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Manmohan Singh, Hamid Ansari condole demise of M.F. Husain


June 9, 2011 - New Delhi

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari have condoled the demise of Maqbool Fida Husain, one of India's best-known artists, who breathed his last in London's Royal Brompton Hospital early this morning.

The Prime Minister in his condolence message said the demise of M.F. Husain is a loss to the entire nation.

In his condolence message, Vice President Ansari said that in an illustrious life of over nine decades dedicated to his artistic pursuits, Husain captured the public imagination with his portrayal of important personalities and events.

"I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of Shri Maqbool Fida Husain, a legend of art of our times. To most Indians, he came to represent modern Indian art. Besides his enormous achievements in painting and other art forms, M.F. Husain was a keen observer of our national evolution, which was reflected in his art, said Vice President Ansari.

"In an illustrious life of over nine decades dedicated to his artistic pursuits, Husain saheb captured the public imagination with his portrayal of important personalities and events. His death is an immense loss to the nation and to the artistic community. He will always be remembered for his love of India that was reflected in his paintings," he added.

Vice President Ansari further said that his wife joins him in expressing her condolence to Hussain's family.

"My wife joins me in sending our heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and the wide circle of his admirers and friends. We pray to the Almighty to grant them strength and fortitude to withstand this tragedy," he added.

Husain, 95, who earned both fame and wrath for his paintings, was on self-imposed exile in Qatar and UK among other places after he got death threats.

Husain died in exile from his homeland in India, having become a Qatari citizen in 2006.

In 1990s some of Husain's works became controversial because of their portrayal of Hindu deities in the nude or in an allegedly sexual manner.

The paintings in question were created in 1970, but did not become an issue until 1996, when they were printed in Vichar Mimansa, a Hindi monthly magazine, which published them in an article headlined "M.F. Husain: A Painter or Butcher".

In response, eight criminal complaints were filed against Husain. In 2004, Delhi High Court dismissed these complaints of "promoting enmity between different groups ... by painting Hindu goddesses - Durga and Sarswati, that was later compromised by Hindus.

In 1998, Husain's house was attacked by Hindu groups like Bajrang Dal and art works were vandalised.

In February 2006, Husain was charged with hurting sentiments of people because of his nude portraits of Hindu gods and goddesses.

A series of cases were brought against him and a court case related to the alleged obscene depiction of Hindu goddesses in his paintings resulted in issuing a non-bailable warrant against Husain after he failed to respond to summons.

Husain is also famous for his painting of Madhuri Dixit, for his series Gaja Gamini.

ANI

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