Category Archives: Hindu Fundamentalism

Gita Sahgal vs Islamist Hecklers

On the BBC Radio 4 show ‘Hecklers’, Gita Sahgal takes on the combined force of the Islamists Tahmina Saleem (Islamic Society Britain), Tariq Ramadan (freelance Islamist), Nazir Ahmed (House of Lords), Moazzam Begg (Cage Prisoners) and Daud Abdullah (Muslim Council of Britain)

Also posted in Democracy, Islamism, Jamaat-e-Islam, Nutters, Religious Right Wing, Secularism, UK Politics, War Crimes | 1 Response

Remembering Maqbool Fida Hussein

Maqbool Fida Hussein, India’s best known painter, died in London on Wednesday, aged 95.

M F Hussein. Photo Courtesy: Continuum/Delhi Art Gallery

Here are two thoughtful, though not uncritical, assessmentsof his life.

The first by Girish Shahane in Mint:

He studied at the JJ School of Art, though the myth of M.F. Husain, as it later developed, excluded this formal training. By the late 1940s, he was widely recognized as one of India’s leading talents. He reached the peak of his creativity in the 1950s and 1960s, crafting seminal canvases such as Man, Zameen, and Between the Spider and the Lamp. Having come to believe that shakti, the female principle, was the essence of Indian culture, he fell under the spell of Indira Gandhi in the 1970s and Mother Teresa in the 1980s. By this time, he was, by some margin, India’s most expensive painter. His prolific output was as crucial to the nascent market as Amitabh Bachchan’s films were to the movie industry. Well past his prime as an artist, the complex interaction of figure and colour of his best work increasingly replaced by easy symbolism, Husain became a media star, and enjoyed the attention. His flowing hair and beard, preference for walking barefoot, and humble background as a hoarding painter made a winning combination.

Also posted in Freedom of Expression | 12 Responses

The Hounding of M F Husain

India's grand master: forced to flee his homeland due to Hindu extremism and state censorship

Nick Cohen has a remarkable piece on the continuing suppression of freedom of speech and the glorification of “offence taking” by the far-right Hindu extremists in India, led by Bal Thackeray and the army of thugs from the Shiv Sena:

Why pick on Husain for sketches no one found disturbing when he first released them? Read his accusers, and they cannot justify their charges of blasphemy or obscenity. How can they when Husain’s paintings are not remotely pornographic but part of a deliberate attempt by the artist and his contemporaries to continue Indian traditions?

Also posted in Freedom of Expression, Hate Speech | 1 Response

Rahul Gandhi: Pissing Off the Pundits

Wikileaks of cables from the US Embassy in Delhi have elicited angry reactions from the Hindu religious far-right, particularly Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and Gujarat’s chief minister. What has irked the two high-priests of Hindutva religious fundamentalism?

Rahul last year told US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer that “the growth of radicalised Hindu groups” may be a “bigger threat” to India than support to some Islamic terror groups from the Muslim community, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

Rahul told Roemer that although “there was evidence of some support (for Islamic terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba) among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community”, the Guardian reported on Friday.

Modi’s reaction:

“Through the WikiLeaks expose, it has been revealed who has given all the information to the US. Now, it is clear why the US is backing Pakistan,”

Also posted in Anti Muslim bigotry | Leave a comment
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