I quite liked the editorial in today’s Hindustan Times newspaper.
M.F Hussain may have inhabited
India far more passionately than most hard-boiled patriots .But towards the end of his life ,he had to suffer the ignominy of being cast away from because of persecution from a small but racuous section of Indian society. A writer’s \artist’s occupational hazard is that he takes the mob reacting to his work as given.However someone somewhere gets offended by one of their different strokes (that an artists paints or a writer writes) .And more so if an artists is a high profile one like Hussain .Decrying against him and his works outside the bonds of critic’s feedback is a sure shot platform to get one’s “ 15 minutes to fame”.It is here that the modern mature society/govrment is supposed to step in . India
A bigoted restriction of M.F Hussain’s artistic freedom that led him to a painful self imposed exile.He accepted the citizenship of Qatar ,lucky country I must say!Though India was in his being .He is India’s face every where . His work has a distinct flavour of
. One cannot just separate him from India ! India
The law only mumbled when the a section of people started their programmes of vandalising his work .
As a society we too backed off worried about the ‘communal din ’.
Even liberals usually at the forefront of defending the ‘freedom of expression ’ ,took a detour asking sotto voice why was he so bent on ‘shocking’ people in a country of maximum people ‘not attuned ’ to nude depictions of deities , whose places of worship are replete with such figurines!
He captured India’s expansive soul in the depictions of horses,Ganeshas,Bollywood stars ,female forms ,epics,Mother Teresa …India’s sights and sounds of the streets and roads…
He indeed was a genius most of his paintings impromptu sitting casually in hotels clubs etc He worked with speed very sure of his strokes to his well thought out paintings on subjects that touched him .He was an extraordinary man who travelled the world and would visit numerous exhibitions to check out current trends.He played a pivotal role in positioning modern Indian painting nationally and internationally.
His admires ‘Fida’ on the Barefoot Maestro!!!!!