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Maqbool Fida Husain

How’s the food Samovar owner Usha Khanna with M.F. Husain at Samovar in the early 1990s

Pradeep Chandra

M.F. Husain (1915-2011)

AFP (From Outlook, December 19, 2011)

A mourner, holding flowers, watches as the coffin of painter Maqbool Fida Husain, not seen, is carried away, during his funeral procession in south London.

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Mourners carry the coffin of Indian painter Maqbool Fida Husain during his funeral procession in south London. M.F. Husain's paintings and even his simple pencil drawings became status symbols for India's wealthy elite, with his works commanding price tags running into millions of US dollars. M.F. Husain, as he was known, often described as India's Picasso,was a former movie billboard artist who rose to become India's most sought-after painter before going into self-imposed exile during an uproar over nude images of Hindu icons. He was 95.

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Gauri Gill

Gauri Gill

M.F. Husain (1915-2011)

Getty Images (From Outlook, June 20, 2011)

A man walks in front of the wall of an art gallery that was painted by M.F. Husain in Mumbai. M.F. Husain, a former movie billboard artist who rose to become India's most sought-after painter before going into self-imposed exile during an uproar over nude images of Hindu icons, died on Thursday 9 June. He was 95.

AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade

An artist creates a sand portrait of legendary painter M F Husain to pay tributes to him at Sangam in Allahabad.

PTI Photo

**FILE** An artist creates a painting of painter M F Husain to express his regards for him, in Jalandhar. Husain died in London following over a month-long illness.

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File photo of Maqbool Fida Hussain, legendary painter and a well known admirer of actress Madhuri Dixit, died in London.

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File photo: Legendary painter Maqbool Fida Husain with actress Tabu at a book release function in Mumbai in Oct 2002. Husain died at a hospital in London following over a month-long illness.

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File photo: Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (RIGHT) felicitating renowned painter M. F. Husain during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi on Monday, Aug 9, 2004. Husain died at a hospital in London following over a month-long illness.

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File photo: Congress President Sonia Gandhi with legendary painter Maqbool Fida Husain inaugurating an exhibition on Indira Gandhi in New Delhi on Tuesday, Nov 19, 2002. Husain died at a hospital in London following over a month-long illness.

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File photo: Legendary painter Maqbool Fida Husain with actors Rekha (center) and Shahrukh Khan (left) at a book release function in Mumbai in Oct 2001. Husain died at a hospital in London following over a month-long illness.

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File photo: Legendary painter Maqbool Fida Husain (left) with actor Dilip Kumar (center) and Pakistani poet Fehmida Riaz (right) at a function in New Delhi in April, 2000. Husain died at a hospital in London following over a month-long illness.

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In this photo taken March 22, 2005, M.F. Hussain, left, walks with socialite Parmeshwar Godrej at an event to announce the creation of a museum for art and cinema in Hyderabad.

AP Photo/ Mustafa Quraishi, File

In this June 7, 2007 file photo, M.F. Husain, looks on during a fund-raising auction in a central London's auction house. Husain, who earned both fame and wrath for his paintings, died after being unwell for over a month. He was 95. Popularly known as MF and regarded as "Picasso of India", the artist breathed his last at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London at 2.30 am.

AP Photo/ Lefteris Pitarakis, File

FILE - In this June 7, 2007 file photo, M.F. Husain, finishes off a canvas he painted together with Shah Rukh Khan, during a fund-raising auction in central London's auction house. Hussain, 95, died at a hospital in London following over a month-long illness. Husain had lived in self-imposed exile in Dubai since 2005 after coming under attack from Hindu hard-liners in India for a nude painting of a woman shaped like India's map.

AP Photo/ Lefteris Pitarakis, File

R.I.P. Maqbool Fida Husain.
Artist M.F Husain passed away in a London hospital at 2.30 am, Hindustan Times reported citing reports from UK.

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Self-exiled artist M F Husain's has drawn a cartoon extending support to Anna Hazare.

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Photograph by Ram Rahman Husain-e-Ada
This was taken at Art Today when Husain had a show of his Madhuri paintings. He painted this horse—pun intended—outside the gallery. Looking back, now that he has been forced into exile by right-wing Hindu groups and has renounced his Indian citizenship, one realises the extent to which these politics have censored our cultural space. It will be very hard to retrieve.

sandeep adhwaryu

Sandeep Adhwaryu

Sandeep Adhwaryu

An artiste creates a painting of painter M F Hussain to express his regards for him, in Jalandhar.

PTI Photo

Inimitable M.F. Husain

AFP (From Outlook, March 15)

Illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu

Thursday 9 February
Artist Maqbool Fida Hussain and Parmeshwar Godrej, socialite and wife of industrialist Adi Godrej, pose for photographers in Hyderabad in this March 22, 2005 file photo. Under attack from Hindu organisations over his painting depicting "Bharatmata" in an obscene manner, the noted painter apologised as the controversial picture, to go into auction in an exhibition in the national capital on 8th February, was withdrawn. Despite the apology, Vinay Katiyar, the newly appointed spokesperson of the BJP has demanded the painter be immediately arrested and prosecuted for creating "disaffection" among communities and the Mumbai based Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) has lodged a police complaint against Nafisa Ali of Action India, an NGO, which had organised the exhibition of controversial paintings of M F Hussain. Dismissing his apology as 'a drama' the Samiti has sadi he had earlier also made similar apologies but continued to paint nude gods and goddesses.

AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi¤ file

August: SAHMAT's symbolic exhibition in protest against the exclusion of MF Husain’s works at the India Art Summit at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi was vandalised by members of a little known outfit called the "Shri Ram Sena". Ironically, in May the Delhi High Court had quashed "the summoning orders and warrants of arrest" issued against M. F. Hussain, and gone on to add that 'Freedom Of speech has no meaning if there is no freedom after speech'. This was perhaps the only good news for advocates of free speech: 'There Should Be Freedom For The Thought We Hate'

February: Who's Sane? 'Inspired' perhaps by the protests over the Prophet Cartoon issue, and the resultant publicity (notoriety is not a word in political lexicon, apparently, as being in news is considered good news), a self-styled Hindu Personal Law Board of Lucknow decided to issue a similar bounty of Rs 51 crores on MF Husain. A minor Congress functionary in Madhya Pradesh offered a more modest amount of Rs 11 lakh to any "patriot" who would chop off Husain's hands. His crime? Depicting "Bharatmata" in an obscene manner. Husain apologised, clarified that he had not even named the impugned painting himself, and withdrew it from the auction — to raise funds for victims of the Kashmir earthquake.— in an exhibition in Delhi on 8th February. But that was obviously not enough. Vinay Katiyar, the newly appointed spokesperson of the BJP demanded that Husain be immediately arrested and prosecuted for creating "disaffection" among communities and the Mumbai based Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) lodged a police complaint against Nafisa Ali of Action India, an NGO, which had organised the exhibition where the impugned painting was to be auctioned. Quite what people were offended about remained less than clear as campaigns began with scanned images of the painting being spammed far and wide so that more and more people could be outraged by the portrayal. Surely, one wouldn't wish to circulate what one is insulted by? But the illogic was the same as in the Prophets Cartoons issue. In this case, it became more a case of baiting the 'secularists', as prominent Muslim spokespeople had already denounced what they called Husain's repeated transgressions. It was not just in India. Asia House gallery in London shut down a major exhibition by Husain because of threats, which continued to loom large for all art galleries displaying his work. The 91-year old artist's troubles increased in May once the home ministry "advised the police chiefs of Delhi and Mumbai to take appropriate action" against him. Husain decided to stay out of India to stay out of trouble. Perhaps because he justifiably cannot trust the government that won't take action against those who issue death-threats and suparis against him. What was it you said about freedom of expression? After all, wasn't it another "secular" government that first banned Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses? UPA seems to think it is pay-back time, this time by taking "appropriate action" against someone who has offended the self-appointed spokesmen for all Hindus.

M.F. Husain: The human-animal combination theme recurs in several permutations in the artist's paintings

Monday, September 8, 2008
The Supreme Court finally came to the rescue of 93-year old noted painted MF Husain who has been forced to live in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London for the past two years, as a series of cases have been filed against him in India for his nude paintings of Hindu goddesses and Bharat Mata. "There are so many such subjects, sculptures, photographs and publications. Will you file cases against all of them?" Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan wondered. The irony was totally lost on the petitioner who tried to tell the court that it was not a sculpture but a painting and that it should not be viewed leniently just because the painter is renowned and old.  The SC Bench was clear: "What about temple structures? It is an art like the sculptures. None gets scandalized looking at the sculptures."  The Bench had very common-sensical advice for the petitioner:  "If you don’t want to see it, don’t see it. There are so many such art forms in temple structures."

Aug 24, 2008
M.F. Husain continued to be the target of protests. First, an exhibition was organised by SAHMAT as a symbolic protest against the exclusion of the artist’s works at the India Art Summit at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. And then, activists claming to be members of a little known outfit called the "Shri Ram Sena" vandalised the exhibition  "I saw some 10 people coming towards the pandal. Taking them to be visitors and thinking that they might need help, I just got up from the chair. Suddenly they began lifting chairs and throwing them around," Anil Chandra, a SAHMAT activist said. According to him, the men smashed the frames of the prints and photographs of Husain’s works and overturned the television set. In all, nine frames were damaged. Typically, they were conveniently accompanied by a television channel crew who "recorded the entire act." The attackers can be identified from the footage, presumably, but we are not holding our breath for any action against them. Meanwhile, in other news, now that the Left is not supporting the UPA any more, Taslima Nasrin was back in India. Watch this space.

PTI

Thursday, May 8, 2008
It was a long time coming. And in the end, as has become usual, it was the judiciary which came out on the side of rule of law and, even common sense. In a scathing rebuke, the Delhi High court threw out obscenity charges against the 92-year old artist MF Hussain in three cases that had been transferred to Delhi from Pandharpur (Maharashtra), Indore (MP) and Rajkot (Gujarat) by the Supreme Court, thus clearing the way for his homecoming. "The allegations made against the painter are baseless and it would not be proper to hold that he had a deliberate intention to manifestly insult Bharat Mata," Justice Kaul said after reasoning that nudity is part of contemporary art. “It is most unfortunate that India’s new ‘puritanism’ is being carried out in the name of cultural purity and ignorant people vandalise art. Ancient art has never been devoid of eroticism where sex worship and representation of the union between man and woman has been a recurring feature, ” said Justice Kaul who, after pointing out that "we have been called the land of Karma Sutra" and wondering "then why is it that in this land we shy away from its very name" went on to say that "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and so does obscenity." Indeed. Now if only someone would patiently and slowly explain this to the self-appointed upholders of "Indian culture" whom Justice Kaul described as "the type who wouldn't go to any art gallery or have any interest in contemporary art because if they did, they would know that there are many artists who embrace nudity as part of their contemporary art." He also cautioned the lower courts not to entertain such complaints as it caused undue harassment to artists, and said: "A magistrate must scrutinize each case in order to prevent vexatious and frivolous cases from being filed and make sure that it is not used as a tool to harass the accused, which would amount to gross abuse of process of law."

File photo

Thursday November 29, 2007
The Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana governments, first banned Madhuri Dixit's come-back film, "Aaja Nachle" but then allowed its screening after the objectionable portions of a song were deleted by the film-makers. Meanwhile, painter Maqbool Fida Husain, whose name figured prominently in discussions related to Taslima Nasreen, whose fascination for Ms Dixit is not exactly a secret, booked an entire theatre in Dubai to screen the film.

PTI Photo

Sunday 6 May
In this March 2005 file photo, painter M.F. Hussain and socialite Parmeshwar Godrej pose for photographers after announcing the creation of a museum for art and cinema in Hyderabad. Acting on the orders of a court in Haridwar, the Mumbai Police have begun the process of attaching the properties of painter M F Husain in a case related to the alleged obscene depiction of Hindu goddesses in his paintings. The court of Special Judicial Magistrate K S Shukla in Haridwar had ordered the police to attach Husain's property after he repeatedly failed to respond to summons to appear before it, including at the last hearing of the matter on April 13. Advocate Arvind Shrivastava had filed a case against Husain for allegedly depicting Hindu goddesses in an obscene manner in the Haridwar district court in March 2006. The case was transferred nine months later to the court of Magistrate Shukla, who issued a bailable warrant against the artist on January 2 after he failed to respond to summons. After pasting an attachment notice on the door of the artist’s flat at Jolly Makers III building at Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai, the Mumbai Police is now looking for more properties owned by the painter in Maharashtra. Ninety- year-old MF Hussain is living in Dubai and London on a self-imposed exile from India due to fears that he may be arrested in connection with the series of similar cases filed against him for 'hurting Hindu religious sentiments'.

AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi¤ File

Sunday 26 February
A Shiv Sena activist point a toy gun towards a caricature of M.F. Hussain during a protest against Hussain's nude painting entitled 'Bharat mata' in New Delhi. If last week it was UP minister Haji Muhammed Yaqoob Qureshi offering a Rs 51 crore reward for the head of the Danish cartoonist, there were many more taking inspiration from him. Ashok Pandey, the president of a self-styled Hindu Personal Law Board in Lucknow announced that "anyone who kills painter M.F. Hussain for making obscene paintings of goddess Sarswati and Bharat Mata; the Danish cartoonist; those in the German company printing pictures of Ram and Krishna on tissue paper and the French filmmaker desecrating Lord Shiva will be given Rs 51 crore in cash by the Board" and if Yaqoob Qureshi undertakes the job "he will be given Rs 101 crore". "Peace will not prevail on earth unless such people are eliminated," he said, and urged Qureshi to set out on the mission immediately. In a statement in Indore, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee Minority Cell vice- chairman Akthar Baig too declared that MF Hussain had "played with the sentiments of the people and tried to disrupt communal harmony in the past by painting nude pictures of Hindu gods and goddess and now of Bharat Mata" and he will give Rs 11 lakh to a " patriot" who will chop off his hands. The Haji meanwhile is holding larger rallies against George Bush and remains a minister while there is no murmur of any action against others openly offering awards for murders.

AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi

Indian painter M. F. Hussain holds a painting of Hindu God Ganesha, which he gifted to ailing Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan at Lilavati hospital in Mumbai. Bachchan's intestinal ailment and subsequent abdomen surgery has worried the nation and dominated the news since he took ill on November 28, with fans organizing prayer services in temples from Kolkata in the east to Kerala in the south.

AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

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