Yesterday a great Indian Artiste, Painter M.F Husain died in exile in London. While the news channels and newspapers sang praises of him eloquently, I could hear an eerie silence in those eloquence.There was no direct criticism of the Indian ‘Taliban’ who hounded Hussein in the last 2 decades of his life. Everybody was criticising the Government and some name-less culture-less goons for the attacks on Hussein. But no one was brave enough to call the spade a spade.No one could name RSS as the prime instigator of violence against MF Husain.
This post is not about MF Husain but about the attack he faced from Sangh Parivar.
Why did the Sangh Parivar target Husain and some of his paintings?
1. Because he was a Muslim and painted scenes from Indian mythology.
Aim of the Sangh Parivar is attaining political power in India and establishing a Hindutva State.For this they need to spread the fear of ‘Hinduism in danger’ to get votes. Since Hindus are in big majority and are firmly in power in India,they have to create a’ threat’ for Hinduism from some where and it has to come from other religions.
M.F Husain was an ideal candidate to create fear and hate hysteria in naive Indian upper class Hindus.Thus they circulated countless pamphlets with propaganda against Husain and created a large number of websites and circulated hate e mails.
2.Why did Sangh Parivar found some of the Paintings objectionable?
Sangh Parivar originated in early 20th century inspired from ultra nationalist movements of Europe.It is not a secret that founding leaders of the RSS were great admirers of Hitler and Mussolini.
In 1939 in ‘We, Our Nationhood Defined”, Golwalkar, wrote like this in praise of Hitler:
“To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by……..
Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.”
Ultra-nationalist/fascist movements wants to create history and culture as per their philosophy.Anything against their view of culture will not be accepted. Thus the RSS wanted to become the sole custodian and curator of Indian culture, cut to shape to fit the concrete box of their own creation.
Husain’s paintings became a suitable target as a painting drawn by a member of Race they wanted to hate in a way not fitting their concrete box.
Attack on Hussein was an attempt to show to the Artistic Community who is the boss in regard to Arts and culture. It was an attack on thousands of years of syncretic Indian culture.It was an attempt to Talibanise Indian Society so that Sangh Parivar can easily attain power.
While Husain strengthened Indian Culture by giving such unique forms to mythological characters, the Sangh Parivar want to reduce it to a puritan intolerant one.
The eerie silence in the civil society when Husain was hounded out of India and the fear in naming Sangh Parivar as the main villain even at the time of his death make us resemble the society of our infamous neighbour,Pakistan.
It is a shame that Husein and others like Taslima Nasreen were not allowed to live and work in peace in ‘secular’ democratic India.