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There are several arguments in favor of an artist's freedom of expression, religious intolerance where Husain was especially concerned etc. etc. but what one needs to open eyes and see Husain's mindset behind each painting. When he painted Bharatmata, his own country for which he is supposed to be proud of, he painted her naked and in a vulgar manner, tearing and twisting apart the components of our national flag and using them on various parts of painting, thus violating the law. Where was his national pride then? Also, as far as professional ethics are concerned, he showed marked disrespect and dishonesty in them too. It has been PROVEN fact that he painted large canvases and then cut them down to pieces and sold them as individual and exclusive piece, thus duping his buyers as they lost authenticity and exclusivity. IT is a fact now that many gallery owners and personal collectors are now severely regretting buying those paintings as now no one wishes to touch them with a 10-foot pole. The prices that media cites now and then are much much exaggerated. So where he is concerned as a person and an artist, there is simply no honesty and integrity. Neither was he quite clear about his own ideas, he was a confused person. I am attaching a picture of Bharat mata for your reference, judge for yourself whether you want your country to be depicted in such a vulgar manner.



"I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally."
- W. C. Fields :)

In the community of painters M F Hussain was at the very top. He painted as he saw the subject through his eyes, and that is what every painter dies. It is the viewers who interpret the painting as per their value system and biases and prejudices. I had an opportunity to see his "Durga" paintings during Emargency in mid 1975 at Jehangir Gallery in Mumbai, Only three paintings were on display. There was a large crowd gathered to see them. For a long time I did not hear anything negative about the paintings till some fringe elements accused the painter of painting Hindu goddess naked and his harassment started. For that matter in the  picture of Bharat mata above I do not see anything wrong or vulgar. It is a way of portraying a vision in color on canvas. But others may see hell of a lot. That Hussain was Muslim also went against him because towards end of his life the fundamentalist school of thought was gaining foothold and he was perhaps its first victim. This does not rob him of being a great painter.

Being a Muslim artiste  did not in any way hinder M F Hussain in his growth as an artiste of repute within India. In fact, along with all the accolades he received , he was also given a free 4000 sq ft plot by the Karnataka government  under the artistes quota ,in the upmarket Koramangala area where he built a palatial house , which has been now sold for a very high price to a hotelier, thereby making his children self sufficient !

The major problem with his paintings was the way he depicted Hindu Goddesses and people  – ‘Durga in a sexual union with a tiger’ , 'Goddess Lakshmi naked on Ganesha’s head', Naked Sita, Naked Draupadi, Naked Parvati , Naked Bhartmata , Naked Brahmin with a fully clothed Muslim King. Now , compare these with his other paintings - Fully clothed Mother Teresa, His daughter Fully clothed, His mother fully clothed, Muslim poets and Muslim ladies fully clothed. One wonders what exactly was he trying to prove ? did his artistic expression and imagination work overtime while depicting Hindu dieties or is that how he imagined them?

I have always wondered about these contradictions in him as an artiste and private individual who from all accounts was loved by his neighbors and everybody else he came into contact with but was so very insensitive when it came to his paintings !



Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead !!!

Thank you said by: Kalyani Nandurkar

I don't know how many Indians are proud of M. F. Hussain but the point is how many Indians understand the various aspects of art. Most of the people are not that knowledgeable regarding art and so they judge the work only what they see through their open eyes. So, there is nothing wrong when a section of people protested the obscene projection of Hindu Goddesses. Can anyone of us tolerate any one of our family members be painted nude by any artist? No, we won't accept it then how can we accept our Goddess in such projection. That is asking for too much. So, in my opinion it was wrong. We know, India believes in freedom of speech but hate speech is an offence similarly art that leave a bad taste must be banned because it enhances the conflict of mind and heart. While saying all this against Hussain's particular pieces of art, I will not change my opinion about the honour conferred on him. A lack of sensitivity in some of his art pieces should not be the judging point of one's artistic skill. He deserves to be honoured because of his gross art work.  


continued ..

After M F Hussain fled from India, he spent his time in Qatar which was his adoptive country , where  his son lived and London . In fact, he was more at home in London because of the cultural atmosphere there. He breathed his last at the age of 95, on the 9th of June , 2011 in London.

Coming to the question as to whether he deserves the honor bestowed on him, I am not sure. His art was Modern Progressive Contemporary which is actually a mish-mash although it does have beauty. I have seen the modern artistes gallery in London, Hamburg , Belgium and Florence. I personally feel that M F Hussain’s paintings do not come to the standard of those artistes although there are a couple of M F Hussain’s paintings displayed in Hamburg and London. His paintings may have fetched a good price from the Indian perspective but that is not a yardstick for measuring quality. I like a few of his paintings on India civilization series ,but certainly not the controversial nude ones since there is no beauty in any one of them.


On the whole I feel that he got much more than what he deserved as an artiste probably because he was liked by all and his paintings too became more famous and popular because of the many controversies surrounding them and not because they were in any way great !

Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead !!!

Hussain had his own logic behind every painting but that does not have respectability among many people. People's sentiment cannot be ignored but the fact that his art has a touch of artistic brilliance cannot be ignored either. The government honoured him for his painting ability and I think it should not be challenged.


Thank You Everyone. CC 15 each to-

1- Kalyani Nandurkar

2- Usha Manohar 

3- Shampa Sadhya

4- vijay

5- rambabu

And CC 10 to Gulshan Sir for his only post.


I love this free image hosting site for sharing my work

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