Exhibition stopped after Hindu “threats”


by Sunny
23rd May, 2006 at 2:21 pm    

London based Asia House has cancelled an exhibition by the Indian artist MF Husain after “threats” from Hindu groups.

An official at Asia House, London, said the decision was taken because of threats to the paintings. The move followed demonstrations against the exhibition by several Hindu groups in Britain.

A local advocate Rajkumar Pande had filed a petition on March 3 alleging that an ‘objectionable’ painting had hurt the sentiments of Indians.

Yeah right. Hurt the sentiments of a bunch of pansies more like. Guess who is involved. National press here has not yet caught up with the story.
[thanks to David for the picture]


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Civil liberties,Hindu,Moral police,Organisations






175 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. mediawatchwatch » Angry Hindus close exhibition

    [...] Pickled Politics reports that the London-based Asia House gallery has been forced by Hindu groups to close down an exhibition by artist MF Husain. [...]




  1. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    Censorship envy.

  2. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

    Pathetic. It’s bad enough that Sikhs and Muslims have been trying to ban stuff here, now the Hindus have got in on the act.

    ASIANS SUCK ™

  3. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

    Sunny do you have the link to the article where the quote is taken from? Where it confirms the exhibition has been cancelled?

  4. Tanvir — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

    I have read about this stuff before, quite a few weeks back.

  5. Tanvir — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:35 pm  

    I have read about this stuff before, quite a few weeks back. Violent threats should not be tolerated.

    But I am with the Hundus on this one, why the hell should MF Husain paint derogatory pieces to do with ones religious beliefs? Asia House should have withdrawn the exhibition due to hurt senitments rather, or at least only exhibited non-offensive work of MF Hussain.

  6. squared — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:37 pm  

    Oh for fuck’s sake…

    I agree with raz. DOWN WITH BROWN PEOPLE!

  7. Tanvir — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

    sorry for the typos

  8. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

    Let’s start a brown people’s anti-brown petition!

  9. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

    Sunny do some journalism and find out more. I am surprised this has not been covered in the mainstream media if true.

  10. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

    What more is there to find out? I know it’s true because some people woke me up this morning to get some contacts and comments off me.

  11. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

    Hmmm. I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate.

    I certainly don’t agree with the fact that Hindu groups have apparently used threats to stop the exhibition — peaceful protests and legal actions would be a different matter — but it would be interesting to know if MF Hussain would be willing to paint & display nude pictures of Islamic religious figures, and if not, why not.

  12. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    They woke you up to get the comments? How inconsiderate. Not only did they make threats against paintings, but they ruined your sleep as well.

    I just wondered about the detail is all. I have not heard of an entire art exhibition being cancelled befoe.

  13. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    That was me Sunny. Ha ha. I tricked you good.

    M F Husain (say it real quick and it sort of sounds like an evil laugh)

  14. Tanvir — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    I cant see MF Hussain having anything Islamic about his character apart from his name, or he wouldnt be painting nude pictures, let alone of religious deities.

  15. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

    When will these protestors stop making an exhibition of themselves?

  16. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

    Jai

    That’s irrelevant, same with Behzti and Satanic Verses. However crap the art is, and whatever the artists motive, using threats to shut them down is wrong.

    Making this a big thing about Husain’s ‘hypocrisy’ over not painting Islamic figures is a side issue. Those that objected could have protested in other ways.

    Although I won’t generalise – all it takes is one person to make threats.

  17. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

    (build your own crap joke kit)

    Mother Fucker. Who? Sane?

  18. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:54 pm  

    Kismet you’re cracking me up these days!

    But seriously though, the whole thing paints a bad picture of the protestors.

  19. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    Wait. Please wait! Not all Indian artists are Muslim!!!

  20. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:58 pm  

    What happenned to the glorious tradition of Indian/Muslian miniature paintings?

    Their art’s just not just in it these days

  21. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    Sid you’re wrong. Soon they’ll all be muslim. you’ll all be muslim

  22. justforfun — on 23rd May, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    He is a very old, but very very rich man now; but if you have any of his paintings, you can probably also retire. Even if it is one of his Hindu gods which he has painted all his life.

    http://www.boredguru.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=594

    Justforfun

  23. squared — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

    HAHAHA @ kismet! :D

  24. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

    MF has attracted the (Mr and Mrs) Iyer of Indian art lovers.

  25. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

    Jay Singh, I said in my own message that I don’t agree with threats of violence in these matters. There are both peaceful and, if necessary, legal ways to deal with such things.

    However, my point still stands. Why wouldn’t he do this for Islamic figures ? Because he’d probably be killed for it. So why Hindu religious figures ? Possibly because he thinks (or thought) he’d be able to get away with it.

    It does raise certain questions about the obsession on his part with creating such paintings. Sepia Mutiny had an extended discussion about this a few months ago. I can’t speak for the contents of his now-cancelled exhibition, but his previous paintings weren’t just PG-rated portraits, they showed Hindu religious figures often engaged in sexual activity etc. You can do a ‘search’ on SM to find out more — links to the paintings concerned were supplied there.

  26. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:02 pm  

    This argument “he wouldn’t do the same to Muslim prophets” reminds of an article I wrote ages ago:
    http://www.asiansinmedia.org/news/article.php/television/808

  27. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    It’s copycat censorship pure and simple. Although Husain has been getting grief in India for ages it seems.

  28. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    Next stop: Guru Nanak-Hanuman hentai.

  29. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

    I remember watching a thing on Desi DNA about this. Hindus objecting to their Gods being used on shoes and thongs and stuff.

  30. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:08 pm  

    Jai

    If he were a Hindu artist, and produced the same kind of art, there would still be the same inevitable protest from offended groups. Are you saying that Indian Muslims should not be influenced by or produce works of art outside of their religious orbit?
    Thats a trully retarded worlddview.

  31. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:09 pm  

    But wait! Please wait!!!! Not all Asians are Muslim Artists!

  32. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:15 pm  

    Sid,

    I’m saying that one should be doubly-careful of engaging in potentially-provocative and controversial works of art involving figures from other people’s religions. It’s just asking for trouble.

    And yes you’re right that the same outrage would have been provoked if he were a Hindu — Deepa Mehta’s received flack for some of her recent films, for example.

  33. justforfun — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:15 pm  

    MF Hussian was one memeber of a group of Indian Modern artist who formed a group called the ‘Progressives’ I think.

    If my memeory is correct the others were KH Ara and FN Souza and others. I think most must be dead now and Hussain is the only living one. Sotherby’s and Christies both regularly hold sales on all their work and the value has risen dramatically in the last few years – say $5k per square foot :-)

    Pickled Politics should invest in a bit of corporate art, especially as they were the original progressives. Is art tax deductible?

    Justforfun

  34. Don — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    Sod it, lets just ban all art, drama, sculpture and music. Everywhere. Build a giant pyre of artworks and upon it burn anyone suspected of a creative impulse. Then no-one will ever be offended and a new age of brotherhood will descend.

  35. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    Deepa Mehta received more than flak. She received so many threats the film Water had to be finished in Colomboa, Sri Lanka, instead of Varanasi. The VHP tried their best to bury that film.

    Thus, this rubbish excuse used by HHR and others that they’re only annoyed because MF Husain used Hindu gods instead of Muslim prophets is rubbish. They’re as bad as the MCB and MAC in their censorship demands.

  36. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

    Bonfire of the Vanitas.

  37. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

    What exactly are the nature of the “threats”? The links don’t really make that clear. If they are threats of bodily harm to the painter or his works, then that’s out of line. If they plan protests against the nature of his work and vocal but peaceful demonstrations, that’s within their rights, however much you disagree with them.

    Hindu and Buddhist iconography and imagery seem to be more attractive to artists, fashion houses and the like, and has been abused before, either knowingly or unknowingly, and they have an obligation to point this out. But that’s where the protests should end. The Asia House should just go ahead and display the paintings.

    In India they still haven’t released the Da Vinci Code because of threats, protests, book burnings, and a bounty on Dan Brown’s head. The government even took the extraordinary step of caring so much about the religious sensibilities of Christians (and Muslims who said they would support a movie ban) by inviting them to a screening so that they could essentially override the earlier okay of the Censor Board.

    “I cant see MF Hussain having anything Islamic about his character apart from his name, or he wouldnt be painting nude pictures, let alone of religious deities.”

    Well he was Islamic enough a few years ago to immediately pull a song or bits of it from his released movie “Meenaxi” the minute some Muslim groups complained that it offended Islam. And no one complained about that bit of censorship. Again, it’s this apparent contradiction and double standards in the artist’s behavior and that of his supporters that annoys some people.

  38. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

    The Indian Sale happened in Sotheby’s London today. Couldn’t make it to the auction, but I suspect the top paintings were by MFH, and South Asian allstars:
    Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Ganesh Pyne, Francis Souza, Akbar Padamsee, S M Sultan, Ramkinkor, Zainul Abedin, Jamini Ray etc.

    Big money as jusforfun has said.

  39. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

    Correct about Ms Mehta, Sunny.

    However, my point was that if an artist is perceived to have double-standards, it’s just going to give yet more ammunition to those who object to his/her work.

    I don’t understand the logic of continuing to produce works of art involving religious figures from other people’s faiths which one knows are going to be regarded as grossly offensive by people belonging to the religion concerned. Where is the common sense ?

    If you think that the cartoonists involved in the recent Danish controversy were misguided in their actions (and yes, we know that some of their motivations were a little different to MF Husain’s), then the same logic applies to MF Husain too. Like I said before, it’s just asking for trouble.

  40. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:31 pm  

    I’m impressed by the prices his paintings fetch – $21 million for an Indian artist!

  41. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

    The Danish cartoons were “works of art”? Not even the most hardened HP-types would use that pretext JaiMan. The cartoons were an act of cultural gesture politics commissioned by a media-savvy opinion makers. Not comparable to MF Hussain’s work, please. Not in the same league and the intentions dude.

  42. Charlie Brown — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:40 pm  

    So Sid, if a Hindu artist painted explicit pictures of the Prophet Mohammad fornicating with his wives, and it was painted very nicely and artistically and wonderfully would you support his right to do that or would you think it was provocative? Full frontal nude paintings of Mohammad with Ayesha having sex. Would that be good for you? Or might it be provocative? Just wondering.

  43. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:40 pm  

    I should add that I don’t think people should create potentially-offensive drawings or paintings about Islamic religious figures either — but you all knew that already.

    I don’t think one should go out of one’s way to unnecessarily offend people’s religious sensibilities full-stop (especially other people’s religions) — regardless of the religion concerned — unless you genuinely have a sincere, well-intentioned point to make. These things are incredibly sensitive issues, so let sleeping dogs lie, unless you have a really good reason to do otherwise. If you plan to go ahead and “do it anyway”, don’t act surprised if the whole issue explodes.

  44. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:44 pm  

    Charlie Brown

    If you can find a historical pretext for full frontal nude paintings of the Prophet Mouhammed and wife(s) in full flagrant sexual act on which to base a modern interpretation – I would not be offended and would be interested to see the work, if not buy it.

    But, you may or may not be aware that traditional Hindu Art is literally “Full frontal nude” images and teh religious/cultural/spiritual precendents have already been set as part of the lingua sacra of Hundu spiritualism.

  45. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:50 pm  

    please excuse my horribly malodourous typos.

  46. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

    “Are you saying that Indian Muslims should not be influenced by or produce works of art outside of their religious orbit?”

    Clearly, Hussain realizes that he cannot paint the Prophet Mohammed or Allah doing it with a woman/his mother or a camel and expect to live much longer. So, not being brave enough to challenge the status quo of art within his own religious orbit (even Mary doesn’t do it for him), he expresses himself through Hindu iconography and Goddesses because he feels more comfortable and is more attracted to them. I say let the man be.

  47. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

    There is a Bangladeshi artist I know called Kalidas Karmakar who lives and works in Dhaka. He is Hindu and paints works that comment on the abuses and tyranny of Muslim extremism. Still good to know he can do that without calls for shutting him up because of the risk that his may be ” perceived to have double-standards”.

  48. Charlie Brown — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

    >>>>If you can find a historical pretext for full frontal nude paintings of the Prophet Mouhammed and wife(s) in full flagrant sexual act on which to base a modern interpretation – I would not be offended>>>>

    ******

    But Sid, why must there be a historical precedent or pretext for that? Isn’t art all about breaking down traditions and coming up with something new? It could be done with the intention of extending the ‘lingua franca’ of religion, in this case, Islam.

    I take it then you qualify your absolute support for the freedom of the artist? Because if a Hindu was to paint Mohammad having sex with his wives you would wonder about his right to do so?

  49. mirax — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

    Sid, your caveat of a ‘historical pretext’ for paragraph one above is a cop-out.

    You are right though about nudity and (sometimes graphic) depictions of sex in traditional hindu art. The whiners are the same minority of ‘hindus’ looking-for-offence, you know the sort of cretins who burn cinemas so Indian lesbianism cannot be depicted or smash up shops advertising Valentines’ Day. Though xyz’s question is relevant and remains unanswered: what was the nature of the threats?

  50. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

    MF Hussain’s works seems to be celebrating the beauty of the female form by re-interpreting the icongraphy and statuetry that is redolent in Sacred Hindu art. He hasn’t yet used his works to offend people or prove how “backward” they are by using tactics calculated to offend and scorn.

  51. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:00 pm  

    The artists always get publicity from this kind of campaign anyway, which is probably the opposite of what the protestors want.

  52. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:01 pm  

    Charlie Brown – what bizarre logic. If some Muslim nutters want to “express” their love for their religion by killing others or protesting violently, I hope you’re not suggesting Hindus should do the same in the name of equality or censorship. That people are able to live after offending others in Hindu art is a good thing, not a bad thing.

    I’ve added the pic now.

  53. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

    “But, you may or may not be aware that traditional Hindu Art is literally “Full frontal nude” images and teh religious/cultural/spiritual precendents have already been set as part of the lingua sacra of Hundu spiritualism.”

    I think you’re confusing erotic temple sculptures and nymphs with deities such as Saraswati, Lakshmi, who are never depicted nude and as far as I know, never depicted in art having near-sex or sex with Hanuman or other creatures.

    But just because there isn’t any precedent doesn’t mean Hussain can’t imagine it and paint it. However, that would then apply to Islam as well. I’m sure his imagination can conjure up some imaginative sexual positions for revered Muslim men and women. There really doesn’t need to be any historical pretext for nude paintings of anyone for an artist to eventually paint one. It’s called artistic licence and imagination.

  54. Charlie Brown — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:05 pm  

    Sunny

    That is not what I am suggesting nor is it my logic. Mirax expresses my sentiment quite clearly.

    If you believe in the freedom for the artist, Sid must unequivocally support the right for a Hindu painter to depict the Prophet Mohammad nude with an erection having sex with his wives. As long as the artist has integrity doing that, and does it for the right purpose, he must extend the freedom that MF Husain has to depict Hindu Gods as he pleases (which I 100% support him to do) to other artists to depict Mohammad and his wives as they so wish.

    Lets be equal and rigourous about this.

  55. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:21 pm  

    “MF Hussain’s works seems to be celebrating the beauty of the female form by re-interpreting the icongraphy and statuetry that is redolent in Sacred Hindu art. He hasn’t yet used his works to offend people or prove how “backward” they are by using tactics calculated to offend and scorn.”

    Ok. He’s only turned on by the beauty of the Hindu Goddess then and wants to re-interpret them. Who can blame him? No wonder he had the hots for Madhuri Dixit during the filming of “Meenaxi” to the point of it becoming a bit embarassing.

    “There is a Bangladeshi artist I know called Kalidas Karmakar who lives and works in Dhaka. He is Hindu and paints works that comment on the abuses and tyranny of Muslim extremism. Still good to know he can do that without calls for shutting him up because of the risk that his may be ” perceived to have double-standards”.

    Interesting. He’s luckier than some other Bangladeshis then. Could you post links to his art so that we can see how it expresses the abuses and tyranny of Muslim extremism? Thank you.

  56. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

    Hey my uncle Maruf Ahmed is one of Bangladesh’s most renown artists. His paintings grace the entrance of the bangladesh art museum and was on the top 10 list of most wanted intellectuals marked for extermination by Iahia Khan’s east Pakistan militia.

    Look him up when you go to Bangladesh.

    Oh, sorry, you can’t. He got exiled by president ershad during the martial law and has been living in Bonn, Germany ever since…

  57. mirax — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

    Wasn’t all that a long time ago, Kismet? Why can’t your uncle return to Bangladesh?

  58. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:41 pm  

    Oh he can. But I guess he finds German ladies more appealing and the landscape less violent

  59. justforfun — on 23rd May, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

    Sid – It was today was it – coincidence ? I’ll have to see the prices.

    This is all very depressing – I am hording my Ara untill its value goes up further, but the depressing thing is that he mainly painted bowls of fruit :-( – now that is never going to be controversial so its never going to rise in value as much as a full frontal nude :-) - can we have a bit of a ruckus about fruit – - it would be doing me favour. Nothing violent like chopping down fruit trees , but perhaps a boycott of Non – Indian Mangos would be a good start :-) – just to draw attention to the less controversial memembers of the ‘progressives’ – see they’re not around to fight their corner and Hussain is running away with the big money and I don’t have one of his paintings :-(

    Justforfun

    Just another cultural vulture :-)

  60. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:07 pm  

    It’s bad enough that Hindu, Muslim and Sikh cocksuckers are causing censorship problems in India and Pakistan. The fact that their intolerance is seeping into Western culture is inexcusable. This is the scary part – these fanatics are actually winning their war in the UK.

    Sikhs managed to get Behzti shut down and hounded the author into the underground.

    No British newspaper published the Mohammed cartoons for fear of upsetting British Muslims.

    Now this Art exhibition has been pulled because of Hindu whining.

    Looks like 3 of the most backward religions on earth acting in unison – and somehow their views are getting traction here in the ‘progressive’ UK. How shameful.

  61. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:13 pm  

    They’re raping the virginal Western civilisation raz!

  62. sonia — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:15 pm  

    “But I am with the Hundus on this one, why the hell should MF Husain paint derogatory pieces to do with ones religious beliefs? Asia House should have withdrawn the exhibition due to hurt senitments rather, or at least only exhibited non-offensive work of MF Hussain.”

    how funny. so much of existingrepresentation of the gods can be considered sexual.

  63. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

    And the worst thing is, this painting isn’t even religious as far as I can see. It is about India the country. So its just nationalism.

    People be wasting my time (though, like a typical journalist I love controversy :D )

  64. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

    If you believe in the freedom for the artist, Sid must unequivocally support the right for a Hindu painter to depict the Prophet Mohammad nude with an erection having sex with his wives. As long as the artist has integrity doing that, and does it for the right purpose, he must extend the freedom that MF Husain has to depict Hindu Gods as he pleases (which I 100% support him to do) to other artists to depict Mohammad and his wives as they so wish.

    I’d rather have the painter interpret his depiction and interpretation of the subject, rather than your obvious rage at MF Hussain’s depictions of “Hindu gods” and a desire to exact a tit for tat artistic revenge because you seem to see a wrong has been perpetrated here. But, otherwise, yeah I wholly agree with you.

  65. sonia — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

    oh i get it – if an ‘outsider’ does it of course it must be suspect!

    anyway what’s this business about ‘asians suck’ hah ha we aint the only ones who like to over-react.

    iconoclasm?

  66. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:20 pm  

    Yeah that’s what I was thinking sonia. Jews and Christians have had their narrow minded way in having works of art banned, why all of a sudden do the actions of these clowns become a taint on all Asians? Hmmmm I dunno.

  67. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:21 pm  

    BTW, while we’re on the censorship theme, and given that we have some gamers on PP, does anyone remember a game called Hitman:Silent Assasin which came out a few years ago? There was a big kerfuffle, because one level set in India managed to piss off Sikhs who said it was offensive (I think it was set in a temple or something). The publisher pulled the game after a while (although most of the copies had already been sold by then) and released a Sikh friendly version. I have an uncut copy, I sometimes fire it up for a mass Indian killing spree :) Don’t worry, there is an Afghan level where you can slaughter Muslims to your heart’s content as well :)

    http://www.mobygames.com/images/i/32/49/187849.jpeg

  68. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:29 pm  

    Interesting. He’s luckier than some other Bangladeshis then. Could you post links to his art so that we can see how it expresses the abuses and tyranny of Muslim extremism?

    Mostly installations. Uses a lot of found material, skeletons, mixed media. Works in Japan and BD. Very savvy, sharp witted, married a Muslim woman – very pretty, and smokes chillum by the ounce.

  69. justforfun — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

    Warning – beware of Jamini Ray works – easily forged and notorious for not actually doing the work but just getting an underling to do the painting which Jamini Ray would then sign off. I have one but am a bit doubtful about its real value or even authenticity.

    I know I have in jest gone on about the money side of all this, but all this controversy does actually raise the value of all these painters works. Funny old world we live in.

    Justforfun

  70. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

    What a wonderful world it’d be if all these extremists smoked chillum by the ounce

    On second thoughts, they’d be just as paranoid…

  71. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:36 pm  

    Just what we need Kismet:- fundoos smoking weed and looking to kill people when they get the munchies.

  72. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

    Are they cannibals?!

  73. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:41 pm  

    Imagine being with paranoid fundoos smoking chillum. You could say anything and they’d think you’re insulting their religion.

  74. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:41 pm  

    “married a Muslim woman – very pretty”

    WHERE’S THE PHOTOS SID?

    Justforfun is an art collector?! Are you rich?

  75. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:41 pm  

    paranoid fundoid?

  76. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:44 pm  

    Come on justforfun advise us which artist to invest our money in.

  77. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:45 pm  

    raz

    alas no pics of my friend’s wife.

  78. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

    It’s normal to find god at the end of a chillum.

    Sid, there’s a radiohead/turbanhead pun there somewhere…

  79. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:48 pm  

    Justforfun

    I have two jamini rays. I know their provenance because my father bought them from the man in the 50s in Calcutta.

  80. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:53 pm  

    He should get Hussain to paint her in flagrante delicto so that the whole world can appreciate her considerable charms. He would be standing up for artistic freedom, seeing a new interpretation of his wife and letting the world know how pretty she is all in one shot. After all, why should only Hindu Goddesses have all the luck. :) I think everyone should let Hussain do a reinterpretation and celebration of their relatives’ female forms for the greater good of humanity. Sorry, this is so much fun:)

  81. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:57 pm  

    I remember that controversy Raz. The Sikh guys were apparently also put in a room that vaguely looked like a temple and everyone said they were making fun of the Golden Temple!

    Brown people suck!

    This website is for Bahai people anyway. I don’t know why you lot are on here :|

  82. justforfun — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:58 pm  

    Raz – not really a collector – more an inheritor – most of this stuff was very cheap (almost free) in the 50,s and 60,s 70,s and looked good then. I keep an eye out on the price but sentiment prevents me from going further. Hussain for example painted film boards so if you have original movie posters of these then they will be worth something. So for example – - don’t throw away that actors copy of the stage play for Behzti – your grandchildren can retire on it :-) . As Afghanistan comes out of its nightmare, I am sure artists will paint so keep an eye out for their work now. These in 50 years will be worth something as they will be markers of this new dawn.

    Same with Indian Art. This stuff is mainly immediately after independance so for Indians today has a value that the pre-47 stuff does not have. Indian art has just become valuable in the last 10 years as Indians now have wealth that they can transfer out of India and I am sure alot is black money that they want to take back into India and so a couple of rolled up paintings easily slips by customs :-)

    Justforfun

  83. Don — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:59 pm  

    Jai,

    I’m afraid I don’t agree that artists should ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ or avoid creating ‘potentially-offensive drawings or paintings’ of religious figures.

    Otherwise all we would have would be inoffensive art, and what use is that? Apart from making a nice pressy for one’s mum.

    I had never heard of Husain until today, but a quick google suggests that he is a genuine artist and such people tend not to do their best work while treading carefully to avoid offending opinionated philistines.

    (Apologies to any Philistines reading this. I meant no offence. Please don’t hurt me.)

    Also, artists are under no obligation to be ‘sincere, well-intentioned’. Some of the greatest artists have been utter swine.

    Are you suggesting his motive was to cause offence? If so, then fine. It’s not art, it’s polemic and different rules apply. Sid’s point about the Danish cartoons being in a different league is salient (although I still think they had a right to publish those). The creators of those pieces did not even lay claim to an artistic impulse; the intent to offend came first, the ham fisted scrawl came second. I remember asking at the time whether the PP commentors who condemned the cartoons would have been so pissed off at a flash of satirical genius by Ralph Steadman making the same point, rather than scribbles by some hick hacks.

    Come to think of it, I’m not aware of any genuine art-work portraying Mohammed which has caused a rucus. Can anyone think of one?

    Charlie Brown,

    I find it very hard to imagine an image of Mohammed fornicating which was not intended primarily to offend but was the result of a genuine artistic impulse. But, hell, I know nothing of art. I’m not saying that causing offence is necessarily wrong, sometimes it is salutory, just that your example is so extreme as to be unhelpful.

    We are all born and raised in cultures saturated with religious imagery, visual or not. As someone raised in a Christian culture it’s embedded in the language I speak. To suggest that, because I don’t share that belief I am excluded from using that imagery is impractical and unreasonable.

    I think the parallel is more Rushdie than the cartoons. Yes, I know it was his ‘own’ religion, and I’m not a huge Rushdie fan (liked Midnight’s Children and some of the shorter stuff, but he’s not on my ‘must read’ list), once you let the religiously inclined tell an artist, ‘This is out of bounds or else’ you have established a principle which can only suffocate, never inspire.

    For exhibitors to give way to threats in such a case is contemptible.

  84. Don — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:01 pm  

    Bloody hell, 23 posts while I was typing that.

  85. justforfun — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:06 pm  

    Sid –
    I have two jamini rays. I know their provenance because my father bought them from the man in the 50s in Calcutta.

    Well they are the right period – but who was the man? LOL

    His work is very content specific because he (his studio) created so much stuff. If the painting is of a subject that people like it will be worth something – perhaps $1000 square foot but if you are interested send in a pic to Sotherby’s and they will give you a estimate. I would not be surprised if they are not behind the protests :-) they need more pictures to sell and nothing like a bit of publicity to get us all looking through our attics and looking closely at our grandmothers paintings the next time we visit. Be subtle or she might think you want to bump her off ! And when the will is read and your offered the fine china or the painting , take the painting !!

    Justforfun

  86. justforfun — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:13 pm  

    Sid – sorry – I should explain the LOL – my father also thought he bought his from Jamini Ray in Calcutta but later says he saw a picture of Jamini Ray and it did not look like the man he bought the picture from.

    Justforfun

  87. Charlie Brown — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:14 pm  

    >>>>>I find it very hard to imagine an image of Mohammed fornicating which was not intended primarily to offend but was the result of a genuine artistic impulse. But, hell, I know nothing of art. I’m not saying that causing offence is necessarily wrong, sometimes it is salutory, just that your example is so extreme as to be unhelpful>>>>>

    *******

    I am afraid that you chickened out here Don. A set of paintings by a Hindu or Jewish artist of the Prophet Mohammad engaged in various explicit sexual acts with his wives could be both art and polemic. I was dissapointed with your qualifying of your points, because up until then I agreed with everything you said. In fact you were quite adamant about the need for art to be free to say anything and smash all taboos, even defending hack work like the Danish cartoons. Sadly, there is not so much difference between you and Jai, in as much as you also urge caution and exception when you deem something is ‘extreme’ and ‘unhelpful’. Who are you to second guess artistic motive?

    It has to be all or nothing.

  88. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:17 pm  

    Charlie Brown,

    =>”Sadly, there is not so much difference between you and Jai,”

    Exactly what are you referring to here, considering that I have been advocating the “all or nothing” approach myself in this matter ?

  89. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:23 pm  

    Don,

    We’re going to have to amicably agree to disagree here. Freedom of expression means that one also has the freedom to be a jerk, but that does not mean one has to exercise the latter.

    Regarding your comments about artists being under no obligation to be decent people, you’re correct, but then they should also be prepared to deal with the consequences of playing with fire, bearing in mind how human nature works in these situations. If one wants to be irresponsible and immature, then fine, but don’t complain or make excuses when the more fanatical types decide to retaliate and the chickens come home to roost.

    MF Husain is ethically and logically wrong in this issue, and the Hindu groups who have used threats to shut the exhibition down are also ethically and logically wrong. Both are stupid and irresponsible on multiple levels.

  90. Charlie Brown — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:23 pm  

    Don second guesses the motive of artists just as you do, even though he simultaneously speaks of the need for complete artistic freedom and the right to offend without restriction all religions and breach all religious sensibilities and taboos.

    Except for ‘extreme’ examples dealing with the Prophet Mohammad.

    Bear in mind that Theo Van Gogh was hacked to death for writing verses from the Koran on naked women and filming it. So this is not really an academic discussion.

  91. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:24 pm  

    “most of this stuff was very cheap (almost free) in the 50,s and 60,s 70,s and looked good then”

    Bloody hell! We have a proper buda on our hands here! I though Jai was old :)

  92. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:24 pm  

    “Come to think of it, I’m not aware of any genuine art-work portraying Mohammed which has caused a rucus. Can anyone think of one?”

    Is there any genuine artwork portraying Mohammed in the last decade or two? Genuinely want to know. There is historical precedent, apparently, for depictions of Mohammed, but I’m not sure if anyone can “reinterpret” him today and it not cause a ruckus. As for the cartoons, they were interpretations, however offensive. Why the ruckus? If they had been painted, would they be more artistic? If Hussain’s depictions of Hindu Goddesses having sex with animals were transcribed stroke for stroke into cartoon form, would it be more okay to criticize them?

    “I find it very hard to imagine an image of Mohammed fornicating which was not intended primarily to offend but was the result of a genuine artistic impulse.”

    Why? Was he not a man who took a young wife? Did he not have manly impulses? Why do you think a depiction of Hindu Goddesses fornicating is intended primarily out of a genuine artistic impulse and not an intent to shock (maybe not offend, give him the benefit of the doubt). Because it is in oils and not in cartoon form?

    Hussain, being Indian, would know, unlike Sid, that certain Hindu Goddesses have been depicted in certain prescibed ways. Curious to know why you are less likely to take a depiction of Hindu Goddesses fornicating as an insult and extreme than a similar artistic reinterpretation of Mohammed’s relationship with his female partner (and I’m not talking about the numerous cartoons and sketches one can find of Mohammed, Allah and Ayesha in flagrante delicto on the internet).

    “Once you let the religiously inclined tell an artist, ‘This is out of bounds or else’ you have established a principle which can only suffocate, never inspire. For exhibitors to give way to threats in such a case is contemptible.”

    Agree wholeheartedly. However, in this case it is the artist himself who has set hypocritical boundaries and censors himself when it suits. He gave into Muslim threats over his movie Meenaxi and cut a song. So clearly he was quite willing to suffocate his artistic impulse and his inspiration and set a bad precedent by giving in to those religiously motivated threats. He said he didn’t want to cause them offence and was quite solicitous of their feelings. Can you then blame other intolerants when they are emboldened by that and demand the same of him with regard to his depiction of Hindu Goddesses? The artist himself has set a bad precedent.

  93. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:25 pm  

    Charlie Brown,

    Either you are mistaking me for my namesake Jay Singh (who has also been commenting on this thread but is not me), or you have been completely misinterpreting my own posts.

    Read them again — ironically, I’ve been saying exactly the same thing as you have.

  94. justforfun — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:26 pm  

    Art is in the eye of the beholder, not the creator which is how people normally try and define it and even poor artists like Tracy Emin who will claim that only her unmade bed is a work of art because she is the artist , and my unmade bed is not a work of art because i am not an artist.

    Art is anything that give you as the viewer (or experiancer (?) an emotional insight into the human condition. If the work of art needs explaining in any other form then the artist failed to use what evermedium he chose to the best of his ability.

    So as such, these protestors are themselves a work of art because they are like Raz has nicely pointed out a good inside into the human condition.

    I would infact be very dissapointed if there were no protests becuase without them, I don’t actually think Hussians work actually says much to me these days.

    Justforfun

  95. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:30 pm  

    To back up XYZ’s comments (which I agree with), I am not aware of any historical Indian artwork depicting Hindu gods and goddesses in explicitly sexual situations.

    There have been temple carvings and paintings depicting fictional figures in such circumstances, certainly, but not any overtly religious icons. As far as I know, the latter has always been a no-no. The fact that MF Husain has veered into depicting Hindu goddesses engaged in bestiality in some of his paintings also makes the mind boggle regarding what the hell is going on inside his head.

  96. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:35 pm  

    Raz,

    =>”Looks like 3 of the most backward religions on earth acting in unison”

    Assuming that you’re not on a mission to deliberately erode any goodwill you have built up here over the past few months, can you please clarify exactly what it is about Sikhism that makes you think it’s “one of the most backward religions on earth” ?

    I’m specifically talking about the faith’s teachings, not the actions of a small handful of individuals who erroneously acted in its name during the Behzti affair (those who threatened the artist and the very small number at the front of the crowd who got carried away in the crush during the peaceful protests — it was certainly not a “riot” despite some of the misreporting at the time).

    Please explain your statement or retract it completely.

  97. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:44 pm  

    Don’t be so precious Jai. Raz was making a crude point about all Asian religions. I think he was talking bollocks. But he can say what he likes. You come across as pompous when you ‘demand’ people to retract statements.

  98. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:52 pm  

    Jai

    You really come across as ridiculous when you write posts like that. Raz is a shoot-from-the-hip kind of guy. He is exasperated by the chippiness of Asians who get offended over religion easily. So he makes blanket statements which are over the top. Its ridiculous for you to take it as a personal slur – you should know his style and what kind of guy he is by now. And there is plenty of backwardness amongst Sikhs just as there is amonst Muslims and Hindus. I’ll wager that is what he is referring to. Don’t get into ridiculous quarrels like the one who fell into with the ridiculous Ishmaeel. You just end up looking ridiculous.

  99. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:52 pm  

    I think Raz is more than capable of answering the question himself, Jay. Let him do so.

    I agree that it was probably an offhand comment on his part, but it is unwise to make such statements about other people’s religions unless there are solid reasons for doing so. Certainly if one intends to amicably engage in discussions with people concerned in future.

    Anyway, this is off-topic, so if Raz wishes to explain his thoughts he is welcome to do so although he should probably keep it brief in order to prevent this debate from being unnecessarily sidetracked.

  100. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:54 pm  

    You’ve already side-tracked it Jai. Don’t be so precious. Raz is not the type to gratuitously insult for the sake of it. It’s his style. In case you didn’t notice, he referred to his own religion Islam in the same terms. Get over it.

  101. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:08 pm  

    Jai,

    Just to clarify. Hussain has every right to interpret Hinduism as he sees. I just wish people would learn more about the nuances of Hindu iconography and the differences between how certain deities are depicted and how others are and the difference between an apsara and a deity on the walls of a temple while trying to find a rationale for his depictions.

    You may well find seminude or nude Goddesses, Kali is one. You may even find seminude or nude depictions of Hindu Goddesses in India or other Asian countries. Hinduism has never shied from associating the sacred and the sensuous. I think it’s great that the religion doesn’t see God or the Gods and Goddesses as some remote, sensuousless, emotionless, bland foreboding figure. It may be more open to interpretation than other more dogmatic faiths, but it still did develop prescriptions and attributes and has its own sense of propriety. It cannot be classified and put into a neat little box, but neither is it the complete free-for-all that those ignorant of the tradition seem to think it is.

    However, Hussain has taken certain liberties with certain texts and deities held in high esteem by most Hindus. Again, that’s his right. Accepted wisdom should always be challenged. But I find it hard to accept someone as an artist who does not have the moral courage to take liberties with his own deeply held beliefs but all the courage in the world when it comes to someone else’s. If he was consistent in his artistic impulses, but he doesn’t appear to be.

  102. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:12 pm  

    I’m sure Raz greatly appreciates your defence of his honour, Jay Singh ;)

    My thanks for your input too. For the sake of civility I’m going to refrain from commenting on how you are coming across yourself right now — which several other people on PP have recently mentioned, by the way. Tone it down. Taking this back a few months, there were certain reasons why I initially vociferously objected whenever other PP participants appeared to be confusing us for each other due to the similar usernames — and although I’d been genuinely regretting that for quite some time, there is some truth in the statements that you need to cultivate a less blunt and more diplomatic manner. There are more constructive ways to go about things — the macho act is unnecessary here.

    This is a friendly comment and I hope you are not going to retaliate with verbal abuse, which you have repeatedly done when other people here have questioned or contradicted you. You’ve been tremendous recently and an asset to this blog — but don’t spoil it by slipping back into the bravado.

  103. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:16 pm  

    Jai, don’t be so bloody sensitive.

  104. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:17 pm  

    XYZ,

    I completely agree with your entire post — that’s my point exactly. It’s basically a matter of common courtesy and consideration towards others — and, to paraphrase something you said yourself, a matter of not taking undue liberties with other people. This is what seems to be happening here, bearing in mind the inconsistency and double-standards.

  105. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:21 pm  

    Raz,

    Don’t make throwaway comments about other religions and simultaneously expect people belonging to those faiths to stay silent or not question you about it.

    I think we should both drop this matter because, on the whole, I normally think you’re a great guy, and I also don’t want this thread to end up like my previous altercation with Ismaeel.

  106. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:24 pm  

    Can we please get back to the discussion.

  107. mirax — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:24 pm  

    http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=215268

    Ah, I did not know this. MF Hussain, with remarkable alacrity, withdrew his movie from all Indian cinemas in 2004 due to complaints from muslim organisations over ONE song. Xyz’s points about the double standards of the artist himself appear valid.

  108. Jai — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:25 pm  

    No problem, Sunny.

  109. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:28 pm  

    The Greek gods never had these issues. They just partied and shagged and let anyone paint them as long as they painted them partying and getting down to bacchic bukkake

  110. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:29 pm  

    And goddesses. They’re goddesses were right goers, bless ‘em

  111. mirax — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:37 pm  

    And goddesses. They’re goddesses were right goers, bless ‘em

    yeah, Kismet. Them goddesses only threw a hissy fit if they were painted from an unflattering angle.They had the proper attitude to fame and celebrity. Pity that the thin-skinned semitic upstarts and their copycats are all the rage in the divinity industry these days.

  112. Katy Newton — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:38 pm  

    *sidles in*

    The pictures sound as if they are in very poor taste, and people who don’t like them needn’t go to see them and should be allowed to publicise their disapproval and try to persuade other people not to go. And people who want to display them should be allowed to display them and not be threatened into withdrawing them, so that everyone who wants to see them can go and make up their own minds about what they think of them. And every single religion on the entire planet has a liberal end and a bible-thumping end and it’s usually the bible thumping end which makes a prat of itself by making silly threats instead of holding a dignified protest.

    So let’s not be singling out particular religions as backwards because all religions have a backward side and a forward side. And side sides.

    *sidles out again*

  113. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:43 pm  

    If we’re talking about Hindu mythological art, that stuff Rohin posted a while back was awesome.

    http://img461.imageshack.us/img461/7066/big29hw.jpg

  114. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 7:43 pm  

    http://www.asianart.com/exhibitions/desire/intro.html

    An interesting explanation of the sacred and sensuous in Hindu, Buddist and Jain art of India. As expected, it says:

    “Indeed, in contrast to the uninhibited expression of sexuality in literature, both secular and devotional, the visual arts are rather discreet. Despite the linga, or phallus, being Shiva’s symbol and the abundant use of the sexual metaphor to express the mystical union of tantric yogic theology, Hindu deities are rarely shown in the act. Shiva and Parvati are the only couple who display tender feelings of intimacy (no. 48)”

    So while seminudity or nudity or even tender embraces are historical precedents in Hindu art, graphic depictions of deities, especially the major and most important ones are not, and any that were were not for public viewing (as in the case of Buddhism mentioned in the article). And I can’t find any historical precedent for graphic (painting, sculpture) depictions of major deities in sexual union with animals.

    And this perhaps explains why MF Hussain restricts nudity and sexual depictions (albeit contradicting some earlier rules described above) to Hindu iconography and why Hinduism has begun to behave in the same way:

    “The Indian attitude to the human body – the model for the divine form – was always a positive one until the introduction of Semitic ideas, first through the arrival of Judaism and Christianity in the early centuries of our era, and then Islam, and, finally, the British with their Victorian prudishness. In both classical Sanskrit poetry and more earthy folk literature (mostly oral), there is no inhibition in describing the body or physical situations. In the visual arts, humans and gods are always represented as semi-nude. Even in more recent times, tribal men and women in India went around freely with bare torsos, until their conversion to Christianity with its concept of “shame,” although in the West now semi-nudity is openly flaunted. Indian literature has always extolled diaphanous garments (the finer the cotton the better), which when draped around the lower body would have obscured very little, for no undergarments were worn, as is clear from the sculptures in the collection.”

  115. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:05 pm  

    Thanks for the advice Uncle Jai!

  116. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:10 pm  

    So let’s not be singling out particular religions as backwards because all religions have a backward side and a forward side. And side sides.

    Katy just sidles in with words of wisdom, chucks them out while no one is noticing and then runs off again. It’s not right… it’s just not right.

  117. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:13 pm  

    “Katy just sidles in with words of wisdom, chucks them out while no one is noticing and then runs off again. It’s not right… it’s just not right”

    Women, eh.

  118. Katy Newton — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:16 pm  

    *sidles in again to bask in praise*

  119. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:17 pm  

    It takes a Jewish lady to slap some sense into Asian mens heads :-)

  120. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:20 pm  

    It takes a Jewish lady to slap some sense into Asian mens heads

    It’s not just her, it’s all the women here. It’s embarassing. All we men do is get into arguments that are essentially penis comparison exercises. Or put up pictures of hot women (actually, only Raz and Rohin do that).

  121. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:22 pm  

    Yeah but the penis comparison exercises are futile because I always win.

  122. Katy Newton — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:23 pm  

    Do the pictures of hot women facilitate the penis comparison exercises?

  123. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

    Katy

    As an answer to your question, yes, as long as they are not of Hindu Godesses, in which case we are offended by the outrageousness of them.

  124. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

    I once saw a Hindu sculpture of a god with a ginormous penis. I felt threatened by it. It was eight feet tall or something. Or it may have been Incan. I saw it in Tintin

  125. Katy Newton — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:33 pm  

    Quite right too, Jay. I like PP’s moral side.

    In related news, the Daily Mail had a picture of Madonna wearing a thorny crown and mounted on a large scaffold in the shape of a cross this morning, from her tour, which I suppose is along the same lines as these pictures we’re talking about, and I have to admit that I just burst out laughing. I mean, what on earth is it supposed to mean? That Madonna died for the sins of the world?

  126. raz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:33 pm  

    “Or put up pictures of hot women (actually, only Raz and Rohin do that)”

    And you all lap it up :)

  127. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:35 pm  

    Madonna’s dead? About bloody time, the silly old hag

  128. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:37 pm  

    How old is Madonna? She’s about 60 isn’t she? And she’s still writhing about on a crucifix pretending to have oral sex with her microphone? How controversial.

  129. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:39 pm  

    Rather she gave her microphone oral sex than stick it anywhere else in her

  130. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:39 pm  

    There was a minor outrage in the States a few months ago when Rolling Stone put on its cover a picture of Kanye West wearing a crown of thorns on his head.

  131. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:41 pm  

    I love Kanye West. Kanye West for President.

  132. Katy Newton — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:46 pm  

    Jay – lol. She’s almost 50. I gather little Lourdes is starting to find her antics a bit trying, which is fair enough. I wouldn’t like to see my mother writhing around on a cross-shaped scaffold. Just the mental image makes me anxious.

  133. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:52 pm  

    She’s 50 years old??

    Act your age Madonna! We don’t want to watch
    geriatric American women masturbating on stage! Do some knitting on stage instead!

  134. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:03 pm  

    Kanye West was wearing a crown of thorns?!

    But he’s black

  135. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:04 pm  

    (I feel minorly outraged by this)

  136. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:17 pm  

    Really interesting how this discussion is playing iteself out as a perfect mirror image of the Danish MoToons from earlier this year. Back then the same, by and large, set of commenters who were defending the right of the Danish paper to publish those cartoons in the spirit of Freedom of Expression are, right now, casting aspersions on MF Hussain’s artistic intentions. Now his freedom of expression are subservient to his rank hypocricy and mirax, ever the unstinting anti-religion crusader has second thoughts and instead, “double standards of the artist himself appear valid”. So he’s nothing more than a communal agitator and this proven for his retraction of Muslim paintings that caused offence and not his Hindu paintings.

    The fact that the man has artistic licence to create whatever he wants and has offended all sides of the Censorship industry doesn’t seem to offer any validation.

    “I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.” — Hoskie Wilde

  137. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:34 pm  

    Sid,

    Your last post is hard to follow. No one here is saying that Hussain shouldn’t have the right to display his paintings, however offensive some Hindus find them. What is being said, is that when it comes to standing up for his own so-called artistic freedom, the man is a hypocrite pure and simple. Believe it or not, the issue of his hypocrisy can be separated from whether his work should be displayed. Not sure how you can refute that based on the evidence.

    No one here is saying that the hypocrite can’t exhibit his paintings. If you think the man’s double standards are not valid to his own integrity as an artist who should be free to do whatever he pleases (as you said), then you have some funny standards. Or perhaps you can give a logical explanation for why he immediately pulled a song deemed offensive by Muslims but claims freedom of expression when similar complaints are made by Hindus?

    And what exactly do you mean by this: “The fact that the man has artistic licence to create whatever he wants and has offended all sides of the Censorship industry doesn’t seem to offer any validation.” Surely you’re not saying that his submitting to Muslim demands and standing up to Hindu ones somehow cancel each other out and that means that he’s offending all sides of the censorship industry and somehow validates his actions? Because if so that makes no sense at all. But perhaps I misread what you meant.

    And your last quote could very aptly apply to Hussain based on his own actions.

  138. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:37 pm  

    “Anyway, those Hindu fundoos are safe as houses compared to the other lot.” said Gene Patel to DavidT Patel as they closed down the corner shop for another night.

  139. Katy Newton — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:42 pm  

    Offensiveness is subjective, I think. If you’re a Christian you’ll find Madonna writhing around on a crucifix offensive but you won’t be that bothered about Hindu goddesses being painted in the nip. If you’re a Jew you’ll laugh at Madonna writhing around on a crucifix but you won’t be terribly impressed with her saying that her religion is “Kabbalah”, which is sort of the equivalent of saying that your religion is Lent.

  140. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:45 pm  

    Also you equated Hussain’s artistic intentions (which you really know nothing more about than anyone else on this board, you have no idea what his motive was) with the spirit of freedom of expression used to defend the publication of the cartoons. The intentions behind most of the cartoons were meanspirited and meant to provoke, but freedom of expression demands that they be allowed to be published unless they violate some essential law of the land.

    Likewise, the motive behind Hussain’s paintings is immaterial, whether artistic or meant to offend or provoke. Freedom of expression demands that he be allowed to display them, and he clearly feels he should. Likewise, it doesn’t matter what the motive behind the song in Meenaxi was (and given that it was by devout Muslim AR Rahman, I doubt it was meant to offend). Freedom of expression demands that it be left in and the movie not pulled because of it. But clearly, and only in the latter case, Hussain felt the need to give up his artistic right to freedom of expression that he values so much in other cases.

    I know it’s an uncomfortable and embarassing fact about Hussain, but it’s the truth: he himself has compromised his integrity. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have his works displayed without fear of disturbance.

  141. El Cid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:47 pm  

    National press too busy with Madonna’s (yawn) cliched crucifix turn

  142. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:49 pm  

    “Offensiveness is subjective, I think.”

    True. Look at all the equivocation and waffling.

  143. Don — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:51 pm  

    Charlie Brown,

    Mildly disgruntled at ‘chickened out’. I was trying for ‘nuanced’. I think there is a distinction between an work of art which offends and a piece of polemic which intends nothing but offence. I am not sympathetic to the Danish cartoons, but insist that there was a right to publish. I just see these as two seperate arguments.

    The problem with polemical art is that, while one might first think of Goya, Cruikshank, Gilray and Hogarth, one also has to consider Der Sturmer. All or nothing? Not so sure. Had a magazine, at the height of the Lozells riots, published a cartoon of stereotypical asians gang-raping a young afro-caribean girl, I would have found it hard to get all freedom of speech about it. Just as I did when I saw some Indonesian papers publishing vilely anti-chinese cartoons just prior to some bloody anti-chinese riots.

    I saw your example as leading us into the second area, rather than the first. But, yes, on reflection and with Theo van Gogh in mind, you do have a valid point.

    In theory, yes, a sexual depiction of Mohammed could indeed be art. It could be polemic. Or it could be a deliberate attempt to shit-stir. Who am I to second-guess an artist’s motive? Just some guy. Who do I need to be?

    Jai,

    sorry mate, but;

    ‘don’t complain or make excuses when the more fanatical types decide to retaliate and the chickens come home to roost.’

    Actually, do complain. Preferably to the rozzers.

    XYZ,

    ‘the artist himself who has set hypocritical boundaries and censors himself when it suits’

    That’s a bit harsh. Galileo himself backed down when the alternative was slow and painful death. It doesn’t make him less of an artist. Becoming a martyr for art is an honour one can not be criticised for declining. However, a society that allows such a situation to develop should certainly be criticised.

  144. FOB — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:54 pm  

    Fuckin ABCD’s saying down with brown people…eh!
    they want easterns to accept the humor of westerns.
    when i first started watching South Park, i had to get used to it for 2/3 episodes.

    u ABCD’s are pathetic.

  145. FOB — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:56 pm  

    “Westerners”

  146. FOB — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:57 pm  

    and “easterners”. haha

  147. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 10:05 pm  

    “that’s a bit harsh. Galileo himself backed down when the alternative was slow and painful death. It doesn’t make him less of an artist. Becoming a martyr for art is an honour one can not be criticised for declining. However, a society that allows such a situation to develop should certainly be criticised.”

    I don’t think that’s a good comparison. Was Galileo also being threatened with hellfire by say, Buddhists? If he had been, and had kowtowed to the church’s intolerance while brushing off the Buddhists, then the situation is comparable.

    Basically you’re saying Hussain is willing (or rather not willing) to become a martyr over something that offends Muslims but is over something that offends Hindus. Or maybe he’s just more in fear of his life from Muslims than Hindus. Either way, your’e right, its the 21st century and no artist should have to become a martyr for his art.

    Sorry, any artist in this century, who lives in a democracy, who bravely cites artistic freedoms when confronted by some and conveniently and cowardly shoves it under a rug when confronted by others is a hypocrite. It didn’t even take any threats for him to prove himself a martyr when it came to the movie, only some complaints that it offended his fellow Muslims. He didn’t even have the courage to test the waters.

    And I’m still curious to know why you would find an artsy painting of Mohammed fornicating with Ayesha more offensive than an artsy painting of Hindu Goddesses fornicating with animals. Thanks.

  148. Don — on 23rd May, 2006 at 10:25 pm  

    xyz,

    And I’m still curious to know why you would find an artsy painting of Mohammed fornicating with Ayesha more offensive than an artsy painting of Hindu Goddesses fornicating with animals.

    What, me? I don’t. Where did I give that impression?
    Although I doubt I would hang either on my wall.

  149. Seema — on 23rd May, 2006 at 10:30 pm  

    In defence of MF Husain

    The recent ravings of political groups as well as the centre’s stance on M.F. Husain’s ‘Bharat Mata’ is a perfect example of drawing you into the moral dictates of who makes art and for whom, who responds to art and who crucifies it at the altar of politico-religious vendetta.

    Years ago I was asked to do a cover story on gods and goddesses and recall Husain sitting in the lobby of the capital’s ITC Maurya Sheraton and sketching what he called ‘Earth Goddess’ – a nude flying through the air with a babe between her thighs. I also recall Professor Amartya Sen commenting that it was a ‘brilliant evocation in the art of the abstracted contour’.

    For Husain a nude is a symbolism. It is the metaphor of all that is created, celebrated and venerated. His nudes for over six decades are lyrically lithe contours – a balletic choreography of grace and fluidity. And there lies the paradoxical tension that animates Husain’s entire career as an artist. The nude has been his composite subject matter and its contours have been the lingua franca of a gorgeously sensuous aesthetic.

    Of course Maqbool Fida Husain has been a compulsively provocative artist, and his series over the years have been the kind that could give your Victorian sensitivities an aerobic workout. For Husain the nude is the subject matter, and there is nothing unsettling about it. It is also the nature of Husain’s involvement.

    Husain has never been the classic strait-laced artist who drops in on different sorts of newsworthy or social situations – the riots or the killings somewhere, say – and creates a work from a concerned distance.

    Husain is an artist with an eye for the powerful visual metaphor. Years ago his Andhra cyclone series had many nudes, they were brilliant comments on the abstracted terrain of the agony and tribulations of the life cycle of birth and death. The main impulse in Husain’s nudes has been an urge to translate the dictums of the feminine fervour, of the vitality of the fertility of birth rather than the decadent degrading suggestions meted out by factions of blinded people who are all protesting.

    The nude for Husain is the argot of an artist who seeks to weave into his lingua franca his continual observations of the many facets of womanhood. Once on a trip back from the US he said it was fascinating to watch actress Mahduri Dixit in the role of a mother, walking around her home with her baby resting on her hip and handling household chores. At that time the ‘dhak dhak Madhuri’ was his muse. But for Husain, Madhuri was the emblematic symbol of Indianhood.

    Husain’s versatility in handling contours and subjects all through his life has been because he has been blessed with an extraordinary photographic eye and an unconscious clarity of artistic purpose. With perfect compositional instincts, he could rejuvenate the cliché³ of contemporary art in India. He could do the pensive portrait of an ode to Rembrandt with the ethos of destruction woven into the melancholy streetscape of a civilization’s angst.

    For those of us who know Husain he has this quasi-quicksilver demeanour, a bohemian craziness that suffuses the quiet act of performance, and somewhere in between emerges this divine, softly-shadowed vision of a nude from one of his many series that he plays back and forth.

    Susan Sontag once wrote that the act of photographing ‘is a way of at least tacitly, often explicitly, encouraging whatever is going on to keep happening’. This accounts for the moral queasiness some viewers feel while looking at Husain’s more transgressive ‘Bharat Mata’. Then all this raucous ruckus seems to be a case of much ado about nothing. If you do not understand Husain, you can be fooled. The ‘Bharat Mata’ can be an example of being seduced into looking, and in that act of ignorant uninformed looking you become complicit in what feels like foolish voyeurism.

    The case registered against Husain of hurting national sentiments is a prime example of the willingness of some factions of society to contribute to the censoriousness of our times. Perhaps all these people should surf television channels and face the rather too obvious point that it is mainstream media culture that is hypocritically complicit in eroticising both adults and children. But the true beauty of the Husain’s ‘Bharat Mata’ is its marriage of form and contour: the shifting, sliding, unpredictably rhythmic brushwork tracking the indigenous flavour of topographical construct.

    Obviously the centre is not looking at art as an autonomous art form and vehicle of truth; and the recent brushes with overt forms of commerce in Indian art raking millions has unveiled the layers of fakeness and irony that have piled up. Art’s truths are left behind.

    We Indians are a queer lot – while advertisers and media become ever more daring, or desperate, for attention-grabbing images, art has been reduced to deciphering its references for diatribes. The nude for Husain is a collective celebration of the human form, its life force triumphant over its very evident mortality.

    Art is about differentiating between true art and tawdry eroticism. India is an intriguing nation in the case of sexual mores. In a little-noticed milestone for the world of sex-related entertainment, Playboy said in December last year that it would seek to do in India what it had never done before – publish a magazine with its usual fare, except for its name and its nudes. This explains the ‘Bharat Mata’ debacle.

    http://in.news.yahoo.com/060515/43/6492v.html

  150. Seema — on 23rd May, 2006 at 10:34 pm  

    Above reply to Husain’s critics is by Uma Nair, of course.

  151. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 10:49 pm  

    Don,

    I must have misunderstood you then. Sorry.

    India as a nude Bharat Mata or Mother Goddess is not offensive. Neither should Vande Mataram, a celebration of the Mother Goddess, be offensive to those who complain about it.

  152. j0nz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 10:53 pm  

    “Anyway, those Hindu fundoos are safe as houses compared to the other lot.” said Gene Patel to DavidT Patel as they closed down the corner shop for another night.

    Hehehe. I can’t help but think these relgious groups just want a piece of the funadmentalist cake, they feel the Muslims are hogging it….

  153. Jay Singh — on 23rd May, 2006 at 10:53 pm  

    Who complains about Vande Mataram? And what does it have to do with this?

  154. xyz — on 23rd May, 2006 at 11:13 pm  

    “Who complains about Vande Mataram? And what does it have to do with this?”

    Oh, there was a ruckus some years ago by some Muslim groups (and a couple of Christian ones at another point) in India who refused to sing Vande Mataram because they do not bow down to Goddesses, even though the song is meant to celebrate Mother India, meaning the country. Their point was that India was only a Mother Goddess to Hindus, not to others. AR Rahman ran into some trouble when he did some new versions of the song for India’s 50th anniversary independence celebration.

    The people protesting Hussain’s Bharat Mata are just as silly as those who won’t sing Vande Mataram. Both are Mother India.

  155. Vikrant — on 24th May, 2006 at 6:34 am  

    http://www.sanatan.org/hussaincampaign/painting.php

    See the links to the offending paintings and decide for yourself. The fact that he removed his film on protests from Muslim groups exposes his double standards. While at the same time you could argue for his freedom of speech but i believe there was *no need* for these paintings.

  156. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 7:13 am  

    You can always trust Sid to twist and turn an argument he fails to win with personal attacks and deliberately mischievous misrepresentations of others’ viewpoints. Of course, bringing in the communal angle is par for the course for commentators like him who find it oh so useful when they want to shut down the debate on their terms.

    >> Back then the same, by and large, set of commenters who were defending the right of the Danish paper to publish those cartoons in the spirit of Freedom of Expression are, right now, casting aspersions on MF Hussain’s artistic intentions.

    1. So these commentators are … me and who else? XYZ? What about Charlie Brown – is he included in this gang though he was not around then or Don?

    Just the ones you’ve labelled hindutva/communalist in the past like me and XYZ?

    You do love that tactic of throwing dirt and hoping that it sticks but tough luck, I am not letting you get away with it a second time.

    Btw, here you are cheerleading Hussain’s freedom of expression (as you should!) when in the case of uncomfortable expressions much, much closer to home say Ayaan H Ali or the Danish cartoonists, who were facing credible death threats , you were very much less than sympathetic (and this is to put a kind interpretation on your reactions then.

    I do not know your views on Theo van Gogh- but something tells me that you would not have stuck your lil’ neck out for HIS right to express himself freely. Who are the hypocrites here on PP? Who is being consistent?

    2. You’d maybe (if your head wasn’t so far up your arse!) notice that MY opinion is that MF Hussain has unqualified artistic freedom as the Danish cartoonists had the same freedom of expression,fucking regardless of INTENTION or HISTORICAL PRETEXT(I don’t pantyfoot my way around unlike yourself on these issues). Thus they are in my book free to mock and ridicule and be subversive and divisive. Quote me one word or line where I renege on this stand. Do.

    3. Where did I cast aspersions on the Hussain’s artistic intentions? Come on. Just one sentence. One word.

    4. I am dismayed with his BEHAVIOUR when faced with criticism. He has not buckled in to the hindu hardliners. Fantastic for him! I mean this sincerely. But giving in to muslim censors without a whimper of protest- shameful and worthy of at least an explanation from the man as to the double standards.

    Again there is a parallel with the Danish cartoons- much noise was made here on PP by those of your ilk over the fact that the newspaper had previously censored a christian cartoon – leading to charges of hypocrisy and ill-intention. Forgotten that?

    >> Now his freedom of expression are subservient to his rank hypocricy

    Not at all! Just rank misrepresentation on your part.It is sleights of hand like this that make me dislike your style of ‘argument’ so much. Don’t judge others by your limp standards.

    >> and mirax, ever the unstinting anti-religion crusader has second thoughts and

    True I am atheist but anti-religion-fucking-crusader??? Hyperbolic nonsense! In fact, I’d be a damn stalwart defender of your right to believe and practise your particular religious tosh. I simply reserve the right to deride said tosh (though this is a something that I rarely do in fact)

    >>instead, “double standards of the artist himself appear valid”.

    Your argument is the double standards are not? At all? Why? Come on – lay out the argument like a woman instead of hiding behind personal attacks!

    >>> So he’s nothing more than a communal agitator and this proven for his retraction of Muslim paintings that caused offence and not his Hindu paintings.

    And now to the glorious conclusion of this whole polemic: communal agitation!!
    Problem is this: I am concerned by the inconsistent action of ONE man in ONE instance that has just come to my attention. I never said anything else.

    YOU are the one who is deliberately fanning the communal angle with words that were NOT written or sentiments that were NOT expressed.
    Why? And again, WHY?

    I suspect I know why. You are trying to do a HP on me and I daresay, xyz.

    You constantly and often irrelevantly (see above) putdown HP (including its writers) as rabid Islamophobics whose every utterance is suspect and therefore to be vilified. The truth of what HP or Gene or David T may actually be saying is completely irrelevant to your obsessive need to demonise and marginalise their opinions. You can thus remain complacent and snug in your tiny corner.

  157. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 7:19 am  

    >>i believe there was *no need* for these paintings.

    As a Sid-designated member of the ‘hindutva’ cabal, I’d like to state that I find nothing to complain about in Hussain’s choice of material – whether it is the silly mother india painting or the goddesses getting it on with the animals. I do not believe that artistic expression has to wait on someone’s need or sensitivity to offence.

  158. Sakshi — on 24th May, 2006 at 7:30 am  

    Why not let the gods decide?

    If the Hindu gods are really pissed off with M.F Husain then he will surely be struck by one of those lightening-maigical-goldish-summersaulting arrows.

  159. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 7:36 am  

    >>Why not let the gods decide? If the Hindu gods are really pissed off with M.F Husain then he will surely be struck by one of those lightening-maigical-goldish-summersaulting arrows.

    Yes, wonderful. But let’s be consistent and let the gods decide in every case: da vinci code, jerry springer, mo cartoons, the whole bloody lot of them.

  160. Sid — on 24th May, 2006 at 8:16 am  

    mirax

    7 hours down the international time line and there, on that expected spot, is blood on the carpet.

    Its unfortunate that when your standards are shown to be a bit on the limp side themselves, its Sid who is trying to “shut down debate” Sid’s “personal attacks”, Sid’s “hyperbolic nonsense” and Sid who is trying to “do an HP” on you and xyz, whatever that means, who is to blame.

    My point was how quick you were to point out MF Hussain’s “inconsistent actions” whereas Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a “flawed individual” speaking on behalf of secularism and atheism.

    I am guilty of inconsistency – I’ll admit it. But have the courage to face up to your own.

  161. El Cid — on 24th May, 2006 at 8:23 am  

    well, well, maybe there was a “need” for these paintings after all, if only to show up people’s inconsistencies. maybe there is a moral to the story right there

  162. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 9:17 am  

    Still the same Sidlike forked tongue.

    Your only answer to my #157 is :

    >>Its unfortunate that when your standards are shown to be a bit on the limp side themselves, its Sid who is trying to “shut down debate” Sid’s “personal attacks”, Sid’s “hyperbolic nonsense” and Sid who is trying to “do an HP” on you and xyz, whatever that means, who is to blame.

    Cowardly. I take it that you concede you lost the entire argument.

    >>My point was how quick you were to point out MF Hussain’s “inconsistent actions” whereas Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a “flawed individual” speaking on behalf of secularism and atheism.

    Again, nonsense!

    Xyz made the point about Husain in post number #37. I did not enter the debate at all until #49 and that was to express disdain for those agitating against Husain, not to castigate the artist. In fact I di not address xyz’s comment about Husain until a full 3 hours later, after having gone to the trouble of finding out for myself if the accusation of double standard was true, at post #108. Yes, that’s being trigger happy, for you!

    And this was the sum total of what I said then:

    “Ah, I did not know this. MF Hussain, with remarkable alacrity, withdrew his movie from all Indian cinemas in 2004 due to complaints from muslim organisations over ONE song. Xyz’s points about the double standards of the artist himself appear valid.”

    Yes, I was gleefully pissing all over poor Hussain, wasn’t I? Like I said, don’t judge me by your abysmal standards.

    As for my implied ‘quick’ defence of Ayaan Ali, there was a whole thread that I was aware of and avoided participating in for more than a day because I wanted to distance myself from the usual dickwaving some of you asian blokes seem to favour almost reflexively. I still have thoughts on the AHA controversy that I have not expressed because I am wondering what bloody good it will do in a macho forum such as PP.

    Your point about my ‘inconsistency’ is just so much hogwash.

  163. Sid — on 24th May, 2006 at 9:34 am  

    Its the gift that keeps on giving.

  164. Jay Singh — on 24th May, 2006 at 10:40 am  

    Sid, can you use your forked tongue to eat fish and chips with it? It actually sounds cool, to have a forked tongue. You ‘orrible reptile Sid.

  165. Jai — on 24th May, 2006 at 10:49 am  

    Interesting to see that this debate is still raging away here…..

    Anyway, Sepia Mutiny posted the link today to the debate they had on MF Husain’s paintings a few months ago, so here is the link for anybody who is interested:

    http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/002980.html

    It also includes several snapshots of his more controversial paintings.

  166. sonia — on 24th May, 2006 at 11:09 am  

    people seem to be getting mixed up with motives. artists are artists and should be given some license! because a bunch of some silly muslims make a fuss and make life for other artists difficult, does this mean that automaticall y all hindus have to rise up and do the same sort of thing.

    there is a difference also between an individual’s expression and a collective outpouring of wrath.

  167. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 12:15 pm  

    Absolutely Sonia, I agree that artists/writers et all should be given full license. MF Hussain does not deserve harassment – a lot of it criminal (his paintings destroyed, his house broken into etc) and I do not hold with any excuse to justify such harassment. In fact not a single person said thus on this thread. Jai was the only one to come a little close, saying that anyone who outraged religious sentiment needlessly should be prepared for the consequences (which I find ominous, though I do know that Jai was advocating self-restraint on the part of the artists, rather than murder and mayhem by the easily offended)

    >>because a bunch of some silly muslims make a fuss and make life for other artists difficult, does this mean that automaticall y all hindus have to rise up and do the same sort of thing.

    But it is not ALL hindus, not by a long shot.No Hindu mass street protests that I can see. Though I rather suspect that if there were such mass outpourings of anger or pain, PP commentators will find it easier to justify censorship on account of the fact it is not nice to offend so many people for so little reason. The arguments extended here during the Danish cartoon furore come to mind.

    MF Hussain’s staunchest supporters are Hindu too. The harassers are specifically an unholy cabal of hindutvadis – the Bajrang dal, Shiv sena, VHP, BJP and now, it seems some of their supporters in the UK. Sunny was right to highlight and decry what happened at Asia House. Craven appeasement is hard to stomach.

    BTW, the Hindutvadis’ sins are all their own but the tactics they have adopted – criminal intimidation – have been proven increasingly successful since the time of Rushdie, circa 1989. If you want to fight back the religious extremists and the outraged religionists,and hold on to a secular public space which offers protection to the individual rather than the community, you’d have fight all such threats equally strongly.

  168. Vikrant — on 24th May, 2006 at 12:39 pm  

    BTW, the Hindutvadis’ sins are all their own but the tactics they have adopted – criminal intimidation – have been proven increasingly successful since the time of Rushdie, circa 1989.

    Da-vinci film, danish cartoons and now hussain’s paintings…. this is what competitive intolerence is turning India into. The UPA knack for bending over backwards in its minority appeasement gives enough ammunition for Hindutvadis to lauch another tirade against free speech.

  169. Sunny — on 24th May, 2006 at 1:26 pm  

    Thanks for that link Seema – interesting article.

  170. SajiniW — on 24th May, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

    Without dissent there’d be no debate, and without debate there’d be no progression, right?

    I just wish the whining Asians would put their energy into something more productive :S

  171. sunray — on 24th May, 2006 at 6:58 pm  

    “the decision was taken because of threats to the paintings.”

    Hurray for Hindus on a peaceful removal of these offensive paintings!

    Threats were made to the painting and not the painter or the organisers.

    Energy and time well worth spent.

  172. squared — on 24th May, 2006 at 11:05 pm  

    Fuckin ABCD’s saying down with brown people…eh!
    they want easterns to accept the humor of westerns.
    when i first started watching South Park, i had to get used to it for 2/3 episodes.

    u ABCD’s are pathetic.

    Maybe if you accepted the humour of Westerners, you wouldn’t have been so offended by what was clearly a joke. And South Park is hilarious! :D

    Offending people keeps them on their toes. I still maintain that whatever this artist’s intentions, he should have the right to his freedom of expression.

    He’s not inciting death. He’s not gathering people to destroy Hinduism. He’s not even trying to be funny.

    Besides, it’s about time the world stopped being such prudes. Ashamed of their own bodies and hence other bodies.

    OK, the animal porn may be taking it too far, but that’s HIS projection of HIS own thoughts.

    With the cartoon thing, and this, I fail to see how anyone complaining can have any conviction in their faith. Their “relationship” with God should not be so easily destroyed.

    (P.S. I agree. If God hated it, he’d smite them all.)

  173. Peter P — on 26th May, 2006 at 2:06 am  

    @ Sid:

    “The Danish cartoons were “works of art”? Not even the most hardened HP-types would use that pretext JaiMan. The cartoons were an act of cultural gesture politics commissioned by a media-savvy opinion makers. Not comparable to MF Hussain’s work, please. Not in the same league and the intentions dude.”

    So you are now the latest guru on the blog or what ?.

    I bet you never ever read the article in connection with the cartoons, when it was published ?.

    And.. I am positive you havent got the slightest clue about the art of caricatures = you must be muslim…

    Pete

  174. BollywoodScum — on 27th May, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

    “Yeah right. Hurt the sentiments of a bunch of pansies more like”.

    In other news, a supposed proponent of liberal progressive 2ndgenerASIAN IndoBritish Sentiment (Sunny Hundal) opted to use homophobic abuse to castigate some people protesting about something he didn’t agree with.

    I suppose we can all look forward to another anguished 500 word howl of indignance and platitudes on the Comment Is Free website about how its perfectly acceptable to label people as gays and homos if they represent ‘non-progressive’ viewpoints as you are actually subverting the cultural norm and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
    Twat.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.