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

TaraPrakash taraprakash at gmail.com
Thu Mar 11 23:21:13 IST 2010

The insane storm in the tea cup is waiting to happen yet again. The Muslim 
leaders are busy studying the women's reservation bill and are getting ready 
to create commotion when they find an opportune moment to make poor Muslims 
care for something more important than their daily wages. Not for the 
women's reservation bill that much, for the graphics being shown in some 
Swiss newspapers. The news hasn't yet sunk in.

The prophet apparently cannot be painted due to the reasons given in the 
below mail forwarded by Rakesh. But yet we have another picture of prophet 
Mohammed, this time in a dog's form doing rounds in Swiss newspapers. Delhi 
should be prepared. An MLA in UP publicly offered 1 crore worth of reward 
for whoever kills the Danish cartoon. The Danish cartoonist probably 
offended God, this MLA offended law, yet neither has said a word yet. 
Neither law nor God exists for all. But both cause enough troubles for all. 
And both favor some over others.

Whereas MF Hussein is living a lavish life in his new country, the Danish 
cartoonist feels like a prisoner at his home due to the increased security 
at his home. I don't even want to talk about Taslima Nasreen. It makes me 
hate CPI(M) all over again. Not because other political parties were fair to 
her, but I was expecting CPI(M) to be truely secular.

So as they say, why settle for one standard, when you can have 2. Double 
standards help all of us.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rakesh Iyer" <rakesh.rnbdj at gmail.com>
To: "sarai list" <reader-list at sarai.net>
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 5:05 AM
Subject: [Reader-list] Fwd: Feel free, Mr. Husain. Go paint Qatari leaders

> Hi
> I have forwarded this mail Anupam wanted to send to the forum but was only
> sent to me, probably as a mistake. Hope that is indeed the case.
> My views are also put up here verbatim as put up in a personal chat with
> him:
> i never said husain is right or wrong . i said that in india, one can do
> whatever he/she feels with hindu identities or not but for muslims and
> christian identities, if something is said or done there would be a hue 
> and
> cry and apologists would try to beat each other in the name of minority
> appeasement if there is one field where  appeasement is done, this is the
> field. this should stop
> Rakesh
> In reply to "Re: [Reader-list] Feel free, Mr. Husain. Go paint Qatari
> leaders"
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: anupam chakravartty <c.anupam at gmail.com>
> Date: Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 3:27 PM
> Subject: Re: [Reader-list] Feel free, Mr. Husain. Go paint Qatari leaders
> To: Rakesh Iyer <rakesh.rnbdj at gmail.com>
> Dear Rakesh and all,
> What is wrong in painting a nude saraswati copulating with a tiger?
> what exactly do you find offensive here? gods marry, gods have
> children, but there it seems is a problem in explicitly stating that
> gods were also having sexual intercourse. is it a sign of a healthy
> society when only things not allowed to be asserted while others
> remain unstated as if it is some sort of an incestuous trade which is
> going on? You should ask for a ban on the hindu scriptures as well
> where direct and indirect references of copulation of gods are stated.
> there are written testimonies of incest, unnatural sex, of
> mythological gods impregnating mortals that have been documented very
> well in form of scriptures.
> Moreover,  when i go to a shiva temple i worship the phallus of Shiva.
> in the so-called moral discourse being conjured here especially to
> suit the demands of zealots, this act of me going and worshiping a
> phallus should be seen as a crime.  i should be jailed for worshiping
> the phallus of a god (how perverse is that!). but then believers
> including me and my mother, we pour milk on it. that's visually
> stimulating but since it is a ritual, we do not question it.
> since when, worshiping a god ( in monotheistic) has to do with respect
> and reverence? then what about this statement: 'Thou art that".
> praying comes from the word praise. singing is a form of reverence.
> painting the phallus is my respect. but my request to all vanguards of
> hindu religion, do not impose this outdated victorian model of
> worshiping on everyone. you are a disease, eroding the very same
> foundations on which you rest. and please! i do not want this do paise
> ka respect to a god by blaming an artist, when all other things about
> belief, about religion, about religiousity  with a bunch of
> islamophobes, a set of hardened fundamentalists, crooks minting money
> in the name of religion have done nothing but disservice to humanity.
> over and over again, hussain is being asked to paint Prophet Mohammad.
> Do you have any kind of visual reference of Prophet Mohammad in which
> the above things being attributed to Indian deities from the very
> scriptures is also true in his case? Islamic thought to be specific
> doesnt have such thoughts associated with it. the old testament over
> the years have being "denigrated" several times. what would you say
> about renaissance painter, Hieronymus Bosch who painted Garden of
> Earthly Delights depicting biblical scenes? it is considered as a
> masterpiece.
> sometimes, stating the obvious is a little difficult, with general
> social order as a given. but we have moved beyond Renaissance.
> artists, writers, engineers, accountants, even soldiers, labourers,
> mostly everyone at some of point of time state the obvious or want
> answers for them. what are you going to do about all of them? did
> someone deny your faith in god, by painting the god in nude? it did
> not in my case. i felt overwhelmed
> a whole lot of us believe in gods (there are 33 crores of them
> according to several religious estimates). conjuring images of a
> pantheon linked by tragedies, relationships, alliances, the stories
> around them have always been a part of the visual tradition. hussain
> has been exploring these themes. he should be lauded for his efforts
> instead.
> - Anupam
> On 3/11/10, Rakesh Iyer <rakesh.rnbdj at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I would say just one thing. In India, it's only possible to denigrate
> Hindu
>> gods and goddesses, abuse them, paint them in nude, and then get sympathy
> of
>> a large cross-section of people, including the secularists and the
>> pseudo-secularists. But when it comes to Islam and Christianity, try 
>> doing
>> that, and you will find violence being organized on the slightest of
>> pretexts. And the pseudo-secularists would go on a humbug spree to stop
>> this. And Hindus have started aping them too.
>> Why this appeasement? What is this all about? Is it secularism? Are we
>> willing to turn our country into a neo-Taliban society where any 
>> criticism
>> about Islam and Christianity will be dealt with capital punishment and
>> violence on the streets?
>> @Shuddha: It's not the question of rights. It's the question of
> enforcement
>> of these rights. Howsoever much Hussain may try, the state would never 
>> act
>> to ensure that the rights are enforced. And it's one thing to say Muslims
>> have rights to paint the Prophet in a 'negative' sense, it's another 
>> thing
>> doing it. Remember the protests in India over cartoons published in a
>> certain newspaper in a certain European country named 'Denmark'?
>> Rakesh
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