Goodbye Mr. Hussain
Maqbool Fida Hussain, popularly known as MF Hussain, has recently migrated to Qatar and has accepted Qatar’s nationality. He is a well noted painter and extremely famous. But with his paintings of nude gods and goddesses, he has incurred the wrath of millions of Indians.
It does not matter if Hussain is a great painter. It does not matter if Hussain is considered a legend. It does not matter if Hussain is filthy rich. The bottom line remains that none can or will mock this nation or its values. If they do, they will face consequences. And this is exactly what happened to Maqbool Fida Hussain.
Few painters have argued in support of Hussain claiming that art should be above all controversies. I agree. There are many others who paint nude paintings. But none of them ever dis-respected the country. The nation is above art. None should disrespect the nation or even the national flag. In fact, disrespecting the national flag is against the law of the land. Hussain has blatantly disrespected both the nation and the national flag.
Few others have even given this issue the color of religion. This is not against painters. This is not against secularism. This is India standing for what it is and defending against those who try to ridicule her.
Hussain is known to not wear any footwear not just in his house but even when going to a restaurant or a pub. He has made adjustments regarding this in Qatar. But Hussain was not ready to make any changes to his paintings even if they were mortifying his own country. Clearly, this is a double standard. Hussain has himself agreed that he has painted nude Hitler because he hated him. But Hussain says that he sees purity in his paintings of nude gods and goddesses. Needless to say, this is another double standard of the great painter.
Hussain says that though he has accepted Qatar citizenship his heart still beats for India, a country where great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi were born. Hussain showed his respect to the country and one of its greatest leaders by painting a be-headed Mahatma Gandhi. This is proof enough that Hussain neither respects nor loves our country.
MF Hussain is welcome to leave our country and he is most welcome to paint the Qatari leaders, their nation and their national flag. Hopefully, he will not dis-respect them.