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

Bipin Trivedi aliens at dataone.in
Thu Mar 11 22:26:02 IST 2010

Dear Shuddha and all,


Human being grown from there ancestor from beginning of human life or say
Adam & Eve from nude stage to today's cultured society. We have accepted
some code of conduct to live in modern, well cultured and descent society,
where we do not roam in the nude position as our ancestor does. To maintain
this code, we have several laws against vulgarity. Even today in most modern
internet era, we have applied code of conduct against porn sites. If someone
capture nude photography has to phase consequences. So, I also believe that
in the name of modern art, one cannot do/paint what they want to and they
are also liable to obey certain society decency code. In our Indian society
where people have ampoule of faith in variety of gods, one must keep in this
mind while doing something against their faith. 


In society, we have to keep in mind all the people in all the religion which
includes people with extreme religious in nature unlike all of us who we
arguing here. No two persons are similar in nature, so you may think how
much varieties are there in human nature. Argument is made that in the name
of modern art, one must have right to paint anything in democracy and
viewers have full right to see or not. But, whether it is viewable or not
one has to see it once may be with his family and children then only one can
decide about its stature. So, those extreme religious in nature has full
right to oppose it may be by way of court cases. One must face the court
cases instead of escapism. If anyone wants freedom for its acts must ready
to face consequences.


Husain has accepted Qatar citizenship for his own interest, since he got
painting contract of Arabian culture from local govt. authorities and
decided willingly to stay there for his own financial interest. However
earlier through back door, he has begged and requested Indian govt. to
withdraw court cases, which is not at all possible since govt. can't do
anything. Thanks judiciary are independent here else what would have
happened can be judged. 


I remember that Husain has written a letter to N. Ram, editor The Hindu. One
sentence was like this, "Qatar govt. has respected me by giving Qatar
citizenship and honors me that way and if Indian govt. wants to arrest me
then they can do so". Just like Dawood Ebrahim, who on earlier days fled to
Dubai and then tell the Indian govt. to arrest him. Husain must show guts to
face the consequences instead of escapism. If he would have faced the court
cases gracefully then he would be more respectable and may be forgiven by


Everyone knows that he was after so many actresses (not actors) only like
Meena Kumari, Mumtaz, Smita Patil, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. His one
painting of Madhuri was describing that one ox (madmast sandh) with naked
Madhuri in vulgar pose. This shows his dirty mind and psychic nature. If
anyone describes this as modern art, than feel sorry for him/her thought.
Madhuri showed her decency and keep mum else would be in big trouble earlier


He is now in Qatar and even if he just speak (not actually paint) to show
will to make nude paint of someone living there like he did in case of
Madhuri or nude paint of their god, I doubt he will remain alive even.







From: Shuddhabrata Sengupta [mailto:shuddha at sarai.net] 
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 12:02 AM
To: Bipin Trivedi
Cc: sarai-list
Subject: Re: [Reader-list] Feel free, Mr. Husain. Go paint Qatari leaders


Dear All, 


I don't know whether or not I am secular or pseudo-secular. But actually, I
do not oppose Cho Ramaswamy's article. Instead of reading it ironically, I
want to read it seriously, to take it at its word. I think it works better
if read as if it were written sincerely, than it does if read as if it were
written as a second rate piece of satire. 


And seriously, I think Husain has every right to paint anyone he likes in
any form he likes, whether nude or clothed. And so, if I were asked what my
opinion would be on the hypothetical  possibility of Husain (or any other
artist for that matter) wanting to paint the royal family of Qatar, or Queen
Elizabeth the Second, or Shivaji, or Razia Sultan, or Indira Gandhi, or
Savarkar, or M.K. Gandhi (doesn't require much imagination to do that) or
Bhagat Singh, Subhash Bose, Lenin, Mao, or any personage, religious or
political, in the nude, or, if on the contrary, he wanted to paint a version
of a nude by Ingres in a burqa, or wearing a boliler suit, frankly, I would
say that it should be his prerogative to do that. 


As far as I am concerned, no painting ever killed anybody, or made people
get infectious diseases. Paintings are good, or bad, and Husain's work, like
the work of any other artist is open to criticism. But a work of art, in and
of itself, is neither harmful, nor beneficial. We can derive harmful or
beneficial interpretations of it, and if we grant that to be the case, then
that could, arguably be a ground for restricting the liberty of viewership,
( a view I must clarify that I do not endorse, I am considering it here,
only for the sake of argument), but even this cannot by any stretch of
reasoning be construed into becoming a grounds for a restriction on the
making of a work of art. If at all we consider such an argument, all that it
can permit us to do is to imagine provisions for the restriction of the said
work's universal exposition.


And it should also be his (Husain's) prerogative to live where he wants (and
this is true of anybody at all), work where he wants, and paint, or write,
or sing or dance whatsoever he wants. As long as his actions do not restrict
another person's liberty, I see no reason whatsoever to argue for restraints
on his location or movements. His being in Quatar does not prevent me from
being in India. His making a nude Durga does not restrict my liberty to
either see, or not see the said painting. Seeing it, or not, being offended
by it or not, is a choice that I am making. And an artist cannot be
prosecuted for choices made by a viewer.  


If anyone is offended (or feel that they may be offended) by anything that
any artist makes, they have to do one simple thing to ensure that the
unpleasantness of offense does not mar their experience of life. Do not look
at the work of art in question, simply do not read the offending book, or
watch the offending play or film. Or, if you do, simply accept the fact that
just as there are many things that you hold dear that others may find
offensive or be indifferent to, so too, many things that you find offensive
might be significant to others. A nude depiction of a goddess in the Hindu
pantheon may be offensive to some, and sacred, or meaningful and beautiful,
to others, for similar, and/or different reasons. No one should be in a
position to take away your right not to see something, just as no one should
be in a position to take away my right to see something. 


Frankly, I do not care whether Husain does or does not paint the rulers of
Qatar in the nude, or Cho Ramaswami with a full head of hair. But if asked
whether or not he has a right to do so, obviously, I would say he does. And
so does any artist, anywhere in the world. 









On 10-Mar-10, at 6:21 PM, Bipin Trivedi wrote:

Thanks Pawan for posting this article.


Cho Ramaswami is absolutely right by saying " All those who appreciate his
art would now eagerly await his imaginative paintings of the leaders of

society, hopefully not artistically clothed."


Actually it is his dirty mind inspires him to make goddess nude pictures and
not the artistic mind. He is really psychic and needs psychiatric treatment.
However, pseudo-secular readers here will sure to oppose this article.






-----Original Message-----

From: reader-list-bounces at sarai.net [mailto:reader-list-bounces at sarai.net]
On Behalf Of Pawan Durani

Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 5:48 PM

To: reader-list

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


Feel free, Mr Husain. Go paint Qatari leaders


March 10th, 2010

By Cho Ramaswamy



Now that M.F. Husain has settled in Qatar where there is total

freedom, he is free of the shackles imposed by the Indian system on

freedom of expression. All those who appreciate his art would now

eagerly await his imaginative paintings of the leaders of Qatari

society, hopefully not artistically clothed.


His fans would not expect him to confine nudity to Hindu deities

alone; it would extend to all the religions. Having already painted

his mother, daughter and Muslim kings fully robed, Mr Husain, being

the freed citizen that he is now in Qatar, should be prepared to

remove those clothes. How can the artist in him be satisfied with

seeing Saraswati and Parvati alone in the nude?


Fortunately for art in the nude, the courts here cannot do anything to

Mr Husain now that he has run away from the Indian judicial system.

All the cases could be now buried amidst the pictures drawn by him.

Both would mercifully go to the dustbin.


I am very anxious not to get branded as communal in my thinking. I

want to be hailed as a secularist and so I would say with all the

force I can command that Mr Husain has the inalienable right to depict

the Hindu deities in the most obscene manner while taking care to

paint even non-religious Muslims fully clothed.


He can claim that because he hates Hitler he painted him in the nude

so he could humiliate him and in the same breath justify his nude

pictures of Hindu goddesses as depiction of purity.


And because I am secular, I would also assert that his not returning

to India is only to gain freedom from the Indian fascism and not to

avoid being apprehended by the law enforcers in this country. Being a

liberal-minded artist, he naturally is not able to put up with the

protests which do not harm him in any way.


Shunning the Indian system and preferring the Qatar environment is not

an act of hypocrisy but one of liberal, secular and free thought. And

now that Mr Husain has established himself as such a stout campaigner

for free expression, I must believe firmly that he will forcefully

plead with his new protectors in Qatar to roll out of a bit of that

red carpet to Taslima Nasreen, another hounded victim from the

literary world.


- Cho S. Ramaswamy is a well-known political

analyst, actor, dramatist and editor of

Tamil magazine Tughlak


Source :


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Shuddhabrata Sengupta

The Sarai Programme at CSDS

Raqs Media Collective

shuddha at sarai.net




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