4:17pm on 06 Mar 2010, geek74 wrote:

    Mr. Biswas - unfortunately, I am surprised that a news organization such as BBC would even let you have a blog on its website. Not impressed by your ability to have provide an intellectually stimulating and well balanced article/post.

    As for Mr. MFH, I would like to challenge him to make a naked painting of Mohd. - if he can, I think he would have the acceptance of all hindus in India. Else, he's just a taking advantage of a nation that has accepted him for tooo long but is ready to kick him out - and yes, good riddance of another "not fit to be Indian"!

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  • 100. At 7:40pm on 06 Mar 2010, ramesh reddy wrote:

    to ms ananya @soumya sen, u have tried very hard to defend mf hussain with ur eloquence but failed utterly,u rich and spoilt people know nothing about the culture ,have u seen the nude painting of bharat matha and his erotic drawings involving sita and hanuman ,problem is u dont care about the sensitivities of other people but other people should care about ur sesitivities ,common stop giving lecture to us,how about a nude painting of u both in lesbian position and display it in public as art,i hope u will be artistic enough accept that. anybodys freedom of speech is upto my nose not touching it ,enough of this hypocrisy of urs ,i hope my comment squeezes through the moderation.

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  • 101. At 7:48pm on 06 Mar 2010, theilluminatti wrote:

    Biswas babu, you have based your article based on views expressed in a news channel debate. agreed there has to be freedom to art and all that. The question is about the extent or should i say limit of freedom you have to offend other's sentiments.

    I need only one thing from Mr.Hussain:
    I want him to exercise his newly found freedom in a highly "democratic" and "civilized" society that is conducive to his "creative" thinking and come up with works depicting The Pope, Saint's, Mary and Jesus, and lets see how this "world" is reacting to that.

    Of course there are some fanatic fundamentalists causing trouble, but you have to agree that he has not been consistent with his "creativity", as many many others before me have pointed out.

    Does India really deserve MF Husain?
    It should sound like -- Does MF Hussain still deserve to stay in India?
    Ans: Who Cares, get on with your life.

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  • 102. At 11:28pm on 06 Mar 2010, voicingopinion wrote:

    Mr. Biswas
    An artist who depicts ANY religion in this shameful manner should not be condoned. I am happy that he can no longer live in India..I don't want him there!!!!

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  • 103. At 05:56am on 07 Mar 2010, H Zadoo wrote:

    Mr. Biswas asks 'Does India really deserve MF Husain?'
    Perhaps the bigger question is 'Does MF deserve India?'
    I would consider Husain's treatment is a shameful indictment of India, if and only if Hindu artists in India routinely made nudes of muslim Prophet Mohammad and sold them at auctions. Or for that matter, of Christ, or any other prophet of a major religion. I am willing to bet that if this really happened, Mr. Biswas would bend over backwards to show the Hindu artist as a hate monger, not talent. I have seen one painting which shows a cow vomitting. Mr. Husain calls it art, as a human I found it nauseating. As a Hindu I was seeing a 'holy' cow being disrespected in the name of art. This was one of Mr. Husain's earlier ventures into such 'art' and I think he was testing the waters... See the 9/11 terror squad of 20 from Saudi Arabia also did similar set of exercises to test the systems in place around the free world. There emerges a pattern in the way world systems are being tested. But I don't think Mr. Biswas spends time connecting such dots. But as a Hindu from Kashmir I have to - For survival!
    I notice it is now fashionable by Indian press to put down the Hindu majority and their sentiments because a Hindu will not destroy a non believer as a Muslim does. I have not seen Mr. Biswas write an article about the minority Hindus in Kashmir get reduced from 25% population to 0.005% from 1947 to 1990 (U.N. figures) by Muslim 'brothers' in the state. Most likely he does not even know of this ground reality, or for that matter care two hoots about it. But as someone who lost home and hearth I cannot afford Mr. Biswas' optimism about survival of a Hindu majority in the rest of India.
    Many people Mr. Biswas meets ask why one of India's brightest talents should suffer such indignity. I have an answer for Mr. Biswas and these people he meets. Mr. Husain should consider himself lucky that he is leaving India with life intact, considering the great democracy of Qatar that he is migrating to. If Mr. Husain's talents were to ever burgeon into the fertile territory of painting a nude Mohammad, he may not live to offer his next namaaz in Qatar. Hindus and India are a lot more tolerant than say a Muslim in Kashmir who threw out over 1/2 million Hindus for no other reason than being law abiding, tax paying citizens of India. Such Hindus that were too busy earning livelihood to have the time to paint anyone nude. Mr. Biswas is out of balance in his assessment. One only hopes that time will restore that balance.

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  • 104. At 09:30am on 07 Mar 2010, drtsiva wrote:

    The questions that begs asking Mr. Biswas is "Does Husain deserve India?" and not the other way around.
    The issues at stake here are not about artistic talent but rather about the repeated breach of cultural sensitivities under the guise of art.
    Would Mr. Husain dare to paint the resident god in his newly adopted country any way his artistic licence requires? It remains to be seen.
    Is there any reason why Mr. Husain to date has not chosen to paint Allah in the nude?..........i wonder.........

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  • 105. At 3:18pm on 07 Mar 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    For me this is your key statement: “The Supreme Court ruled on the controversy two years ago. It said that Husain's paintings were not obscene and that nudity was common in Indian iconography and history.”
    So, this is not a matter of law; it is a matter of religion/tradition.
    MF Husain must be heart-broken that India’s freedom of thought and speech has gotten so far off course.
    What has happened to India’s unity in diversity?
    Why are so many India’s troubled by the art of MF Husain?
    Apparently the issue is: MF Husain paints Hindu deities like Saraswati and Bharath Mata (Mother India) nude. There is a controversial piece, for example, that is a painting of Bharath Mata (Mother India) as a nude woman posed across a map of India with the names of Indian States on various parts of her body. Personally, I see this artistic interpretation as awesome, wonderful - demonstrating the unity of India under Mother India. That no part of India can be removed without wounding or even slaying Bharath Mata. This piece makes me quite emotional – not because of its nudity, but because of what is being portrayed - unity, the oneness of Mother India.
    MF Husain like any good artist is portraying the world, in all of its aspects, including spiritual, as he sees them; this is what good artists do. Please don’t condemn my ignorance, but why would Indians, or Jews, or Catholics, or any religion absolutely have to portray Gods wearing clothes? Do we belief that Gods actually wear clothes, need clothes, are shy or modest about their utter perfection? Rather I believe that it is humanity that is projecting its own insecurities onto God(s) and therefore there is an excellent chance that MF Husain may be more correct than other mortals.
    Why should Husain apologize?
    Anyway MF Husain is not an Indian anymore. He is citizen of Qatar. The painter faxed: “I, the Indian origin painter, MF Husain at 95, have been honoured by Qatar nationality”. Citizenship was conferred on him by the first lady Shiekha Mozah bin Nasser al Misned, wife of Qatar ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani - after commissioning him to work on a series of sculptures.
    I am thankful that such a brilliant artist has been commissioned to work.
    India should've kept him, cherished him, respected his vision; but alas, groups like the extremely conservative Hindutva forced MF Husain to take his unique vision elsewhere. India, you have lost a visionary.

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  • 106. At 4:24pm on 07 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    @BluesBerry:
    Did you even read the comments above, before uttering your non-sense?? What makes you think that only the "extremely conservative Hindus" have objections to the Hussain's work of painting the goddesses nude?? It is abundantly clear from the above protesting comments that it is the ordinary Hindus, who are otherwise extremely tolerant and broad-minded, that feel offended by his works; and not just that even non-Hindus and non-practicing Hindus have deplored the actions of Hussain of deliberately and unreasonably hurting the sentiments of such a huge number of his fellow country men and women. When this person, Hussain, has no respect for the feeling and sentiments of other Indians, and he did not even care to regret his actions even after so many protests, then it is clear that he has no respect for India and its citizens.

    And whatever interpretation you are trying to make in your comments, for justifying the actions of Hussain of painting the Hindu goddesses naked, will make absolutely no sense to ordinary people of India. We the ordinary Indians do not visualize our mothers and sisters naked, and so we can never imagine visualizing the goddesses and Mother India as naked. It will be best that you keep your strange imaginations and ideas to yourself, as no one here can even remotely agree to your ideas of visualizing someone one respects and prays as naked.

    By the way, although it is of no relevance here, I am myself not a practicing Hindu, I respect all religions and have friends from all kinds of religious and cultural backgrounds. However, I still feel offended by such actions of painting the gods and goddesses as naked, as nothing can be more hurtful for people who pray, worship and hold strong beliefs in the same gods and goddesses. It is a pity that ordinary people are being branded as "extremists" and "conservatives", even when they are actually hurt and victimized by such actions of an insensitive but famous and influential artist. I equally deplore the actions of the Danish cartoonist who chose to hurt the feelings of Muslims through his cartoons. But the paintings of Hussain are probably even worse in their hurtfulness, and no justification can be provided to disprove this fact. The only thing that could be more shameful than the actions of Hussain, is the justification provided by Mr. Biswas in his blog and a few comments supporting his views. To any person in his right mind, it will be clear from the language of the blog as well his supporting comments, that these commentators are completely detached from the reality and feelings of ordinary people of India. The ordinary people of India do not have any sympathy for such actions of Hussain, irrespective of their own religious beliefs. Of course, Hussain should have every right to live in India, but it is no "loss" to India if he has chosen to leave India.

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  • 107. At 6:07pm on 07 Mar 2010, KARNAL wrote:

    India is not at all worried on loosing MF.At least one fanatic, Islamic extremist has left the nation on his own. I will pray to GOD that please help rest of the extremist as well to left India in such a peaceful way.

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  • 108. At 6:26pm on 07 Mar 2010, KARNAL wrote:

    I am requesting BBC to have a look on this chap(Soutik Biswas) who is writing bluffs on-line.
    In this world people are not stupid, majority of 1.2 billion people are against the act done bye MF. those who were hurt are human as well. MF should think before act. being a painter MF Hussain has not right to harm the feelings of millions of people.

    I also condemn the act of danis cartoonist. he as well did the same mistake of MF Hussain. no one has any rights to harm feeling of millions of people in the name of freedom.

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  • 109. At 6:28pm on 07 Mar 2010, H Zadoo wrote:

    @Bluesberry. Sir perhaps I will attempt to provide answers to your two questions. And your stereotyping of Indians and conclusions drawn are just as out of balance as Mr. Husain's perversion that got auctioned as art. If I may respond:
    @Bluesberry asks: What has happened to India’s unity in diversity? Oh it is still there, alive and kicking. But in the name of bending backwards for unity one should not expect Hindus to bend over. If I don't find Mr. Husains's work as art, that does not make me a Hindu fundamentalist. As a Hindu I have respect for religious deities of our religion. As much as any other religious person in India has of theirs. So your question has a degree of naivete, and honestly misguided tilt to it. Next question...
    @Bluesberry asks: Why are so many India’s troubled by the art of MF Husain? Because it is profane. If Husain had painted a nude Buddha, or Mohammad I would be equally turned off by his pervert attempt to portray a religious icon of any religion, irrespective of his artistic intent. If you or Mr. Biswas sees the 'art' in a nude religious icon, I suggest that you lobby the Heathrow airport authorities to post nude Christ painting at the airport, as art? I will see how that will fly in London, or for that matter a nude Mohammad at Riyadh airport.
    Please do not toy with religious beliefs of others. Kashmiri Hindus like me are in no mood to turn the other cheek. You say Bharat Mata nude is a work of art? Then, how would you like to have your mata nude painting shown at a mall in New Delhi or London? It is easy to flaunt Bharat Mata in the name of art, because Bharat mata is not going to reply back. But your own mata, now I will wait to see you response on that. You see a lot of secular Indians have a disconnect between what they call Bharat Mata and their own mata. It is easy to do for people with double satndards. Many who have revolted at Mr. Husain's art do not see any difference between their mata and Bharat mata and expect to give both the same respect. Peace and Love.

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  • 110. At 6:47pm on 07 Mar 2010, Prasad Reddy wrote:

    Soumya Sen,

    Curious, out of 4 categories, which category do you belong to?.
    For yourself, You seem like an exception, don't you?

    Exceptions are being self-expelling from the country?
    Like Mr. MF Hussein.
    Now, we see why you are aligned with the MF.

    Please do not worry, as you must have noticed, Indians do like pain down under from a few like you. But do not expect them to 'love' and 'groom' those pain givers. what do you say? fair deal?.

    Just because, you think, you can see above all, does not make you smart, you still have to eat,drink and breathe for the survival like all others, and to pass fluids and solids periodically, again like all others.
    Smart people act normal, because there lies wisdom.
    And normals try to show their fictitious smartness one way or the other like this, like your post, like the MF's mother stripped-off pictures.
    Mother India , is comparable to each and every Indian's own mother, during India's freedom fight, she was even first before their natural mother.

    HOW would you like your natural mom's NAKED PICTURE to be drawn and put in front of the world in an exhibition by one of your twisted up sibling that got some fame, so guarantees that most world gets the glimpse of your naked mom's picture.
    How do you feel now. So be compassionate with all fellow Indians, but not with a rotten tomatoe. Silly smarty Sister.
    This is more than silly-ness that you are showing here. You got that?
    Be some real smart, than a smarty smart.

    Prasad.

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  • 111. At 6:49pm on 07 Mar 2010, ramesh reddy wrote:

    bbc ,it is time for u to think is it worth having someone as correspondent to a nation when he fails to feel the real pulse of the people and maybe restricted to the aristrocratic.just a food for thought.

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  • 112. At 11:51pm on 07 Mar 2010, pravahan wrote:

    The Question strikes me as a odd one. I am sure MF Hussain is a artist of the highest calibre. But why should a country want to deserve him? Because he decided to paint visual symbols of Hindus into erotic and incestuous looking paintings. Why would then a sizeable section of Hindus who form 80% of India's population not be angry with him. Just as freedom of expression is his right so is the right of the people to file cases against him. Now we may say that the people filing these cases were motivated by intolerance and zealotry then why hasn't someone stopped to ask what motivated Mr Hussain to paint godesses in nude?
    The issue raises questions which are uncomfortable in this noisy democracy. Is the freedom of expression of a certain individual paramount over the deeply felt sensibilities of a particular religious group. Can't a group that felt violated by a person's action take the legal recourse to make that person realize his mistake ( in their opinion)? And if we are critical of that particular group shouldn't we be equally critical when other groups take similar offence at similar acts of violation/denigration?
    Comparing Hussains's paintings to the nude painting/sculptures in Ajanta/Khajuraho is being unfair to the artisans who created them. The sculptures at khajuraho are dedicated to lovemaking but donot necessarily depict incest or any other immoral behaviour. The Nudes in Ajanta only depict the dressing sense of that era and is not erotic in connotation. There is reason to believe that these were created by artisans in respect of their own beliefs. I don't think the same principle can be applied to Hussain. It seems he just painted his fantasies some of which are too outrageous to be acceptable. The only thing I can say in Husain's favour is that he didn't seem to have a anti-hindu agenda. BTW he could do well to test his artistic freedom in his adopted country. Age is after all on his side.

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  • 113. At 09:24am on 08 Mar 2010, krsnamayi wrote:

    Does offense to naked Hindu Goddesses extend to Museums? Shoud I firebomb the Museum in my town for having a naked deity of Umadevi on display? Can I deface the Konark temple in Orissa for having naked nymphs in sexual positions? Grow up India! You don't have to personally like MF Hussain's work, but to push a genius from your shores, is pure idiocy.

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  • 114. At 09:41am on 08 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    @krsnamayi:
    What was acceptable thousands of years ago, need not be acceptable now. A thousand years is a big time for a culture to change and evolve. How many nude goddesses have you seen that were painted or sculpted in the last thousand years?? Hussain knows the present days' morals and sentiments. And the initial protests about his work should have been enough to remind him what is acceptable and what is rather hurtful to so many people. What was expected was at least some sensitivity and consideration from him after all these protests.

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  • 115. At 4:21pm on 08 Mar 2010, krsnamayi wrote:

    @Anmol
    So you are trying to say that Indians now are more puritanical than 1000 years ago? This so-called purity is entirely superficial, and one only needs to take a trip to the local internet shop to see porn abounding. I lived 10 years in India and have to say that men there are some of the biggest perverts I have ever met. As for naked sculptures and paintings, that is much more realistic these days with photography, and that is available on practically every street corner in India. Why take on artistic interpretation and leave everything else alone? Hypocrisy abounds.

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  • 116. At 4:34pm on 08 Mar 2010, Kali Yug wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 117. At 6:03pm on 08 Mar 2010, raakshasamatya wrote:

    Mr. Biswas! First of all I would like to pose a question to you??
    Do you really believe that we are the largest democracy in the world???
    Then by what standards??

    The first Prime Minister of India was not elected by the people of this country. He was chosen and then thrust on this nation by Gandhi. It is a well known fact that Sardar Patel was chosen by 12 out of the 15 or 16 provincial congress councils to become the Prime Minister.

    Now to THE GREAT INDIAN PICASSO.

    Did any one shunt him out or chase him out of the country? The answer is a big NO. He just ran away from the legal system of the country because he knew very well that he has committed a mistake and would be prosecuted. If he was man enough, he would have stood by his paintings and faced the law and not chickened out and take the citizen ship of another country.

    This is not the first time that he had been singled out. On numerous previous occasions also he was requested, asked, told, warned, threatened and finally his exhibitions ransacked for depicting HINDU deities obscenely. Do you know about painter who has been attacked in a similar fashion???

    Does he have the courage to paint about deities of other religions in a similar fashion. If he ever does, it is for sure that he would be dead in no time.

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  • 118. At 6:41pm on 08 Mar 2010, raakshasamatya wrote:

    This post is for the BBC.

    I have always held high regard for the BBC. It is one the best most realistic, unbiased, non leaning media of the world. I never miss to watch it.

    But hiring by BBC such unrealistic, detached from the facts, twisted mind, obnoxious, one side looking, squint eyed, unmoralistic persons is very painful and revolting.

    If want to build friends in India, then you have to hire people who are more reaching to the common man than just a few elite.

    I think you would stop publishing his dirt. It would only distance you from the Indian public.

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  • 119. At 7:56pm on 08 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    I will refrain from any personal attacks on Mr. Biswas. Many of his earlier blogs have been sensible and interesting, although this one has been way off the mark and completely unbalanced. Perhaps this is a part of the learning curve...

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  • 120. At 8:07pm on 08 Mar 2010, uglynfatgit wrote:

    I think we Indians should be ashamed of ourselves when one of our own citizens cannot live in India without fear and needed to leave the country and give up it's citizenship. A great loss to India!.

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  • 121. At 11:42pm on 08 Mar 2010, Arvind wrote:

    Soutik, I have often disagreed vehemently with many of your views but here is one we are in agreement on. Muslim and Hindu artists have sculpted naked gods and godesses for millenia, inherent to hindu appreciation of beauty. But the people commenting here know that. Yet they feel offended on a basis of a morality that does not hold valid by any stretch of the imagination. To the people commenting on Mr Biswas's 'bias', any opinion column in journalism is meant to express the opinions of the journalist involved and while we may not agree with them always, it should give you a different view of an important issue. Art is an important issue in society. In India, progress is not viewed by the masses as cultural development as we would have fifty years ago. Progress is viewed through the limited lens of empowerment of the masses by the left or development of the country by the right. In such a world the world of free media and journalism, art, literature, the study and analysis revisionist or otherwise of history has no place. We do not deserve M F Hussein but we need him. We need the rebels of our society to hold their ground. Fight against the silly norms of the establishment. Man does not live by bread alone, our music, our art and the freedom to experiment with them, even if that expression has adult imagery. There is no fine line between art and obscenity. Obscenity assumes that the entire nation of India operates on the same moral plane. An idea that is just as ridiculous as the government needing to 'protect' M F Hussein. An artist does not need to defend his work from anyone yet he is responsible as a voice of vision, a mind that sees his world in forms unimaginable to the rest of us, to continuously push our boundaries in his field. Or we could be stuck with a million replica sandalwood elephants as the pinnacle of our art.

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  • 122. At 00:14am on 09 Mar 2010, krsnamayi wrote:

    The painting which ruffled everyone's feathers depicts India as a naked Goddess. I urge readers to please google this painting and look at it. It is neither Sexual, nor Vulgar...Is there really something offensive about seeing India as a Goddess who should be respected? MF Hussain has a very Gauguinesque style, and it is neither realistic, nor sexual. Is it disrespect to think of India as a Goddess, or it is far better to spit blood-red saliva mixed with pan everywhere, drop trash any where you please and urinate in public places? India should clean their external garbage dump of an environment up before trying to tackle internal purity.

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  • 123. At 01:31am on 09 Mar 2010, anil92844 wrote:

    Mr. Biswas,

    Living in a democracy is a privilege that many journalists are forgetting. And so did Husain. This is a story that is repeated time and again by minorities in India especially when it comes to pressing the buttons of the majority Hindus. The “Indian Hindu Democracy” is very tolerant of criticism of its gods and goddesses. This is one country which has had Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Parsees (at least one said he was) as its Presidents or Prime Ministers. And this is country that has been butchered by Muslims and Christians.

    Back to Husain, very recently there was Jesus on a beer can and Christians protested and the government acted. Some time back there was the cartoons by a Dutch cartoonist about Mohammed and the whole Islamic world including in India was up in arms including threats to kill the cartoonist. Must I remind you that Mohammed and Jesus are not God. The Indian government has not acted on Husain with equal seriousness.

    I can just see you and Husain massaging your private parts in public and in the presence of your mother, sister and daughter and making a case that they are body parts just like your hands, nose and ear.

    I live in the US. But I will tell you that there is freedom of speech until that freedom trespasses/encroaches onto others. Saying something offensive and drawing something offensive about someone does not go well in the USA. I can tell you with a high degree of confidence that if Husain had done something like this in the USA he would be sued and would lose in a US Court. And if it were something similar against Christianity, I can assure you he would need a lot of security.

    India is a very conservative society. If Husain had drawn naked pictures of his mother there would have been protests let alone someone else’s mother especially an Indian Goddess(es) that are held at the level of ones’ mother or even higher. So India must not be upset at loosing an educated, successful, famous Indian. I say GOOD RIDDENCE to a stupid man who ran out of ideas of painting.

    Now I request Husain to spend the next few years drawing naked pictures of his god (Allah!), his god’s mother, Mohammed and his own mother and I assure you that India will not protest (not the Hindus for sure).

    Shame on Biswas and Husain! Biswas you are glorifying a man who lost his senses! In a Muslim Nation you would face the same plight as Salman Rushdie. If people like you and Husain were sensitive to others around you….the world would be a better place. And Husain forgot that his forefathers were Hindus once.

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  • 124. At 01:36am on 09 Mar 2010, anil92844 wrote:

    Comment 122 by krsnamayi.

    Dude you are lost. Husain painted Indian Godesses several years before painting India as a Godess. There were protests the first time. Any wise person would have stayed away the second time. But then again I have to question Husian's sincerity!

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  • 125. At 10:38am on 09 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    @Arvind (post no. 121):
    Your senseless post serves absolutely no purpose except to show your idiocy in public.

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  • 126. At 4:31pm on 09 Mar 2010, people_are_equal wrote:

    Mr. Biswas you need to stop living in an academic's bubble. If you are writing a blog on India please try not to ignore the hundreds of millions - thats 00,000,000 many zeros - who live in crushing poverty in India."The story of Husain is one of the saddest of post-Independence India" - ridiculous. You seem to talk about selfishly self absorbed topics of interest. Certainly the sentiments of many Hindus may be implicated in being hurt here and free speech and a talented painter may suffer - but to what degree? Are they going to die? Or suffer for the rest of their lives? What about the suffering of MILLIONS in poverty? Or the key internal struggle against Maoist violence? If you think that is a balanced assessment of the key issues you are self-obsessed. Just like the rest of the crazy media you are talking about cricket and bollywood all the time when people's children are starving to death. Yes women's voting rights and Pakistan-India relations are valid and key topics but even then you concentrate on your own views rather than those of the millions out there. Your narrow horizon is probably an indication of your ignorance but only as part of turning a blind eye to issues that really matter.

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  • 127. At 04:38am on 10 Mar 2010, nick wrote:

    Soutik Biswas is following the anti-Hindu agenda. But ask yourself, if Hussain makes a few 'artistic nudes' of Muhammad and his young wife Ayisha, I wonder if he would have enough time to run for his life. He would be a foot shorter, beard and all.
    Freedom does not give anyone the right to hurt religious sentiments- even tolerant Indians are not that insensitive anymore!
    Moreover in a recent interview with Burkha Dutt on NDTV he said he has moved to Qatar because the Taxman was hounding him back in India. Each of his paintings sell for many millions of rupees! Why shy from paying taxes in an impoverished country like India?! At 95 how much does a man need? Was there any real need to escape from taxation, for crying out loud?! He categorically said he does not have any complaint about the Govt of India! Watch the interview at ndtv.com

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  • 128. At 06:07am on 10 Mar 2010, K V Rao wrote:

    What's so great about Hussain?
    A great artist does not seek to get into religious controversy if he is really that great. There are umpteen subjects to choose from to express any one's artistic abilities and caliber. Da Vinci's portraits of nude figures adorn the Sistine Chapel. They do not offend any one's sensibilities. I do not consider the work of Husain to be any way comparable to the great artists. It is good riddance to India and Indian Society that Hussain chose to become Qatar citizen.

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  • 129. At 08:29am on 10 Mar 2010, ignisvulpes wrote:

    Ah yes! "Freedom of speech, art, expression, whatever:)" such wonderful words!

    So, just because I have the freedom to portray someone as naked do I do it?

    It's just a painting of course! It's not the real god/goddess (never mind whether they exist or not!)....

    Here is Swami Vivekananda's "defense of Idol Worship"

    During the days of his wanderings, the Swami was once questioned by the Maharaja of the State of Ahwar, India, on idol worship. The Maharaja said he had no faith in idol worship and that he could not worship wood, stone or earth. Looking around , Swami Vivekananda's eyes alighted upon a picture of the Maharaja. Taking it down he asked the courtiers to spit upon it. Shocked at the request, they they declined to do it. Swami Vivekananda turning to the Maharaja said, "The picture has the likeness of you. It brings you to their minds and they naturally look upon it with respect. In the same way, the image in the temple brings to the mind of the devotees their chosen aspect of God. They do not worship the wood, stone or earth of which the deity is made from. The idol remains an idol but the worship goes to the Lord".

    He further says, "A symbol is absolutely indispensable for fixing the mind. The mind wants a prop to lean upon. It cannot have a conception of the Absolute in the initial stages. Without the help of some external aid, in the initial stages, the mind cannot be centralized. The people of the whole world, save a few Yogis and Vedantins, are all worshipers of idols. They keep some image or other in the mind".

    To posters who have said that the Linga is an example of naked idols...Excuse me??? The linga does represent Lord Shiva, but it is a phallic symbol. It is not a representation of Lord Shiva as a "naked person"

    To posters who have said that there have been "idols" have been represented in naked form for millenia...Ummm...so what? Does this mean we continue doing it? So why do we actually wear clothes? Why do we have something called privacy etc...etc....

    Going by the same logic, how many of us would post naked photos of ourselves in websites or in public? (yeah, I know it sounds stupid!)..but then, it's just a photo right? It's not the "real" you..it's only a 2 dimensional presentation of how you look:)

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  • 130. At 08:41am on 10 Mar 2010, vibhav wrote:

    While i am all for freedom of expression i do have my my reservations about what to express and how. i would not poke my nose into something i don't know about. If i knew that lakshmi-ganesh or sita-hanuman are related as mother and son as per Hindu mythology i would not depict them sans clothes in one place, let alone in union of any kind . That is something totally inappropriate. all those who had a mother to mentor them would understand this. further more i would not go on to paint sita sitting naked on ravan's thigh if i had gone through Ramayana for once i would have known that while sita was in captivity she was given every comfort(clothing included) except freedom. though i can understand that imagination has no bounds but i fail to understand that why a simple apology has so many bounds. he could have apologized if he had the amount of sensitivity we except in a artist's heart/mind/thoughts. furthermore i must say that it is a person's fundamental right to settle down in part of the world specially if he is not sorry to leave India as such.

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  • 131. At 09:19am on 10 Mar 2010, cleareyed wrote:

    Maybe he can sponsor the Qatari citizenship applications for Sharmila Tagore and the Menon lady too. Good riddance!

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  • 132. At 11:51am on 10 Mar 2010, Winnie wrote:

    I am not in favor of national borders and the sense of patriotism they bring along, so it does not really matter to me if Husain says an Indian citizen or not; it is his choice to choose the nationality he wants for the only thing I abide by is fulfilling my responsibility as a global citizen. As far as his portraying Hindu goddesses as nude, I do not see what the problem is in that...a woman's body is beautiful, and one should not be afraid to express it...goddesses represented in "pure" form, i.e. without attire, in my opinion, portray a true sacred picture of the goddesses in that they don't need a human disguise of clothes to protect themselves because goddesses are powerful and sacred in their own context. Those who object to art and goddess art are only using religion to create violence in society; they are giving religion a bad name. The world has already seen enough religious discrimination after 9/11, and it does not need more violence/discrimination. I am almost reminded of how women's panties were sent to this guy who claimed himself to be a religious leader sometime ago in India; it is a clear reformation movement that seeks to promote equality for all and shun the leaders who let injustice prevail by wrongly using their religion for religion respects all and does not call for violence. In conclusion, whether Husain stays an Indian citizen or not is relevant; we all should be proud that he is still there among all of us and practicing his art, the way he wants to, because an artist has every right to express themselves.

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  • 133. At 12:22pm on 10 Mar 2010, Srivathsan M wrote:

    In response to some of the comments about Nudity in Hinduism, let me add my 2 cents.
    The perception of Nudity itself differs from culture to culture and also from time to time. Yes, it is true that many of the Temple sculptures in India could easily be perceived as nude by the ordinary, but the point is how crass and blatant they are.
    Secondly, Mr. Husain, in some of his paintings depicted his mother and (I think) his sister as decently clothed subjects. If he regards nudity as something "pure", then has he depicted his near and dear ones as otherwise? My apologies to his mother and sister; it's definitely not my intention to drag them into this sewer-pit debate but am somewhat forced by this Husain drama.
    Lastly, it seems, he himself had confessed in an interview some 8 years back that he depicted Hitler in nude because he wanted to deliberately denigrate him as he hated him (Hitler). Using the same argument, would I be wrong in saying that Mr. Husain deliberately denigrated the Hindu deities? Also consider the fact that he had not meted out the same treatment to other religious deities that are embroiled in some controversies - Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, for example.
    I can very well understand Mr. Husain accepting Qatari citizenship. Only that, I would gladly send him a "Good Riddance" card rather than anything else. I would also request Mr. Husain not to perform any drama-acts like claiming that he is still an Indian at heart. Certain gestures, however symbolic they may be, give out strong unmistakable messages which even an ordinary person could understand. So let not Mr. Husain insult the intelligence of the common people by such "patriotic" claims.
    -x-x-

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  • 134. At 3:06pm on 10 Mar 2010, Indian wrote:

    This is one the article which I feel sorry to read mostly I feel it is written by an Indian writer and how poor he depicts about India in a negative way to entire world. I am more sad to read this lines from you. I really depicts bad impression and wrong impression of India to world.

    "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."


    I donot understand when does a single person become more then people of a country and tradition. I donot know why people talk about him so much when there are many problems in India. You see even though if we allow him to come India what he will do. Simply he will do paintings and earn money thats all. Why donot people understand and take it that India doesnot need him at all. It is just few people who are not consider as common man like Tagore and others who are rich support him. I want to ask Anjolie Ela Menon is this, if he national treasure so what does it mean. He can do whatever he want. Before this incident happened he was regarded as jewel of India and everyone respected him and adored him. This shows India is place where talent is respected and adored but that doesnot give his right to hurt India itself. If India can adore you, it can also defend its core values.

    Firs of all you see he hurt feelings of religion. Come on how come one even think of such heinous act of painting Hindu goddess nude. I just want to ask Hussian saab one question does he dare to paint his god in such manner. He painted them not because of stupidity or arrogance or by mistake. He did them because he wanted to do it. Deliberately he did it.

    Second, the muslims have even released fatwa to kill danish artist who drew derogatory cartoons that hurt muslims feelings. In this case I am with my muslime brothers even though I am not a muslim. But we, in case of Hussian didnot wanted to kill him. Didnot release him fatwa. Come on how come you expect that by simply saying sorry will solve it after all he has done.

    In my case, there must be special laws for pursuing cases that disturb harmony of society and make fun of other traidtions, cultures and we must punish them. Hussain saab is living his life in fact he got more publicity by doing this heinous act.

    To writer please come out of feeling and donot mislead other international readers that India needs Hussian. No India donot need Hussian.

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  • 135. At 4:44pm on 10 Mar 2010, jmathew wrote:

    Hussein is a genius no question, and we are proud of him. However I am not very sure about his reasoning to change his citizenship at 95. If he is trying to send a message to Indian people that Muslim scholars are somehow less regarded, it is too old for him to do that. His very make is Indian, all of his paintings are just reflections of the complex Indian society. I don't know how he can escape that? Well, if it is about the pending court cases and vandalism against his paintings; you got to expect it before you hurt religious sentiments. We cannot expect millions of illiterate people to be connoisseurs of his esoteric renditions. But then the new Indian attitude is 'accept it the way it is or **** OFF'. Who needs Hussein? what difference does he make?

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  • 136. At 8:34pm on 10 Mar 2010, Max_Mahajan wrote:

    "It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed." Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    THAT is the Truth which M F Husain has violated! I am NO Commie BUT I accept and learn from Wisdom, from ALL sources.
    Post # 9 by Maayavi puts things into perspective. I am neither anti-Muslim nor anti-Islam but I belong to the Arya Samaj (loosely translated as: Society of Aryans) so I do have a/some different perspectives about idolatry or worshipping of symbols which is quite the same view as the founder of Islam/(his followers) had(have)! HE knew that people would abuse his image so he forbade the use of his image! Just think about it! [If anyone here does not understand why the quote from Lenin IS a TRUTH just holler!]

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  • 137. At 02:34am on 11 Mar 2010, Hanuman Mall wrote:

    COUNTRY IS LARGER THAN ANY,ANY INDIVIDUAL BE HE WHATEVER HE BE.

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  • 138. At 04:34am on 11 Mar 2010, ramesh reddy wrote:

    i dare mr southik biswas to respond to certain genuine questions raised by common man of india in this blog and prove his eligibility to be a correspondent .my sincere advice to you is u have completely lost touch of reality, come out of ur five star aristrocratic circles to know what a real nation is all about ,please for the sake of democracy don't stoop to such low levels of manfacturing verdicts.

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  • 139. At 07:37am on 11 Mar 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 140. At 08:14am on 11 Mar 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    So the title of this Article from Mr Biswas as "Does India deserve MF Husain?" begets the question "DOES HUSSAIN DESERVE INDIA? ITS MULTICULTURALISM" , "DO PSEUDO-LIBERALS DESERVE INDIA"?

    India belongs to all Hindus,Muslims,Sikhs,Christians in the country.There should be mutual respect for religions ,culture and traditions in each of the religions and mutual cooperation,equal opportunity in career.Other than Mr Hussian,many Muslims like Dr Abdul Kalam,Gulzar,Shaba azmi,the Actor Khans have made a successful public profile in India.This is not to target mr Hussain subliminally because of his religion.

    So I request Mr Biswas,not to paint a picture of gloom with this case which is a pure aberration and the ONUS is on Mr Hussain to make himself acceptable or otherwise in this beautiful Country

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  • 141. At 09:47am on 11 Mar 2010, Samriddh Aanad wrote:

    Mr.Sautik Biswas
    Reason for Hussain leaving Indian citizenship is not due to his anger instead he wanted to run away from facing trials against him filed in India against his alleged crimes.

    If we leave behind this point and concentrate on his life it is evident that Hussain never Loved to be an Indian (painting nude "Bharat Mata") and had envy towards the majority.
    He lost his mother at the age of one and a half years which ultimately resulted in negative development of his character and a poor mentality towards women and that too of Hindu religion.
    He not only disrespected Hindu goddess but also abused the people of India. He not only hated Hindus but also wanted to make his life big as he stared as hoarding painter and was not recognised well.
    So to "Kill two birds with one stone" he created following controversy(I am saying 'created' because in India everybody knows such actions will DEFINITELY lead to controversies)
    1. HE allegedly"promoted enmity between different groups ...by painting Hindu goddess--DURGA and SARASWATI--"in an uncharitable manner hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
    2. Mother India- he painted nude mother India which is very identical to Indian Map.
    this proves his malicious intent.
    3. On 26/11 attack he again painted a painting titled "Rape of India"
    this also shows his mentality towards India (specially Hindus because he painted nude mother India) thereby showing his hidden feeling that he loved the attacks which killed more Hindu and people of other religions.

    To conclude I would say India should have "disowned" him before he abandoned India.

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  • 142. At 12:09pm on 11 Mar 2010, mridul_h wrote:

    It is great tragedy that Mr. M.F Hussein had to leave his Country of birth under forceful circumstances but respecting one’s self respect is highest duty being ordained from above while taking birth by one and hence the decision of Mr. M.F Hussein is upright and correct. God can never be found within the perimeter of a Temple or a Church or a Mosque. He is everywhere within as well as outside the Universe from zero to infinity. He has no beginning, no middle and no end. He is energy only and hence have no form or figures. The deities are assumption of us only to express one’s LOVE towards Him. He is the Almighty One and He is the Devil. Nothing other than He is true and hence always alone without a second available. Therefore the doing of an art work cannot constitute an insult to any being both are none but He only so long one’s heart is pure and clear which none other than doer of work knows. One can insult an ordinary only and not the biggest one who is prevailing everywhere through the work of an art. Why not we see the sun temple? Thinking of doing so by any is an action of brining the Almighty to the level of an ordinary in front of the others. No action either thought or work can go without producing a result and hence everybody needs to face its consequences either good or bad. The Lord is govern and bounded by four letters only i.e. Love but our action of forcing Mr. M.F Hussein to leave the Country is not Love but hatred and hence it constitute an action against our most adored God whom we pray with utmost sincerity and respect. Let God Purdon our sin done inadvertently even though it is very much unpardonable.

    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA,PhD)

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  • 143. At 2:00pm on 11 Mar 2010, arunmehta wrote:

    When India deserved him for 95 years ,she deserves him all the more in his golden years.Perhaps ,a secular India does'nt deserve the communal parties which are after him through endless litigations and threats.

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  • 144. At 8:46pm on 11 Mar 2010, Yash wrote:

    Forget about Hussain for a minute. Do we deserve people like Mr. Biswas in India? Who are educated and see only western perspective and always blame India for everything. I will point out some out of many points i have noticed after living abroad.

    1. I have been to Amarnath yatra which is our sacred place and we hindus do not get any subsidies for that. Though our govt provide subsidies for muslims to go for Huj yatra.
    2. We had our president Muslim.
    3. We have separate muslim law.
    4. We have a list of our celebrities who are muslims.
    5. We have still not hanged a person who has been involved in parliament attack. Who is unfortunately muslim.

    Do you need more??? There are many if you look out.

    Well, I have never seen any western country give subsidy for other to visit their sacred place. There are no two laws in western country either. Do you think any Indian would be a President of USA or PM of UK? They take immediate actions against criminals no matter who they are or what community they belongs to...

    So who are liberals?

    After all of this do you still believe that India need to deserve someone like Hussain. I think its the best thing has happened. I didnt know about the controversy until this post but when i searched and gone through Mr Hussain's book I came to know that he has painted his own mother and prophets daughter Fatima fully clothed. Doesn't he see any art in that? Or he only likes the art with Hindu Goddess. Also, he him self given an interview to NDTV while back that he painted Hitler naked to show his anger because he hated him. That means he paints someone naked whom he hates.

    Dont you do any research before you write something sensitive which affects the sentiments of Indians?

    We Indians are so much liberal but there should be a limit to everything. And if someone crosses that limit then bye bye Mr Hussain.

    I may not be educated like you but i can easily see and feel the real sentiments of Indians.

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  • 145. At 06:13am on 12 Mar 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Mr Biswas,I understand, you are indeed erudite in your field of profession.

    Is the purpose of your blog intended to bring to the world the enigma called India. Is not the rationale for this blog to offer a window to the world on what India is really about?

    While it is justified you write about the current affairs. I see you have written about the

    -'IPL fiasco',
    -'MF Hussain'
    -'Sach ka Samna',
    -'Was Shastri murdered'. and so on.

    There seems to be a tunnel vision with most news networks, including the BBC,who look at controversies and relatively less important issues as opposed to a justified focus on the 'People of India'.

    A suggestion on the topics you can write your blogs apart from CONTROVERCIES:

    CULTURE AND SOFT POWER OF THE SUBCONTINENT:

    There not enough emphasis on Rural India. Its resilience against the corrupt bureaucracy,
    its relative state of non change for centuries. I saw no blog entry that draws inspiration from Ancient India which tried to delineate the wisdom and astuteness this Civilization.
    There can be entries about the variedness of culture and way of thinking to the north and south of the Vindhyas .There can be a blog on the Music of India, its subtleness, its varied textural essence from Kashmir to the Northern plains, its rawness in Rajasthan and its deepness in the south. You can similarly write endlessly about dances. You can cover the Languages of India quite amusingly, by example the red mark or Sindoor is called Kumkumam in Tamil ,kunku in Marathi and kunkuma in Kannada and surely something different in Telugu.One entry about the martial Arts of India will be great entertainer. Another one about Sikhism will draw a feeling of awe, as to how this sub-sect defended Hinduism thereby contributing to the richness in society. Covering how food unites India would be deliriously happy reading experience, an example is how the Anti Hindi protests of Tamil heartland have become passé and the young generation is actively open to Hindi and the Spicy curry and naan of Punjab. The smells of India cana lone be covered in one blog.

    A blog on how modern India is influencing Brazil by the soap 'Caminho Das Indias',how Bollywood has entered the Universities in US ,the households in Germany. How a pacifist state has accumulated so much soft power?

    On architechture,You could have written about the Brihadheeshwara temple.It has just completed 1000 years(1010-2010) of perpetual existence. It demonstrates how emperor’s like RajaRaja Chola built a Tamil empire and respected its people, proven by the engraved the names of laborers who built the temple in the granite stone.


    CURRENT AFFAIRS:

    Leave the memorabilia about India, there is no entry to bolster support for the safety of People in Religions gatherings on India when just a week back 60 people died in a stampede (mostly women and children).I did not see a blog that wrote about education, its quality at the primary and secondary level. There is no entry I could recollect about child malnutrition/labor and argue for the rehabilitation of children begging on the metros. You can write about neglected Sports in India and how the government should invest like China in sport clubs/facilities. You can write about the
    'Indian Muslim', who deserves an extolment for setting an example for Muslims living in Non Islamic societies and yet blending incredibly well into the social fabric of India and demonstratively not being involved in any Al Qaida plot. There is no entry on Sufism and how its uniqueness in the subcontinent, be the answer to extremism. A little focus on the plight of the commuter in metros, the traffic police and its utter incompetence in helping accident victims,the plight of government run hospitals, the poignant state of Sanskrit and its neglect. The need for an agile security system than a Mammoth army and men in uniform used to dig and fill trenches.The state of our rivers and lack of initiative to clean them.

    PERTINENT QUESTIONS ON PANORAMIC COVERAGE:
    Where have you written about India's culture, traditions, mannerism, friendliness, humility and the profound humanity thereby comprehensively looking at the real issues India ignores, tackles and circumvents. India is not just a country, it’s a subcontinent. Writing about India is as equal or complex alike an attempt to cover Europe in a blog.

    Unless western or local media fathoms, that India unites in its diversity. It has never invaded in its 3000 year history and has sustained and thrived with the oldest religion on the planet. How will it succeed drawing a country rich in history, culture, spirituality, sights, architecture,
    Not to mention the largest democracy on canvas. India bamboozles the speculative traveler and even the curious onlooker.

    CONCLUSION:

    I am sure I have just scratched the surface on the facets of my country.Mr Biswas,this blog on the BBC is bereft of most of the topics suggested above and 'indicts' India for the M F Hussain painting.

    Is this really FAIR to us Indians and the image it projects to the World about this magnificent land. Are both the International and Indian readers not deprived in essence by lack of an adept, holistic coverage?

    @Yash : I second you here

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  • 146. At 5:24pm on 12 Mar 2010, Kaliyug wrote:

    Mother Father Hussian definitely needs to be punished, he being a Muslim and his people being intolerant to any kind of reference to Islam or its prophet cannot be drawing nude figures of Indian Hindu Godess, I am glad that this rotten scoundrel is not Indian citizen anymore. Hussain has used his talents to self-destroy the art of drawing with his deeds, it is not freedom of expression, rather freedom to be DUMB expression. Let him live in Qatar and see how society treats him there, what you sow is what you reap.

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  • 147. At 1:44pm on 13 Mar 2010, S N V wrote:

    No, India does not deserve M F (!) Hussain. India deserves much better. M F (!) Hussain, is a glorified bigot who is insisting on insulting majority religion and is carrying on the tradition of past Islamic hoardes that attacked India over last millenia of destroying Hindu temples and desecrating Hindu idols. If he were not a bigot why did he never painted Ayesha or Fatima or even his mother in the nude ?

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  • 148. At 06:20am on 15 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    whatver litle knowledge i have so far i dont think hindus used to paint or sculpt their goddesses nude, it were moslty the courtesans who were shown such, yes hinduism was sexually a liberal religion and it still is but that doesnt give the licenece to anybody to be manipulative, forget about the unruly hindu factionists, i diasgree with their modus operandi, but nonody has the right to cause discomfort to a section of society on the name of art..
    hussain living in india or anywhere else, its hardly a matter of national concern, this whole epsiode is as worthless as many other things discussed in the media..
    that should be a matter of debate and not mr hussain and the reason i have lessened my appearnces on this blog is coz of the way rules are flaunted and so much of bias and nonsense...

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  • 149. At 07:16am on 15 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    @92 what was the point here, first of all ur generalization was wrong and very boring, i felt it suicidal to read till the end, the generalisation i am sure is that most people are under the opinion that hussain couldnt have gotten away (with just changing nations) after doing such insanity with his own religion (i am considerate not to explicitly mention the right words)...
    this blog is written in poor taste and ill-researched, norms of nudity have changed and so have norms of tolerance, tolerance cant be genralized, its spontaneus and moral guardians should be looked with equal contempt worldwide but that doesnt happen here, u have to be logical and in-ur-mind which hussain forgot for ages..
    nudity is one thing and sexual manipulation the other, draw a line madame...
    india is one of the most free nations despite being so diverse n complex, get it right, and we have better things to discuss than hussain and his paintings..
    i am not a supporter of vandalism but i cant in my right sense give a nod to his paintigns either, let him change nations, let him do whatever he feels like, it doesnt affect many, he was more of a provocationist than a painter, a psyche, many artists are...

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  • 150. At 10:25am on 15 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    :@ krsnamayi: why do u think there is nobody to respond to ur trash, mixing up chewing pan n u have problem painting india as mother goddess, either u have scant respect for our freedom struggle or u know little, either u are insane or u dont know that there is no point in mixing issues together for the sake of the greater good, which u have never implied.. urs is a baseless approach to defend urself, that something as groundless n unreal as one's faith can be debated so profundly only proves that ppl like u still have no grounds, grow up, it s high time....

    and let me get this very right, nowhere in india we have paintings or any form of art that shows 'inappropriate n disfuntional' sexual acts been showm amongst gods n goddesses, even if that had been, this doesnt give the right to insane people to just go ahead and paint silly painintgs in the 21st century, so much for the sake of expressionism, modernity n freedom, nonsense i say..
    and the world should be practising tolerance rather than just talking about it and all the dimensions must be debated and not just india and hindus being told to do so...

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  • 151. At 10:29am on 15 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    @krsnamayi: porn in india and much everywhere else is more covert n ppl dont display n discuss them in malls n museums, do they??? u have some inhibitons with it, do u watch that with family??? first u need to know why this whole MFH issue was brought up n then speak, dont just write anything, that will hardly qualify u as smart...and u are foolish enugh to be mixing ppl's faith with porn n paan, i agree we need to clean ourselves up, but does that give u the right to be so casual with ur comments, have some sense....

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  • 152. At 10:37am on 15 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    mr biswas its sad to note that what u write is mostly very ordinary n poorly researched n very biased, and i find it very amusing n feel sorry for u that people either criticize ur blogs or debate henceforth citing refernces from fellow commenters, all forgetting what u orignally wrote unlike other intelligently written blogs where the references are moslty made (if not always) with respect to the original write up but in this case, since ur blogs are so little informative, so little researched, ppl dnt find it worthy enuf to take references from there, the average debater seems to be more well aware as-a-matter-of-fact...

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  • 153. At 11:01am on 15 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    #145 mr eternalindia i just love u so much for writing this, we often vent out our energies on these meaningless things, the point is india is too big n complex a nation, a antion beyiond comprehension, and thus ppl who are lazy choose the easier route, those paths that are lined with trees n smell of blossom and that is bad indeed...
    i pity on all those elas, tagores n hussains who in their pseudo-intelligent minds and in their secure-positions become so regardless of the common india and her belives...

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  • 154. At 12:33pm on 15 Mar 2010, indiawalla wrote:

    BUT INDIA HAS TO PUT UP WTH BISWAS LIKE CHARACTERS. DOES BBC DESERVE BISWAS OR HINDUS HAVE TO PUT UP WITH BISWAS AND OTHER INDO-BRITS?

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  • 155. At 4:49pm on 15 Mar 2010, California Mojo wrote:

    I think this guy is a rabble rouser who has more talent for ethnic controversy then painting. That said...

    This isn't about naked pictures, it's about xenophobia.

    If India continues to allow fundamentalists to drive out minority thinkers, they will never innovate and will always be a follower nation.

    Ignore the idiots until they advocate violence. It's the only way.

    On the bright side, the west will continue to benefit from the Eastern intolerance displayed by both sides of this story.

    I don't think it's unbelievable that his works weren't included in an exhibit. If you take away the controversy over boobies, they're not very remarkable.

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  • 156. At 09:12am on 16 Mar 2010, Muddassar wrote:

    Well. i will agree that the pictures drawn by Husain were in real bad taste and he just took a religion for granted.

    two things i would like to point out.
    1. the people who said what would have happened if he painted prophet and his wife etc. Well, i can answer that. in that case A fatwa would have been issued by an Islamic cleric and most of the people who are preaching the respect of a religion in above posts would have called the Muslims a backward religion and the Muslims as fanatic and would have gone to no limits in praising Hussain. some would have called him a liberator, a fighter, a messaih etc etc. if i am wrong in my above conclusion then i would apologize but if i am right then you all need to rethink. I remain completely opposed to any sort of painting that is done in bad taste. i saw the painting of Hanuman and Sita and those were derogatory and disrespectful.

    Also, did you all feel the same way as you feel now when the images of Islamic prophet were published or did you all praised it as a freedom of press??

    note: i am a Muslim as my name suggests and the only thing i hate in this world is hypocrisy and people who are hypocrite and use two different measurements to judge the same scenario.

    over all i'd say Good Riddance from Mr. Hussain. that fellow was not even a Muslim(just had a Muslim name) and was maligning the name of Muslims like a few more people we still have in here.

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  • 157. At 12:12pm on 16 Mar 2010, rohan17286 wrote:

    I wonder why every "Hindu" here holds up, as a justification, bull-headedness and conservativism in Islam, Christianity or anything else. It is the most childish and stupid of arguments you can make.
    I was born a Hindu Brahmin. Note - WAS. I was too disgusted by what I saw to keep up the canard. Keeping all that lovely philosophy aside, what I have seen the "faith" degenerate to over my lifetime (24 years), is a stinking mix of violence, moral policing and fascism. I am sick of seeing people taken to task for "offending Public sensitivity", be it MF Husain, Taslima Nasreen or even James Laine (author of a supposedly offensive book on Shivaji). I hate the culture of bans on books, films and art for being "offensive" - or even better, outright thuggery and even attacking libraries. I don't even need to justify why I feel so - that is the essence of a liberal democracy and has been thoroughly corrupted in India. We admit it ourselves - by comparing ourselves to Saudi Arabia and petty little sheikdoms on small issues of religious freedom...."why should we? Will Saudi Arabia allow xyz of Allah in its domain". Tripe.
    People may disagree with his paintings - but the moment you want them proscribed, you become a Fascist and a Fundamentalist. Period. There is just one thing Mao got right - RELIGION IS POISON. This true of all religions - Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, all of them.
    As for the Hindu fascists here, I dare you. If nude goddesses are such an issue, please destroy the temples of Khajuraho and all bare-breasted representations of Hindu goddesses in all ancient temples across India, even the ones you may brag about as archaeological treasures (a delicious irony, isn't it?). They must be equally offensive to you, isn't it?

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  • 158. At 12:24pm on 16 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    #156 muddassar, come on dont be under so much sceptimism, i am against every person who fails to realize the line between freedom of expression and religion, for instance take nigeria, the continuing muslim christian violence there, the miss world 2001 contoversy over the prophet, the cartoons of prophet from europe, portrayal of hindu gods on toilets n undergarments by european fashion houses etc, i oppose them all, its in bad taste n i can just say that these people have little knowledge and they are provocative in nature...
    leave these people aside, we should concentrate on the good...

    #155 california mojo i guess u have too little knowledge of the words u use, we are not xenophobic, there might be some but u cant paint us all alike, grow up and then talk, u seem to know little...
    people with little or no knowledge should refrain from posting anything, am against it, knowledge is precarious, it must be handled with care n respect, u seem to be missing badly on both the counts...

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  • 159. At 1:01pm on 16 Mar 2010, rohan17286 wrote:

    "It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics. "
    --Robert A Heinlein

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  • 160. At 1:03pm on 16 Mar 2010, rohan17286 wrote:

    Here is some more food for thought:
    1. "Of all the strange crimes that humanity has legislated out of nothing, blasphemy is the most amazing - with obscenity and indecent exposure fighting it out for second and third place."
    2. "History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it. "

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  • 161. At 1:46pm on 16 Mar 2010, ramesh reddy wrote:

    #156,mudasar it is refreshing to hear rationale voices from ur community,thank u for the post ,i equally condemn danish cartoons and hussain paintings,we need indians like u who can say i'm indian first and rest is later

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  • 162. At 2:38pm on 16 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    @rohan17286:
    Dear Rohan, please calm down. Please don't complicate life with too many unnecessary arguments and philosophies. Life is not that complex. I sincerely wish that you simplify, and see the simple side of life. There is no need to indulge in such philosophies that do not serve any purpose. With very best wishes, A.

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  • 163. At 3:39pm on 16 Mar 2010, rohan17286 wrote:

    @Anmol:
    Religion serves no purpose.

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  • 164. At 3:47pm on 16 Mar 2010, Ganesh Nambiar wrote:

    For those doubting tomases like Elton ,that this would not have been such a big issue had the crime been committed by a Hindu himself,it would be worthwile to rewind ones memory to Vadodara where one Mr.Chandra Mohan had his exhibition destroyed for an offending display of hindu sensibilities.Futher,there have been reports of hundreds of mosques demolished in Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia for infrastructure expansions. Nothing created a furore anywhere. Why does the demolition of a dilapitated structure called Babri Mosque cause tremors all over.Same logic dude.

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  • 165. At 5:38pm on 16 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    @rohan17286:
    But the religion in itself is not necessarily harmful either, because not everyone following a religion is a fundamentalist. Otherwise, one won't see millions of simple-minded and simple-living sweet and loving people who are happy to say that they are believers of one religion or another. There is no harm if people believe that there is some law (call it Karma or whatever) that governs this universe, and being good and doing good is what they learn through religion. I am not saying that religion is a necessity, because whatever message a religion (any religion) essentially tries to teach (at least originally) is a kind of common sense. After all, we all are born with the same values (of love and peace) that a religion might be teaching, otherwise without these values of love and peace we won't have survived so far. But again, if a religion serves to remind people about these values then there is no harm done.

    However, I also completely agree with you that religion is often used by a few people, to oppress others and spread hatred etc. Of course, this is very sad, but there will always be a few people who will do these things -- whether in the name of religion or political ideology or whatever. I agree that religion should not be given too much importance, and people should not blindly follow the so called "religious leaders", who invariably tend to exploit the simple people in the name of religion. Power corrupts. A religion does not need "leaders", because the message is just a simple and shared understanding and wisdom and does not require a leader or any kind of authority. Religions should also be democratic and open to debate and open to criticism (just like any other ideologies).

    But the point here is not about the criticism of any one religion. It is just sad that some people act in a very insensitive way and hurt the sentiments of common people (e.g. through the cartoons by a Danish cartoonist, or the paintings by Mr. Hussain). If there was any message, any reason, any criticism that these people were trying to make then at least I (and I believe many others) will have no problem with that. Then these works would only offend a few fundamentalists, who cannot take any reason or criticism and are just close-minded (and corrupt-minded in their own ways). But when such things are done just senselessly and the only purpose is to offend others, then these are definitely not in a good taste. Again the point of the above discussions is not just that one person (Mr. Hussain in this case) did such actions, and continued doing it for a period of time in spite of many repeated protests -- he might just have been a bit eccentric not to see the message -- the point is that the original blog that triggered this discussion was very much one-sided and did not discuss the whole issue in its right perspective. I deplore any kind of violent protests against Mr. Hussain, but at the same time it would have been great if he realized that his actions are hurtful for quite many (ordinary) people.

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  • 166. At 8:40pm on 16 Mar 2010, a m malik wrote:

    I am Pakistani and a Muslim- somewhat practising one at that. Islam prohibits - and very strongly- to let down any religion/faith. That is why even when the caricratures of our Holy Prophet were drawn by the Dutch fellow no Muslim said or made any derogatory stuff of the christians - even against the gay priests housing under the fuselage of the pope at Vatican. Equally so I deplore the paintings of MFHussain as they hurt the sensitivities of the followers of other religion. No! He should not have done that. Quite a few participants have mentioned that they would be contended if MFH draws similarly for the revered persons in Islam. That is a lopsided argument. That shows how much one cares for his own values. You should continue to show ur concern. Certainly no one will be spared if he does so for making any cartoons of Islamic personalities. And as such here I will stand with all the Hindus -despite my serious differences with India- to condemn MFH if he has drawn the sketches of the holy personalities of Hindus.
    I also see one Mr Zidoo also in the arena. He is a fellow Kashmiri and at another place we had some difference of opinion because of inability of his IQ levels to comprehend something reasonable and his inability to support his arguments with some rationale - same way as he has done it here. But despite ur naivity at lack of understanding things - Mr Zidoo - here I stand besides you- and even though you wrote some unscruplous remarks in ur comments for which I had to s...t u up.
    Be sure all Hindus that u will not find a single Pakistani supporting for what MFH has done. And to all liberals that u must understand the difference between tolerance and being intolerant of the sensitivities of the others.

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  • 167. At 04:27am on 17 Mar 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    RESPONSE TO ATHEISTS AND PSEUDO-LIBERALS:LIVE UP TO TIMELESS INDIA

    The comments by rohan17286 filled with strong atheistical overtone makes me commiserate with people who fret, squabble over superannuated issues and people who have FOCUS on 'Asar'(Non-essence) than 'Sar'(essence).

    It akin to quarrelling over the banana peel,as opposed to the fruit.Apparently Mr rohan17286 has clear objections to religion due to fanatics,but if he just turned around and saw what India is,leaving miles beyond such aberrations.He would realize how beautiful Hinduism is,and how different it is in every part of the country.Same is true for Islam.

    Spiritual India offers much solace to the west .Visitors are gob-smacked with tentacles of religion deep-rooted in our society,daily life and the number of festivals in our culture that are present to lead our daily lives with happiness and zeal.

    @ vivek:

    I thank you for your response to my comment #145.

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  • 168. At 07:31am on 17 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    #165 anmol, i guess ur post sums up everything, had u written all of this, many people wouldnt have got anything else to write..heheheh
    well done, the futility of religion can be thus debated, but then if its so groundless, then why do a majority (sounding majority i should say) are deep in religion, if not strict adherents then believers at least, much like me, its simple, because it provides power, religion isnt for the 'weak' i tell u, religion is for the sane, the good, religion makes us fear, keeps us focused, but many mispropogate it, its a totally different debate, but just the fact that so many of us are god-fearing proves that it serves a purpose..
    #166 mr malik thanks for the good words, stay assured we indians (most of us belive me) respect islam a lot (and pakistanis too), including i, we just need to get rid of all the few sick people, who will still exist sans religion or not

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  • 169. At 07:40am on 17 Mar 2010, vivek wrote:

    anmol, i had meant had u written all this in the very beginning, this wouldnt have got stretched so far with a zillion repitions...
    good post

    @rohan: i totally understand what u say, religion actually serves no purpose for most of us, for our likes who sit in our air-conditioned rooms and have computers and pizzas, but it does for millions and billions who harp on it for hope, for well-being, try it, u will feel the difference, it serves purpose for the well-beings too, for busy souls like us, it gives us time to celebrate, get-together and make merry (now dont say we can do that otherwise too, we can, but u see not this often) why to tread in the path which has no end and no conclusion, instead of concentrating on the futility of religon we must instead cocnentrate on the action of individuals, will this explaination serve any purpose to the fundamentalists, to the simple people like u and me, philosophies are more for the full-stomachs but for the masses, it serves little

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  • 170. At 09:04am on 17 Mar 2010, amalans wrote:

    The correct answer is: No. Husain does not deserve India. He is not secular, respectful and innocent.

    India has far greater priorities such as the environment and infrastructure than running behind this artist to get him back. Frankly i think they should deny him a PIO card and leave him to be where he is in peace (and us as well).

    The whole media exercise is a colossal waste of time. No writer has the jurisdiction to advise Indian Hindus on what secularism and tolerance is. He/she is better off advising the others that/whom need it most.

    Husain is going to run himself into a corner performing a similar act on Muslim art in Qatar where he will be hounded out by a dozen fatwas on his tail.

    Meanwhile those who preach Hindus on the concept of Secularism and Tolerance would do well to take their trade elsewhere. As for Husain, i personally feel, he can take a hike.

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  • 171. At 09:05am on 17 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    Thanks vivek, and good to see a healthy consensus for a peaceful and respectful living together :-)

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  • 172. At 10:36am on 17 Mar 2010, MOHI wrote:

    THE LIKES OF MF HUSSAIN CAN GET ANY NATIONALITY. OTHER MUSLIMS IN INDIA
    ARE HAVING PSYCHOLOGICAL DISADVANTAGE COMPARED TO HIM. SO HIS ISSUE DOES NOT EFFECT THE COMMON MUSLIM. HE SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE LIMITATIONS AND TRY TO KEEP HIMSELF AWAY FROM CONTROVERSIES. SAME THING HAPPENED TO SHA RUKH KHAN.

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  • 173. At 6:53pm on 17 Mar 2010, H Zadoo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 174. At 3:51pm on 18 Mar 2010, a m malik wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 175. At 7:54pm on 18 Mar 2010, H Zadoo wrote:

    Malik makes it a point to talk filth about Hinduism on other bbc topics, then shows up here and criticizes this sick artist, as if he is doing Hindus a favour. That is like a cat eating thousand mice, then goes to Hajj, to cleanse past sins. When malik runs out of facts on blogs, he resorts to trashing Hinduism - holy cow and its urination (direct quote from a malik bbc post), or (Hindu PM) Morarji Desai drinking urine etc.
    Before criticizing other religion's practices, malik should look closer to practices within his religion -Islam. Practices that allow anyone walking on the street to enter into temporary marriage contract with a Muslim woman of choice. This contract (mutta) is sanctioned by Islamic law through a Muslim priest, who presides in the 'ceremony', attended by the woman and her family (as witness). The priest seals the 'deal' or mutta, by declaring that (drum roll please...) for the duration of the contract any illegitimate child conceived will also be a follower of Islam. Wow! Hopefully, facts like these help people form their own opinion.

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  • 176. At 5:08pm on 19 Mar 2010, Raj Neo wrote:

    An artist has every right to express his feelings through his chosen medium but he should keep in mind how the society out side his little head accept his expressions.
    An artist can depict a theme like "raping a woman" pictorially but you should not proclaim that the woman in picture is actually someone's mother or sister but sure one can claim that is his own mother.Mr.Husain lacks that common sense and decency , that is his fault and it has nothing to do with religion.Hope he will not do the same mistake while in another country.

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  • 177. At 8:58pm on 19 Mar 2010, Anmol wrote:

    Dear H Zadoo and A M Malik, every country has its problems and every culture / religion / ideology has its flaws. It is much better to see one's own flaws and try to overcome those, rather than spending time and effort in finding others' flaws and feeling a false sense of superiority and living in a fools' paradise. Therefore, it is better not to make a fool of ourselves by such behavior :-) Peace and respect.

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  • 178. At 12:56pm on 20 Mar 2010, a m malik wrote:

    Dear Anmol
    you have responded as per the meaning of your name i.e of unlimited treasureor priceless . Yes good words- But Mr Zidoo has also responded accordingly- Ziddi(obstinate) shall I say. Perhaps in his vocabulary a child born out of a wedlock is illegtimate (By the way only a certain sect believed in Mutta - better than secretly having illegtimate sexual relations where the people do not own up the off springs or children out of wed lock are not allowed any inheritence)

    Now Anmol - yes I am addressing u only because no point in addressing a closed mind of an obstinate- The best I like about u people is the respect for parents and the elders, Hospitals for the poor and place for the destitutes(though not mental destitutes like above). Common points. As for the cat eating a thousand mice and going for Haj. Why after all mice have to be mice and come to the folds of the cat. But then out of the mice also come out the rats - what d'ye say Zidoo?

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  • 179. At 10:52am on 21 Mar 2010, a m malik wrote:

    Dear Anmol
    I hope the general consus is that Mr MFHussain has done no service to India, by painting what he should not have done. We also had a mevrick - though an outstanding painter - an icon - who has produced excellent calligraphy but only when he had whisky bottle in hand(Calligraphy is Quranic writings- in Arabic). Drunk he would produce excellent pieces of art though mostly religious biased and the rest was more philosphical. Mr Sadquain is dead now but each of his paintings is not only rare but is in millions. He himself , however never sold any of his work and usually gifted it away

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  • 180. At 09:36am on 22 Mar 2010, a m malik wrote:

    Hi Zidoo
    Parnam. You seem to be hiding somewhere. Are you angry at me? why? after all I spoke the truth only and nothing else. So when would you like to come over to Kashmir? U see I love my place and would not like any one from my place to fret over unnecessarily. Do not be sensitive to small little things in life. Look after your well being.

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  • 181. At 5:28pm on 22 Mar 2010, Anupam wrote:


    I dont think MF Hussain deserves any kind of support esp in india where he had made naked picture of Hindu God/Godess and is still freely moving around. Moreover he has pending cases against him and and he is absconding using the name of ART and MINORITY status. How can we indian esp hindu tolerate a person who has made naked pictures of hindu gods. Gods are considered as Father/Mother in each religion, how will that SO CALLED ARTIST and his Intellectual Friends will feel if their own Mother/Father are painted naked and publicised. I think the days are not ahead when those people will even do that also so that they can be called protector of democracy. MF Hussain should be brought back to India and he should be given severe punishment according to indian laws so that No one else can dare do it again. OR ELSE best is to ask him to make HIS OWN MOTHER/FATHER's naked picture and have exhibition. I think the country which is offereing you citizenship, ask them to offer it to your Children. Why are burdening our land with your SINS which you have done earlier and got them on earth.. MF Hussain.. People like you are responsible to bring hatred among communities which makes hindus goes against muslim. You dont have anything better to prove in life so you do it by hurting our sentiments.. I think you have lived lot.. its better you go to all mighty allahh and your sould live in peace and we hindu-muslim live peacefully in india...

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  • 182. At 6:53pm on 22 Mar 2010, Raj Neo wrote:

    Hope MF Hussain will not defame prophet Muhammad while in exile through his drawings and will respect his host.I respect and admire him as a great painter from India. It is a personal decision for a man to live where he likes, a nation can not choose her men but men can choose.

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  • 183. At 11:15am on 25 Mar 2010, Ananth wrote:

    India is a country of pluralisms and diversities in every spectrum of life- views, people, languages, food etc etc. We should understand that this is a case where people have negative views/ opposition towards Mr. Hussain's so called 'Art'

    India has enough number of talents and hence we should not attach too much of importance on him being conferred with a Qatari citizenship. Mother India has lost so many talents including famous scientists who have added value to people's lives today and I don't think Mr. Hussain has done any good to the quality of people's lives. Hence let him be happy in Qatar and dare to paint paintings of his choice there

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  • 184. At 3:15pm on 26 Mar 2010, parrhesiastes wrote:

    Now, India will wait for centuries to replace the loss.

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  • 185. At 12:15pm on 29 Mar 2010, pure desi wrote:

    husain is totally out of order(he does not deserve the Mr before his name) He took advantage of the peaceful nature of the HIndus of the world! how dare he depict our Gods in such a way.i hope he is never allowed to set foot in our sacred soil again! we do not need people like him in our country.

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  • 186. At 6:36pm on 21 Jul 2010, shafi chaman wrote:

    M.F.Hussain, actually, never left the INDIA. His soul 'in fact' lives in his ART, and His Art still lives in INDIA.
    Shafi Chaman ( contemporary painter-Kashmir- India.)

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  • 187. At 10:36pm on 27 Jul 2010, BigOil wrote:

    Husain should draw the Prophet and Aiysha Naked. That way we can be sure he is truly an objective artist and not an Islamic extremist agent.

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  • 188. At 08:44am on 30 Jul 2010, destinyrules wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 189. At 09:09am on 02 Aug 2010, Chetan_Singh wrote:

    I am keen follower of Mr Biswas blogs and appreciate some great work like "India & China: Myths of economic Growth", "Commonwealth Shame" etc but I am disappointed to see such a blog from Mr Biswas, i would say this blog proves that Indian authors suffers with Tunnel Vision when its comes to Hinduism or Hindu Culture. It is easy to criticize the action of Hindu's giving the tolerant Hindu culture...... I would ask why there was Hue & Cry over prophet cartoons?...why Taslima Nasreen is exiled from Bangladesh ? Why south park producers got a threat from Islamic radicalists?......

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