M.F. Hussain, Pornography and Artistic Freedom: What are the Issues?

via Dr. Babu Suseelan published on March 27, 2008

Gratuitous depictions of sex and artistic portrayals of lovemaking have existed throughout history. Several traditional artists have used the theme pornography, erotica and nudity with a degree of artistry or good taste . Recently M.F. Husain, the Islamic painter, through his pornographic painting of Hindu Goddesses added the issue of taste, morality, decency, obscenity, religion and artistic freedom for discussion. Sex, nudity and pornography are central to M.F. Husain . Modern marketing system and profit making corporations have promoted M.F. Husain in unexpected ways. The unholy nexus between Islamic nude pointer M.F. Husain and art sale houses has serious implications for Hindus. M.F. Husain deliberately with malicious intention has depicted nude pictures of Hindu Goddesses to arouse the public sexually and sell his erotic painting for profit. M.F. Husain has a subversive aim to use his erotic painting as a weapon to attack Hindu sentiments.

With his erotic and tasteless paining of Hindu Goddesses , M.F. Husain broke every taboo possible. Husain has been facing several judicial trial in India and he is absconding from several high profile obscenity trails. As a Muslim, Husain may have several reasons to paint nude pictures of Hindu Goddesses. One of the effects of such nude paintings is desensitization. Viewing sexually explicit paintings over a long period of time reinforces negative stereotypes of Hindus. It is also intended to make Hindus dissatisfied with their religious practices and belief system.

Given the astonishing success of the pornography industry, it seems hard to imagine that Husain’s purpose of paining nude pictures of Hindu Goddesses is an expression of his artistic freedom. The painting is also a part of psychological operations to influence attitudes and behaviors to create negative emotions against Hindus. The form of communications can be a pornographic picture or nude paintings for spreading negative information to change in target group behavior. The weapon is not how it is sent, but the message it carries and how that message affects the recipient. The ultimate aim of such operations is to convince the public to take actions against Hindus. Husain’s exhibition of nude paintings of Hindu Goddesses and mass marketing of his pornographic drawings is nothing less than intellectual and political subversion.

While Husain is very eager in attacking Hindus with his vulgar, obscene paintings, he is very sensitive about drawing nude pictures of Mohamed or Jesus, and he goes out of the way to avoid appearing to do so. Husain’s deliberate attempts to defame and insult Hindu Goddesses is a real threat to artistic freedom, spiritual practices and religious tolerance.

THE LIMITS OF FREEDOM

The stability of a society depended on the exclusion by common consent, of certain things from the sphere of public display. Undoubtedly, Husain should be shamed and his nude paintings ought to be banned. Husain overstepped his freedom and went beyond the idea of “mere insult” . Husain and his ilk have not fully realized the harmful nature and effects stemming from the pornographic exhibition and sale, which has the ability both to directly elicit immediate behavior change (short term) and to cultivate (long term) hatred against Hindus.

Pseudo secularists claim that painting of nude pictures of Goddesses Lekshmi and Saraswathy is an expression of free speech. Bogus secularists find virtue in bashing Hindu values and say that Hindus must tolerate that is offensive or evil. The notion that irresponsible and disrespectful conduct is necessary for freedom is nonsense. To separate freedom from responsibility and respect for religion is tragic. Artists and painters are entitled to rights, provided their methods of free expression are not vulgar. Imposing limitations on free speech and expressive art is justified in order to protect the public from potentially inappropriate material.

Free speech or free expression of personal ideas are not an absolute right. Hindus have many legitimate reasons for protest and seek judicial intervention to regulate drawing of nude pictures of Hindu Goddess under the guise of free speech. Free speech as absolutism is something of a fraud, masking the real issues including Hindu hatred. There can be no doubt that nude painting by Husain poses the greatest threat to Hindu religious sensibilities.

Secular leaders usually say “Hindus need to be more open minded” or Hindus are too closed minded”. This is presented as though it is actually a valid argument. In reality it just shows they have run out of arguments. They hide behind it to disguise the complete lack of any rational reason for Hindus to accept what they are telling. Calling Hindus as closed-minded is pejorative. It is a fallacious rhetoric. In fact, the closed minded ones are the believers who insist some fantastic story is true despite a complete lack of evidence to support it. They are too closed minded to accept that their fantasy might be false. An open mind is open to all ideas, but it must be open to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong. It is not closed minded to reject claims that make no sense. It is not infringement of liberty to protest nude drawings of Hindu Goddesses. Bad ideas, vulgar art, pornography and erotic paintings are actually disruptive to good morals. These disruptive ideas should be discarded. By weeding out vulgar art and bad ideas, freedom and goodness can flourish. Hindus are indoctrinated by the secular media to accept irrational and insulting arts when there is no reason to believe it is esthetically appealing or morally right. And if Hindus will not reject pornography and erotic art that insult Goddesses, then Hindus are in freefall. Hindus should learn that one should not be so open minded that their brain will fall out.

The bogus secular crowd suffer from indifference, apathy, and do not demonstrate sophistication needed to be viable and visible, let alone assertive, in the changed political world. Therefore, in order to survive, practice and preserve our eternal Dharma in this changing world of information warfare required to move beyond mere survival. It is time, indeed, for Hindus to think of public affairs in a new way. Hindus should come together for the purpose of upholding our values, and self-esteem and have to fight with full, righteous confidence.

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