M.F. Husain – Hero of Gulf Indian Muslims

via Synonymous published on January 12, 2010

When Danish political cartoonist Kurt Westergaard drew the picture of Prophet Mohammed a few years ago with a few missiles in his turban the whole Muslim world was up in protest. Several fatwaas have been issued to kill him and even last week there was an attempt on his life. Though an outright impingement on the freedom of expression, many non-Muslims sympathized with the protest (not the fatwaas to kill him), because of the religious sentiments involved. But we do not find the same attitude on the part of Indian Muslims in the case of Maqbool Fida Husain (the infamous M.F. Husain). He is now a hero among the Indian Muslims who are residing in the Gulf countries (70% of which are Muslims from Kerala). He is feted and glorified as if he has achieved something very pleasing for them.

The hatred and venom that M.F. Husain has for Hindu Gods is easily seen in the pictures he painted as part of his innovation and unlimited freedom of expression he enjoyed in India . From a mere cinema board painter the genius in him blossomed because of the encouragement and freedom that a predominantly Hindu India provided to him. If people like him and Dilip Kumar had gone to Pakistan at the time partition, one can easily imagine their present condition. They would have been killed in bomb blast or in prison by now. Yet these highly venomous characters do not appreciate the beauty of their motherland and the immense encouragement given by all Indians irrespective of their religion and region. The offensiveness and vulgarity of his paintings of Godess Saraswati and Lakshmi are nothing compared to the professional innocence of a political cartoon of the Prophet.

But M.F. Husain is a real hero among Indian Muslims in the Gulf, ever since he settled down in Dubai . Not a day passes without a reception for him organized by one of the 500 odd associations of Indian Muslims in the GCC countries. And if on one day he is in the company of UAE rulers enjoying dinner with Indian business tycoons, the next day he is watching tennis finals at Doha in the company of the local rulers and Indian Muslim leaders. He is repeatedly praised for his great paintings (which includes the vulgar ones) and more importantly for his achievements that bring vicarious pleasure to his sponsors. For those who are following his felicitations in the Gulf, it is not surprising to conclude that the whole episode of his controversial paintings and escape to Dubai are pre-planned and sponsored by the same forces in the Gulf who organized 26/11 in Mumbai, financed Maraad massacre and are fuelling terrorism in India through Kerala.

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