Thursday, June 9, 2011

Picasso of India ....dead!

I went to the cafeteria to get some lunch. It is my habit now to pause and watch the latest news being displayed on the big screen TV. Every day, I get my latest updates about the 2G scam, Kanimozhi, Maran, Anna & Ramdev news. From a far distance I had noticed the picture of MF Hussain being displayed on the TV screen and I thought to myself, “yet another controversy the old man must have got into, sigh!”
I waited until I got my lunch packed to go and then stopped close to the TV when I saw the flashing news “Funeral preparation not yet decided for MF Hussain” and it struck me then that the Picasso of India was gone!
All the frustrating news flashes of scams & Ramdev were gone & the news channels were flashing MF Hussain’s news of death.
I personally like to draw and paint. But the work that artists like MF Hussain or Picasso do is obviously out of my understanding; for most of us! It needs extremely high level of imagination to think, understand & then draw such paintings. And paintings are like poems, the interpretation? - to each, its own. I have known this artist only for controversies more than for his paintings. Frankly, I just now took a look at his controversial paintings, where he has drawn naked Indian deities and his own interpretation of the Bombay Blasts in 1993.
Freedom of speech is too relative! As humans, we support everything that is favorable to us. Moreover, religion is always too sensitive a subject! In a country like India, a Muslim artist drawing naked Indian deities HAS to be super controversial. Of course we are supposed to ignore the naked sculptures we have in our Indian temples. I have seen so many of them and frankly, they do raise a question on the list of taboos that we HAVE TO follow which don’t go in sync with the temple sculptures. This is called hypocrisy!
It is always a juicy topic right? A Muslim painter insulting Hindu deities! Even when I looked at the paintings now, I came up with my own interpretation & understanding which probably wouldn’t be the same with another person or Mr. Hussain himself. Like we say, Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder; I think the same for Hussain’s paintings. The interpretation should be left to you. That is what is ART! It’s vague & ambiguous; it’s not a written text with ONE meaning.
I don’t wish to have a controversial message here saying that he is correct in his drawings about Indian deities. To me he is just an artist. An Artist who was famously known for his controversial paintings, his craze for prominent Bollywood beauties like Madhuri and Tabu and his recent citizenship of Qatar. As I mentioned artists are complex, and the movie Meenaxi he made with Tabu; I failed to understand it, miserably!
It was sad to read news flashes saying he always wanted to return to India.
As Indians, I think we should be proud to have an artist, a painter of his caliber in his field.
A link to his painting:
Rest in peace Maqbool Fida Husain.


  1. I wonder now do we find time and incination to write about a man who insulted Hindus,painted Hindu Goddesess in nude.
    It is he who decided to leave india.

  2. Decided to leave India because his own people critisized him. To us it is in an insult, to him it was art - a mode of expressing his feelings. I invite you to South India to see the temples and the sculptures, if the nude paintings are suddenly bothering us so much!

    Why is every one suddenly praising him after his death, after bashing him while he was alive! There is too much hypocrisy in our lives. Very sad!

  3. Also, it is not the matter of time & inclination. If that was true, there would have been no articles, no news of him ever. Every human has a purpose to serve. Some get famous, others don’t; some support the fame, others don't. How we perceive it, is our choice. We are not the decider of his fate or life!

    There are more heinous crimes in this country towards women that need attention than one's publicized feeling of insult. We could work on that first!

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  5. @shilpa: No comments on your Post. But, Comment on your comments.
    1) As you only told "Art- its a mode of expressing his feelings". Exactly, he felt to criticize us & our believes.

    2)Ya. In south India we have those kind of sculptures. Its all to educate, not to insult anyone(Most IMPortant it will not be Durga, Saraswathi, Ganapathi...). & I hope u know, we worship particular god with some particular qualities which WE(Crores of people) believe.
    Can you see your most respect one to be nude in public? sorry for the question, but necessary.

    3)Of-course, "There are more heinous crimes in this country towards women that need attention". But I think, this was not the reason to neglect his Mistake/Crime... whatever.