A large number of the dedicated Hindu Americans of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, protested in front of the Embassy of India against the denigration of Hindu gods, goddesses and Mother India (Bharata Mata) by an Indian painter, Maqbul Fida Husain.
This event was organised by the Hindu American Women of Metro Washington DC area and supported by many Hindu organisations. Smt. Aruna Sharma and Smt. Asha Chand who took the lead in organising the event welcomed the supporters and representatives from the Hindu organisations participating in the rally. They emphasised the importance of women in Indian culture, religion and ancient traditions. They declared that Husain has stubbornly violated the code of decency of the civilised world by repeatedly choosing to paint Hindu goddesses?Lakshmi, Saraswati, Durga and Mother India?in an indecent and abhorrent fashion?portraying them as virtually unclad. Smt. Kamal Chopra encouraged the protesters with her inspiring slogans.
The main speakers at the protest rally were Smt. Sonia Chopra (ISKCON), Vasanti Vittal and Asha Chand (Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America), Bhavna Shinde (Sanatan Sanstha), Dr. Satish Misra and the priests from Durga Temple. The speakers commented that peaceful and tolerant nature of Hindus should not be exploited and may not be taken for granted forever. M.F. Husain has chosen to depict only Hindu deities in the nude whereas Husain'smother, daughter and Prophet Mohammed'sdaughter Fatima are all painted fully dressed. They argued that the exhibiting of nude paintings of gods, goddesses and respected mothers is unacceptable in a civilised society.
Miss Neha, a pre-medical student, said that it is unbelievable that these kind of insensitive painters do exist in today'sworld. It is wondered that the ?secular? Government of India had banned Salman Rushdie'sbook Satanic Verses because it hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community whereas it remains silent when sentiments of Hindus are hurt.
Smt. Sharma, Smt. Chand, Smt. Chopra and Smt. Vittal presented the memorandum to Shri Anil K. Gupta, Minister for Community Affairs, Embassy of India. The memorandum was signed by over 600 people demanding that Indian Government must denounce the actions of this painter and take away all the honours and awards given to this insane and insensitive man. Shri Gupta assured the community that their message will be communicated to the honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh.