Friday, August 7, 2009

Do We Really Need Husain in India Art Summit?

Do we really need M.F.Husain’s participation/representation in India Art Summit?

Last year too, almost during the same time, voices of discontent were heard as India Art Summit did not ‘include’ Husain’s works ‘fearing attack from certain groups.’

We all know what are these group and why Husain is in exile?

This time too, the conscience keepers of Indian secularism are out on prowl. News items on Husain’s exclusion from India Art Summit have already started doing rounds. If I can trust one of my artist friends, it is reported that Dadiba Pundole of Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai has withdrawn from India Art Summit for the Husain reason.

Let us be realistic. India Art Summit is organized by a private agency, Hanmer MS &L. They must be spending a lot of money in organizing it and the galleries that are participating in the Summit also must be shelling out a lot. They are all looking for business.

We all want business to happen.

Point out one gallery or one agency in India that wants its wares to be destroyed or vandalized by a group of hooligans only because some ‘disputable’ wares are on display. Nobody wants it.

Does Husain need India Art Summit’s endorsement? When you hear the conscience keepers of secularism baring their breasts on behalf of Husain, you get this kind of feeling: may be these people need India Art Summit to endorse Husain’s worth.

Inclusion or exclusion of Husain’s work in the Summit is strictly a private issue of the galleries who are a part of the summit and the organizers of it. The participation of galleries proves that they are ready to go by the decision of the organizers in excluding Husain.

Do you remember Chandramohan of Baroda? He was everywhere in news in May 2007. He was also a victim of a certain group interest. Why our conscience keepers of secularism do not raise a voice for him?

Is Chandramohan a part of India Art Summit?

Husain is a great modern artist. We respect him.

You must be knowing that when his works were presented at the Indian Highway show at Serpentine Gallery, London, this year, critics did not take them with our mindset. They ripped the works apart saying that he is not a contemporary artist to be showcased along with many other youngsters.

Husain is going to be 94 on 17th September 2009. SAHMAT is already on the move to do a show to celebrate his birthday. It is going to happen in Jamia Millia Islamia.

Do we call it ghetto-ization of an artist?

I want these people to go and ask Mrs.Sonia Gandhi and Dr.Manmohan Singh, why Mr.M.F.Husain is still living in exile.

Or let us wait and see, how many of them would reject a Padma Shree or a Padma Bhushan from the Government of India only to show their solidarity with M.F.Husain, who was denied Bharata Ratna.

Last year nobody rejected. Let us wait and watch what happens this year.

Why all those intellectuals decide to speak in the seminars of India Art Summit (Right From Gita Kapur to Ranjit Hoskote)? Why don’t they reject the Summit’s offer?

That means they all endorse India Art Summit. And I take it as a good sign.

For these breast beaters Husain is just a badge, like the ones the young punks in Delhi University and JNU wear to show their affiliation with the poor.



Why don’t they reject the Summit’s offer?

That means they all endorse India Art Summit. And I take it as a good sign.

JohnyML said...

I ask the same Inder

chintanupadhyay said...

I agree Johny. Art summit is a private venture. Logically no one should really make an issue out of it. it an endorsement sort. When sanjiv Khandekar was facing censorship for his show "tits clits and elephant dick" no voice or opinion or came from SAHAMAT. I really wonder some times they only protest if they feel they can get some milage. hussain is the most popular image and can endorse any political venture with or without hussain's own wish.. i would say u have written a brave piece. i have been hearing many opposition from people but no one wants to write an argument with their name. do they also feel that you are right but it is ok to critic you because there is no risk involve in it. i would like to know their point of views and ask them to come out of their comfort zone and participate actively in the discourse instead of being passive audience. you bravo....

One more point i would like to bring is that the private event and agreement of participant gallery and institutions should have freedom to choose. Some gallery disagree and chose to be out of the event. they were free to choose that.

Many art event are curated by many curators and galleries and institution and they always practice their choices we do not force them to keep particular artist in it and i feel thats right also. forcing a particular name in an event is sort of Fascist act.

JohnyML said...

dear chintan,
you are absolutely right man...thanks for responding...i value ...jml

Kumar said...


I am not an artist and I like M F Husain's work. It is sad to note that he had to accept to live outside the country he loves. All over the internet, I see so much hatred among Indians for MF. This makes me think that over the decades we have decayed into a country of monkey-professionals. Part of the blame should go to the underemphasis on art education and appreciation; most families seldom do anything else than make a living and watch the idiots' box. What about creativity? We've lost it.