The purpose of this post is not to write a lengthy prose on Husain and his crime. That has been written and said about many times before. What I am going to do is post actual pictures of Husain paintings – paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses and paintings of Muslim women and some other paintings.
My view – see the paintings and make up your own mind !
Make up your mind, whether the secular fundamentalists are right when they say that Husain deserves Bharat Ratna or whether nationalists are right when they say the Husain deliberately denigrates Hindu sentiments?
The first six paintings : These are of Muslim women and Mother Teresa that Husain has painted in his lifetime.
There is not even one painting amongst these that is even remotely nude. An artist who dabbles in nudes, a perfectly legitimate art form, does not make exceptions based on religion or caste. If Husain’s calling would have been nudes, he would have painted all with same gay abandon. Yet, in his lifetime Husain has not even once, painted Muslim women in nude. Never ever. Is this a mere coincidence?
Is it not extraordinary, that Husain choose to not exercise his artistic calling without consideration for consequences with respect to all religions? Is that not what artistic freedom is all about – to not care for the consequences? Freedom of speech is also about freedom to offend. But offend one and all then. Exercising your freedom to offend one set of people while going great lengths, over your lifetime, never to offend another set of people? And if Husain choose to respect some sentiments and curb his artistic license, is that not more a political judgement he made? Are not political judgements, like all other political judgements, liable to be questioned for motives and intent?
Next eight paintings: Paintings of Hindu goddesses.
If Husain’s calling is not nudes, then surely he would paint Hindu goddesses in non-nudes sometimes. Yet have a look at these paintings. Each and every one of them is nude. Is this a mere coincidence? Muslim women never in nude and Hindu goddesses always in nude !!
Husain’s apologists argue that even ancient scriptures like Khajuraho have nudes. Yes they have. But they have nudes in pure artistic form and never connote or invent sexual relationship that never existed in reality of traditions and scriptures. Temples such as Khajuraho have had nudes, sometimes even depicting gross sexual acts, yet there has never been a controversy over them. Why? Because they depicted sexual acts between either known partners or between unknown faces which could not be traced to deities revered by millions for over centuries. No sexual formation is depicted, ever, anywhere, between gods and goddesses which did not exists in reality.
Husain however, depicts Sita in sexual formations with both Ravana and Hanuman. Did you read Hanuman, who considered Devi Sita as his mother? Yes, that is the level of perverseness that Husain indulges in. And, yet he has his apologists in media !!
Last painting: The real clincher !
Out of the four leaders M. Gandhi is decapitated and Hitler is naked. Husain hates Hitler and has said in an interview 8 years ago that he has depicted Hitler naked to humiliate him as he deserves it ! How come Hitler’s nudity cause humiliation but nudity of Hindu goddesses do not? In fact when Husain’s argues that nudity in art depicts purity and is in fact an honor shows Husain’s complete perversion and hypocrisy.
I want you to pay special attention to the painting of the Muslim King and Hindu Brahmin. An artists, in supreme zone of his artistic enlightenment, remembered who should be nude and who should be fully clad ! I rest my case.
Finally, this is what Vinod Mehta, the torch bearer of secularism in India had to say about Husain and his real reasons for fleeing India ( tax problems by the way and not some great ethical statement).
Vinod Mehta in Outlook: “Husain is a great artist—even his critics grudgingly admit the fact. But he is not such a great human being.”
At least, Vinod, a self-confessed pseudo secular, had the moral courage to face up to Husain’s “manipulations”. Will other secularists have similar courage?