The forced exodus of a genius and a shame for India
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Published by Advocate John S.Ralph
“ I, the Indian origin painter M.F. Husain at 95 have been honoured by Qatar Nationality” wrote one of the most acclaimed contemporary painter in the world, to Mr. N. Ram of ‘The Hindu’. ( dated 25.02.2010) The artist is not celebrating his new honour. It’s an elegy of a tormented and wounded mind on the loss of his inherited Indian Citizenship.
The poignant caricatured lamentation of the Indian Genius is a product of the decadent political / cultural Indian society created by the political monarchs; the ‘human right vocalists with electoral appetite’. Destruction of the geniuses, monuments, minority cultures and the like to bake an electoral collage of inferior intellect who cast their political rights by identifying their sovereign head through its symbols alone in the ballot paper has become the order of the day. Fostering such an inferior electorate turns into the advantage of the ruler who can rule with its demagogy without the fear of an instant revolution.
The Mob is accustomed to vandalism. They loose their psyche and indiscriminately destroy the object. 900 cases were filed against Mr. Husain from around the country for artistically exposing the nudity of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses on his well applauded canvases.
The Nude sculptures in Khajuraho have been praised worldwide for their artistic brilliance. Though this form of art was not very popular in India, it is so popular in the World of Art. Right from the early periods of Fra Anglico and Botticelli (15th Century) through the 16th Century High renaissance of the trio in Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Raphael to the 17th century great Reubens and great artists of 18th century like Rossetti, Goya and Ingres, to 19th century through Edouard Manet and Paul Gaugin to the 20th century greatest Salvador Dali , this form of art has been praised by the world. It is a way of exposing the beauty of the human body. In a country where the women are ordered to wear Pardha, painting a women’s face may even turn to painting the nude !!
Da Vinci has also created a master work of ‘The Naked Mona Lisa’ !! Peter Paul Reuben, the maestro of Flanders has painted many nude goddesses to highlight his school of painting “voluptuous nudes” . The work that created history was Goya’s ‘The Nude Maja (La Maja Desnuda) that invited Napoleon to invade Italy !! Nudity in Art is a way of expression ; It has nothing to do with the erotic pleasures of the viewer. Mastery of Dominique Ingres was in showcasing the back of the torso ! Salvador Dali used complex surrealist images of human flesh to create Horror !! Reubens used it to represent affluence. Deprecating nudity in art is ignorance of a form of art, a tradition and a culture of immortal perpetuity. Persecuting and banishing the artist by identifying his religion is cruel and indigestible to any civilized society.
The forced exile of Mr. Husain is a shame for India and its legal system. A close associate of the artist and a ‘protector of the flamboyant’ Mr. N. Ram wrote “ He travels freely, except to India, where he faces legal harassment and physical threats, with the system impotent, and not committed to enabling his return. Though the Supreme Court has intervened on the right side, it was too late, too late. The Congress –led government ,it is clear , has done no better than the preceding BJP led government in protecting Mr. Husain’s freedom of creativity and peace of mind” ( The Hindu 25.02.2010)
The society through its legal mechanism should thrive to protect the individual and thereby to encourage the sprouting intellects that will in turn develop the centuries old heritage of the nation. Husain’s tragedy is a declaration of an ‘Emergency On Art’. Whenever the intellect is suppressed , the society suffers. The freedom of speech and expression envisaged in our constitution should be magnanimously extended to art and literature. Though they are subject to reasonable restrictions , those restrictions should not be viewed with unreasonable considerations and abominable political subterfuges. The concern should not be to keep the intellects in captivity with a Z category security. Rather it should be to prevent the blind mob and educate them to restrain themselves by identifying the core issue and to reject the hidden political agendas.
We claim ourselves to be a nation with one of the most ancient civilizations in the world, with a nearly perfect democracy, protected by a most proficient judiciary !! And who gave asylum to our most acclaimed painter ? An absolute Monarchy !! ( Qatar is one of the 5 absolute monarchies in the present world; the system in which the sovereign head and the government head are one and the same and ruled by a family without a proper constitution) The Monarchy has also offered sponsorship for the artist for painting the History of the Arab civilization and thereby virtually purchased the most acclaimed contemporary Indian Intellect in Art ?! Let’s lament in disgrace.