Why not criticise the Painter?
By Anand Mishra ‘Abhay’
Apropos Rajendra Prabhu’s letter under the heading ‘Why criticise the Painter?’ (Organiser, 21. 8. 2011). It is rather a pity to see an intellectual of his calibre advocating for the late Maqbool Fida Husain, who had an inherent hatred for the Hindus and as such he chose to depict Hindu gods and goddesses in a very vulgar way. It is no less pitiable that he calls an ordinary cine-painter as a great artist and not only this, he has the cheek to compare that painter with an artist like Raja Ravi Varma. Husain stands nowhere as compared to Ravi Varma or R Mulgaonkar, Ram Kumar, Hebbar, Avanindra Nath Thakur or Pandit.
Shri Prabhu has quoted several examples of Hindu treatises and sculptures, such as Kamsutra of Maharshi Vatsyayan, Abhigyan Shakuntalam and Kumarasambhava of the great poet Kalidasa and a line from an unknown poet who compares the one breast of Goddess Saraswati for literature and the second for art Ekamapat madhuram, anyad alochanamritam. Alongwith such quotes he mentions the great sculptures of Sravanbelgola, Sri Gomateshwara and Khajuraho. Perhaps he is devoid of the real sense of aesthetics. Paintings of Raslila or Chirharan of Raja Ravi Varma or sculptures of Sravanbelgola or Khajuraho are not provocative of any sort of sensual feelings.
Shri Prabhu gives the examples of Digamber Jain Munis and Naga Sadhus, but he forgets that even seeing them naked in processions, no wrong sense erupts in any Hindu mind. He has also quoted foreign paintings and sculptures. Even they are not obscene as those of Husain, though fleshness is depicted in them. Greeks and Romans were fortunate enough not to have a Husain who was mentally debauch. Here one would like to know the antecedents of MF Husain. An ordinary cine poster painter was farcely elevated to the heights of a big artist by none other than Khushwant Singh, the then editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India. He published Husain in such a way as if he was a great artist while painting the back of a naked young lady. Later on the actress Madhuri Dikshit was chosen for the same purpose. As Khushwant Singh is well known for his fondness for flesh and wine, he had no hesitation in publishing such obscenities as an art. It would have been rather shameful for any editor but Khushwant Singh is Khushwant Singh, so he was nominated a Member of Rajya Sabha. What a pity. So Husain was propogated as a great artist while he was nothing more than a Hindu hater and a mentally perverted and corrupt person. To call him an artist is the insult of the word 'Artist'. Does Shri Prabhu not know that even an artist of the repute of Satish Gujral, the younger brother of former Prime Minister IK Gujral, was so much infuriated when he came to know that Husain painted Hindu gods and goddesses on a very long canvas in Kolkata and then brushed that canvas black just to show his communally criminal hate-Hindu mindset.
As regards Maharshi Kanad, he was a nuclear scientist not an atheist who propounded Anorariyan Mahatomahiyan to tell that the atom is, though the little most particle, but its power is immense. His treatise Vaisheshik Darshan is one of the six philosophies and is well renowned. Nuclear scientists of Germany invented ‘Atom Bomb’ on the basis of Vaisheshik Darshan and they proudly accepted it.
To improve Shri Prabhu's knowledge of history, one has to tell him that Khajuraho was built by Chandels Kings, not by Chauhans, and Kalidasa was one of nine jewels of the court of Vikramaditya, the Emperor of Ujjayini. To commemorate that great event he initiated an era, called Vikram Era or Vikram Samvat in 57 BC. Shri Prabhu’s concept that Kalidasa’s Kumarasambhava indicated the keen desire of the nation to see the birth of Kumargupta to defeat Huns is not correct. He should know that Vikramaditya was the original name of that great ruler of Ujjaiyini, not a title while Chandragupta (2nd) of Gupta dynasty had the title of ‘Vikramaditya’. Vikramaditya was a Shaivite and a devotee of Mahakaleshvar, and the goddess Harsiddhi. His elder brother was Bharathari the composer of three treatises namely Shringar Shatakam, Niti Shatakam and Vairagya Shatakam. Vakyapadiyam is his treatise in grammar while Chandragupta’s elder brother was Ramgupta a coward. Chandragupta was a Vaishnavite and his capital was Pataliputra not Ujjaiyini. Moreover there is a gap of more than 450 years between the two.
Shri Prabhu should also know that ‘Shringar’ is ‘Rasraj’, the ‘King of Rasas’. It is not abhorent in our literature, obscenity is abhorent to which Husain was an addict as reqards Hinduism. ‘Kam’ is also one of the four ‘Purusharthas’. It comes at no. 3, the first two are ‘Dharma’ and ‘Arth’ and fourth is ‘Moksha’. It is Kandarpeshvar Mahadev temple. Kandaria Mahadev is a local colloquial name. Shiva had victory over Kamdev. So to carve out Mithun Murties in various postures totalling 64 is not abhorent. Only tourists go there with lustful vision while pilgrims have nothing of that sort. Their art is not provocative of sensuality. So such absurd comparisons are absolutely wrong.
Shri Prabhu has to learn the reality of Taj Mahal also. It was not a mausoleum, but an old Shiva Temple. It has nothing to do with the so-called love of Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal. It is a fraud played on visiting tourists just to allure them. Mumtaz Mahal was one of the more than 4,000 women who were kept in Shahjahan’s harem. Shahjahan only usurped it. Several years ago, a carbon dating test was performed on an old wooden piece of Taj Mahal and the result spoke in no uncertain words that the building is more than 1,400 years old. Till then even Islam was not born. Thus a more than 350 years old untruth is still prevalent and perhap an intellctual like Shri Prabhu has also been mislead by this deliberately propagated falsehood. Moreover the very story that Arzumand Bano Begam who was bestowed with the title Mumtaz Mahal by Shahjahan, in the long run 'Mum' disappeared for the sake of easy pronunciation and Taz Mahal remained. But here arises a very pertinent question how the spelling of Taz Mahal got changed to Taj Mahal. There is no answer to it. There are ample proofs that Taj Mahal was not built by Shahjahan at all.
Shri Prabhu appears to be shrewd enough to misguide the readers of Organiser by quoting uncalled for and irrelevent examples such as those of Ustad Allauddin Khan, Dagar brothers and Bismillah Khan. They were true devotees of Bharatmata and we are proud of them all. But MF Husain was a rogue who was hell-bent to denigrate Hindus and whatever he painted in the name of Modern Art shows that he had a perverted mind and was doing all this mischievous nonsense just to earn more and more money and the name and fame. Because of being a Muslim he used to get support from the Leftist lobby.
One thing more. By the very letter and arguments put forward in favour of Husain it is explicitly clear that he also belongs to the gang of those so called secularists of super deluxe category, who are accidently Hindu but always busy criticising everything Hindu or anything Hindu to prove their secular credentials.