[Reader-list] Fwd: Feel free, Mr. Husain. Go paint Qatari leaders

anupam chakravartty c.anupam at gmail.com
Thu Mar 11 19:16:13 IST 2010

Dear Pawan,

What makes you think that linga is not phallus?

regards Anupam

P.S. could you please also source an input which prove my claim as untrue?

On 3/11/10, Pawan Durani <pawan.durani at gmail.com> wrote:
> Source : http://rummuser.com/?p=2993
> A letter by Dr Mrs Hilda Raja to N.Ram
> Dear Ram,
> I have taken time to write this to you Ram — for the simple reason
> that we have known you for so many years — you and The Hindu bring
> back happy memories. Please take what I am putting down as those that
> come from an agonized soul. You know that I do not mince words and
> what I have to say I will — I call a spade a spade — now it is too
> late for me to learn the tricks of being called a ‘secularist’, if
> that means a bias for one, and a bias against another.
> Hussain is now a citizen of Qatar — this has generated enough of heat
> and less of light. Qatar you know better than me is not a country
> which respects democracy or freedom of expression. Hussain says he has
> complete freedom — I challenge him to paint a picture of Mohammed,
> fully clad.
> There is no second opinion that artists have the Right of Freedom of
> expression. Is such a right restricted only to Hussain? Will that
> right not flow to Dan Brown — why was his film Da Vinci Code not
> screened? Why was Satanic Verses banned — does Salman Rushdie not have
> that freedom of expression? Similarly, why is Taslima hunted and
> hounded and why fatwas have been issued on both these writers? Why has
> Qatar not offered citizenship to Taslima? In the present rioting in
> Shimoga in Karnataka against the article Taslima wrote against the
> tradition of burqa which appeared in the Out Look in Jan 2007. Nobody
> protested then either in Delhi or in any other part of the country;
> now when it reappears in a Karnataka paper there is rioting. Is there
> a political agenda to create a problem in Karnataka by the intolerant
> goons? Why has the media not condemned this insensitivity and
> intolerance of the Muslims against Taslima’s views? When it comes to
> the Sangh Parivar it is quick to call them goons and intolerant etc.
> Now, who are the goons and where is this tolerance and sensitivity?
> Regarding Hussain’s artistic freedom it seems to run unfettered in an
> expression of sexual perversion only when he envisages the Hindu Gods
> and Goddesses. There is no quarrel had he painted a nude woman sitting
> on the tail of a monkey. The point is he captioned it as Sita. Nobody
> would have protested against the sexual perversion and his
> orientatation to sexual signs and symbols. But would he dare to
> caption it as ‘Fatima enjoying in Jannat with animals’?
> Next example is the painting of Saraswati copulating with a lion. Here
> again his perversion is evident and so is his intent. Even that, let’s
> concede, cannot be faulted — each one’s sexual orientation is each
> one’s business I suppose. But he captioned it as Saraswati. This is
> the problem. It is Hussain’s business to enjoy in painting his sexual
> perversion. But why use Saraswati and Sita for his perverted
> expressions? Use Fatima and watch the consequence. Let the media
> people come to his rescue then. Now that he is in a country that gives
> him complete freedom, let him go ahead and paint Fatima copulating
> with a lion or any other animal of his choice. And then turn around
> and prove to India — the Freedom of expression he enjoys in Qatar.
> Talking about Freedom of Expression — this is the Hussain who
> supported Emergency — painted Indira Gandhi as Durga slaying
> Jayaprakash Narayan. He supported the jailing of artists and writers.
> Where did this Freedom of Expression go? And you call him secularist?
> Would you support the jailing of artists and writers Ram – would you
> support the abeyance of the Constitution and all that we held sacred
> in democracy and the excessiveness of Indira Gandhi to gag the media
> writers – political opponents? Tell me, honestly why does Hussain
> expect this Freedom when he himself did not support others with the
> same freedom he wants? And the media has rushed to his rescue. Had it
> been a Ram who painted such obnoxious, degrading painting – the
> reactions of the media and the elite ‘secularists’ would have been
> different; because there is a different perception/ and index of
> secularism when it comes to Ram — and a different perception/and index
> of secularism when it comes to Rahim/Hussain.
> It brings back to my mind an episode that happened to The Hindu some
> years ago. [1991] You had a separate weekly page for children with
> cartoons, quizzes, and with poems and articles of school children. In
> one such weekly page The Hindu printed a venerable bearded man — fully
> robed with head dress, mouthing some passages of the Koran — trying to
> teach children. It was done not only in good faith but as a part of
> inculcating values to children from the Koran. All hell broke loose.
> Your office witnessed goons who rushed in — demanded an apology — held
> out threats. In Ambur, Vaniambadi and Vellore the papers stands were
> burned — the copies of The Hindu were consigned to the fire. A threat
> to raise the issue in Parliament through a Private Members Bill was
> held out — Hectic activities went on — I am not sure of the nature and
> the machinations behind the scene. But The Hindu next day brought out
> a public apology in its front page. Where were you Ram? How secular
> and tolerant were the Muslims?
> Well this is of the past — today it is worse because the communal
> temperature in this country is at a all high — even a small friction
> can ignite and demolish the country’s peace and harmony. It is against
> this background that one should view Hussain who is bent on abusing
> and insulting the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Respect for religious
> sentiments, need to maintain peace and harmony should also be part of
> the agenda of an artist — if he is great. If it is absent then he
> cannot say that he respects India and express his longing for India.
> Let’s face it — he is a fugitive of law. Age and religion are
> immaterial. What does the media want — that he be absolved by the
> courts? Even for that he has to appear in the courts — he cannot run
> away. After all this is the country where he lived and gave expression
> to his pervert sadist, erotic artistic mind under Freedom of
> Expression. I simply cannot jump onto the bandwagon of the elite
> ‘secularist’ and uphold what he had done. With his brush he had
> committed jihad — bloodletting.
> The issue is just not nudity — Yes the temples, the frescos in Konarak
> and Kajhuraho have nude figures. But does it say that they are Sita,
> Sarswati or any goddesses? We have the Yoni and the Phallus as sacred
> signs of Life-of Siva and Shakthi — take these icons to the streets,
> paint them — give it a caption it becomes vulgar. Times have changed.
> Even granted that our ancients sculptured and painted naked forms and
> figures, with a pervert mind to demean religion is no license to
> repeat that in today’s changed political and social scenario and is
> not a sign of secularism and tolerance. I repeat there is no quarrel
> with nudity — painters have time and again found in it the perfection
> of God’s handicraft.
> Let me wish Hussain peace in Qatar — the totalitarian regime with zero
> tolerance. May be he will convince the regime there to permit freedom
> of expression in word, writing and painting. For this he could start
> experimenting painting forms and figure of Mohamed the Prophet-and his
> family. And may I fervently wish that the media — especially The
> Hindu, does not discriminate goons — let it not substitute tolerance
> for intolerance when it comes to Rahim and Antony and another index
> for Ram.
> I hope you will read this in the same spirit that I have written. All
> the best to you Ram.
> Dr Mrs Hilda Raja
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