Why criticize Lars Vilks and praise M.F. Hussain?

Posted: March 10, 2010 in social issues
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I really wonder if M.F. Hussain can really get the sort of freedom for expression in Qatar, a Muslim country. Why is everybody so worried if he accepts Qatari citizenship? Have people forgotten that he’s the same person who had painted Indian gods in nude? Creative expression is good and no one should forget that no other country has been as liberal as India. It’s true that India is a democratic country and there is freedom for expression. But that freedom should not insult and hurt others. When a person expresses himself through the medium of art, it reflexes his/her mind.

In one of the paintings of Mahatma Gandhi, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein and Hitler, Hussain had painted only Hitler nude and had said his way of humiliating a person is to paint him nude. So according to him, is it his way of humiliating Hindu Goddesses by painting them nude?

Why paint only Hindu Gods and Goddesses in nude? Paint some Islamic heroes also in nude and see the reaction. Why can’t he paint a woman in nude and give her a Islamic name instead of Hindu name and see the reaction of the world?

A mere writing of a book landed Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen in the soup. And what will happen to Hussain if he paints Islamic persons in nude? If he paints someone in nude there, will he be able to retain Qatari citizenship?

There should be freedom of expression, but one should know the limits of his freedom. We can’t paint our mother or sisters in nude, for we respect them. We respect woman and we will never ever want to humiliate her.

Did people keep quiet when Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks published a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed’s head on the body of a dog in a 2007 Swedish newspaper editorial on freedom of expression? As many as seven people, nationals from Algeria, Libya, the Palestinian territories, Croatia and the US, have been arrested so far for trying to kill the cartoonist. Not just that, in 2007, a group linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 (£66,000) reward for killing Vilks, and a 50% bonus if he was slaughtered like a lamb by having his throat cut.

When the world saw the anger of Muslims across the world for painting the prophet in the cartoon, why can’t they digest the anger of Hindus over Hussain painting Goddesses in nude? What kind of secularism is this? What kind of justice and freedom of expression is this? Why criticize only Lars Vilks and praise M.F. Hussain?

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