letter to Editor-in-chief of the New Indian Express

March 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm 6 comments

Dear Mr Adhitya Sinha,
Your editorial on the 27th Feb.was painful. Because I thought that at least the NIE would stand to be counted and not jump into the bandwagon of the so called secularists.Today it seems that bashing the Hindus and tolerating anything and everything that the Muslims do is secularism. . I belong to the old school of thought that believed in the independence of the Fourth Estate.I started reading the Indian Express (there was only one) in the days when Frank Morias was its Editor. During the Emergency under the stewardship of Goenka again this was the paper which stood up against Indira Gandhi. The Fourth Estate was and is a pillar of democracy. Even that I find has fallen and given way to a pseudo secularism. It is not my intention to go into that but to bring to your notice the hurt I feel in the episode of Husain the painter.
Let us not forget that he is a fugitive of law. His age is immaterial. Already in 1996 he painted goddess Sarswati in the nude. When there were protests he tendered an apology .But the ‘elite secularists’ faulted him for the apology. Since then he has allowed his perversion to run amuck on his canvass. Freedom of expression does not give the right of hurting the religious sentiments of the majority. What if Husain paints Mary in the nude? Why is his artistic freedom contained only to the Hindu gods and goddesses? Let him try and paint Mohammad’s wives/daughters and watch the effect of freedom of expression of the artist.
You may point at the paintings and frescos in the temples and in Konark and Khajhuraho. But these had a different background and were in no way offensive as the paintings of Husain. Nudity has been caught in the canvas by many painters but Husain has a hidden motive-to hurt. He sketched Hitler in the nude and stated that he spited him and hence he drew him naked. Will he even dare to paint Mother Theresa in a kanjeepuram saree all decked up? Signs and symbols do convey meaning. The yoni and the phallus are symbols of life –Siva and Shakti. Take it out of context into the streets –it becomes vulgar.
The background of Husain’s paintings cannot be overlooked. At a time when religious communalism is at a high pitch such paintings only aggravate the religious disharmony. Time and again Husain has used his brush as a Jihadi would use his weapons-for blood letting.
What is the great honor conferred on him by Qatar-its citizenship? You will be more knowledgeable about Qatar’s tolerance and its totalitarian regime. Is it an honor to be conferred citizenship by that country No it is only to spite India and to shelter an Islamic fugitive of a painter.
You did not hesitate to blame the thugs of the Sangh parivar for this exile of the venerable artist Husain.‘The kind of fascist intolerance they display to any view point or perspective that does not square with theirs makes a mockery of democracy’.You had also pointed out at the Ram Sena. Look today at the secularism of the Muslims in Shimoga-Karnataka –they are on a rampage because of Taslima Nasreen’s article against the tradition of burqa. Will your paper come out with a stinging editorial supporting Taslima’s freedom of expression and condemning the intolerance of the Muslims there? No, you will not I am certain-that much for the secularism of the media. Vandalising paintings of Husain becomes the handiwork of thugs-but killing innocents and painting our streets with the blood and tears of ordinary people through the Islamic Jihadis is what? Does our democracy square up with the Jedahi’s concept and ideology? Why is the media- so soft on Islamic terror-in India and across the globe? No, terror knows no religion will be the hollow voices heard from the ivory towers wherein the secularists live and the media lends its sound/print byes to drum up this hollowness. Lives lost of the innocent who go about their daily business is not condemned in such stringent language as that you have reserved for the ‘thugs’ of the Sangh parivar. Why this unreasonable, irrational and unrestricted condemnation. Freedom of expression is no doubt precious but freedom to live is in fact the highest of all Freedoms .When people are brutally gunned down you have not condemned the blood thirsty thugs of a particular religious ideology .Is it to prove your secular credentials? .So blame the government for not providing security for this artist who even at the age of 95 cannot resist from perversion, sadism and voyeurism.
Why this so tolerant Qatar and all the other Islamic countries not offering citizenship to Taslima? Why is she hunted and hounded? Tell me about freedom of expression and what an embarrassment to India that its celebrated painter is in exile. So what is the solution-withdraw all the cases-protect his paintings and give security to the man who with his brush is a jehadi. Why can’t he stop hurting the Hindus and their feelings? Why can’t he apologize for his erotic and blasphemous paintings of the Hindu gods and goddesses? If he loves India and misses it then he has to embrace all that is Indian-has to respect all its citizens and in the present context contribute his mite through paintings to create harmony and not indulge in just the opposite. Husain is like any other citizen and his freedom is not unrestricted.
Brown Dan’s book ‘Da Vinci code’ was found offensive-Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verse’ was banned and a fatwa given out-the Danish cartoonist too is under the threat of a fatwa. This is the Islamic tradition from which Husain must be viewed. Men and women of Fine Arts have unrestricted freedom of expression only in the realm of Hindus and Hinduism. But when it comes to other religions and its icons their freedom of expression evaporates.
Voices of dissent need also to be heeded in a democracy and the Fourth Estate should continue to be a pillar of democracy-towards that I fervently wish.
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja


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UPA government making a mockery of governance leter to the editor-in-chief of The Hindu

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. arvind bellad  |  March 7, 2010 at 10:46 am

    i agree with all above………………….why is hussain not painting nude pictures of…….. his wife,mother,daughter and daughter in laws……..

  • 2. BHARATH RAMASWAMY  |  March 9, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Dear Madam,
    Your letter gives me a hope. A hope that the foundation laid by my wise forefathers will not be shaken by goons, perverts or thugs.I see these words of yours as an exhibition of dharma that the lord himself promised to be reborn again and again.

    our ancestors have propagandized the concept of “Universal Brotherhood” in terms of Vasudeiva Kutumbakam long ago and it doesn’t need Mr.Ram to tell the world what Secularism or tolerance means. All those people who justified perversion by citing sculptures of Khajuraho or other temples, should have researched shilpa shastras about what they mean before spitting their sarcastic venom.

  • 3. Sudheendhra  |  March 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Dear Madam,

    You have been bang on target in your letter; Hindu bashing is at its peak now and with the media working overtime to do it, we need such strong and effective replies. Hats off to you and congratulations..!

  • 4. rakesh  |  March 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    its similar to to Hindu . I will only repeat my comment once again “Hilda mata ki jai”
    incidently the hindu population in pak is reducing whereas the muslim population in india is increasing; yet india is …

  • 5. Bipin Trivedi  |  March 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Human being grown from there ancestor from beginning of human life or say Adam & Eve from nude stage to today’s cultured society. We have accepted some code of conduct to live in modern, well cultured and descent society, where we do not roam in the nude position as our ancestor does. To maintain this code, we have several laws against vulgarity. Even today in most modern internet era, we have applied code of conduct against porn sites. If someone capture nude photography has to phase consequences. So, I also believe that in the name of modern art, one cannot do/paint what they want to and they are also liable to obey certain society decency code. In our Indian society where people have ampoule of faith in variety of gods, one must keep in this mind while doing something against their faith.

    In society, we have to keep in mind all the people in all the religion which includes people with extreme religious in nature unlike all of us who we arguing here. No two persons are similar in nature, so you may think how much varieties are there in human nature. Argument is made that in the name of modern art, one must have right to paint anything in democracy and viewers have full right to see or not. But, whether it is viewable or not one has to see it once may be with his family and children then only one can decide about its stature. So, those extreme religious in nature has full right to oppose it may be by way of court cases. One must face the court cases instead of escapism. If anyone wants freedom for its acts must ready to face consequences.

    Husain has accepted Qatar citizenship for his own interest, since he got painting contract of Arabian culture from local govt. authorities and decided willingly to stay there for his own financial interest. However earlier through back door, he has begged and requested Indian govt. to withdraw court cases, which is not at all possible since govt. can’t do anything. Thanks judiciary are independent here else what would have happened can be judged.

    I remember that Husain has written a letter to N. Ram, editor The Hindu. One sentence was like this, “Qatar govt. has respected me by giving Qatar citizenship and honors me that way and if Indian govt. wants to arrest me then they can do so”. Just like Dawood Ebrahim, who on earlier days fled to Dubai and then tell the Indian govt. to arrest him. Husain must show guts to face the consequences instead of escapism. If he would have faced the court cases gracefully then he would be more respectable and may be forgiven by extremists.

    Everyone knows that he was after so many actresses (not actors) only like Meena Kumari, Mumtaz, Smita Patil, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. His one painting of Madhuri was describing that one ox (madmast sandh) with naked Madhuri in vulgar pose. This shows his dirty mind and psychic nature. If anyone describes this as modern art, than feel sorry for his/her thought. Madhuri showed her decency and keep mum else would be in big trouble earlier only.

    He is now in Qatar and even if he just speak (not actually paint) to show will to make nude paint of someone living there like he did in case of Madhuri or nude paint of their god, I doubt he will remain alive even.

  • 6. U.NARAYANADAS  |  March 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I am elated to see your posts. It is so easy to insult Hindus and get away with it these days! Thank you for taking on the might of the pseudo-secularists.


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