The Supreme Court finally pronounced the verdict that M F Husain’s painting ‘Bharat Mata’ is a “work of art’’, The painting has been the focus of protest of right-wing individuals and groups in different parts of the country.
The petitioner’s argument that the painting, which depicted a nude woman as Mother India, had hurt the sentiments of every sane citizen did not impress the bench. It asked: “Does the sentiment of the petitioner gets scandalised by the large number of photographs of erotic sculptures which are in circulation?’’
It took the court four years. I don’t know how these petitioners can decide how every sane citizen must react. However, I think the judge has used a wrong analogy. Getting scandalised and hurting sentiments are two different things. The erotic sculptures are seen as heritage; the problem arises when someone interprets such figures as art. It is all right in temples, or so goes the thinking. I have had a problem with Husain’s way of operating, but that is another matter.
What citizens should be hurt about is how we strip India all the time. The India of poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, female foeticide. The India where people don’t have enough drinking water or so much water that whole villages drown.
This painting is not titillating, but it is not great art, either, in my limited opinion. That Asoka chakra seems displaced; the sun looks tacky and the man meditating behind is so Indo-exotic. If it is to pay obeisance to the Mother, then he ought to be in front. You do not sit behind a ‘deity’. Also, it lacks pathos. The artist likes primary colours and uses red often. What does the red mean here? Anger, passion, a bleeding heart? None of these emotions come through.
Of course, now that he can return home from self-imposed exile, all those socialites who don’t give a damn about Mother India except when they organise their annual August 15 theme parties and tri-coloured pulaos (or is it pasta now?), will talk about the victory of art.
“Guddi buddhi zhali pan akal aali nahi (The ‘Guddi’ has grown old but not wise)” sounds like a typical Raj Thackeray reaction. He also said, "Maharashtrians should boycott all products endorsed by the Bachchans who have poison in their minds for Marathi people.”
Raj Bhau, Chywanprash khaila nasal tar tumhala buk-buk karaichi shakti kithun yenaar (Brother Raj, if you don’t have Chyawanprash then where will you get the strength to yap)? Simple question I am asking.
One thing is clear, though. Jaya Bachchan is a smart cookie. She made a remark at the music launch of the film Drona, ticking off her son Abhishek: "Hum to UPwalle hai, hume Hindi mein hi bolna chahiye. (We are from UP we should only speak in Hindi)."
She is not originally a UPwalli. If she is trying to wangle something out of the Samajwadi Party, then she needn’t bother. Amar Singh is in their pocket already.
Someone rightly commented that she chose this to push her son’s film. Any controversy is good. There was no need to mention Hindi because I have always heard Jayaji speak in English at award functions, and I am talking about those functions given out for Hindi films.
Does she give interviews in Hindi? And, oh heck, the moment she opens her mouth her faithful tribe of mediawallahs rush to her and talk about how outspoken she is. If she is really outspoken without any motives then I would love to hear her views on the nuclear deal and Rahul Gandhi’s attempts at finally becoming a real youth Congress leader. Since she says she is a serious parliamentarian, one would like to know. Or does she say things only when she wants some footage? Last time she took on Sonia Gandhi, it perfectly suited her political ambitions. Now that the SP is tangoing with the Congress, she will keep quiet.
Barely three days ago, Riyaz Lone and Ashfaq Ahmed Tak were whisked away from their families in a sensational midnight raid in Kathmandu and deported swiftly to India as dreaded Dawood Ibrahim henchmen who had played key roles in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.
However, on Monday it became clear that the Nepal police were high on enthusiasm, but had not got their facts right. The arrested duo, it turns out, were victims of mistaken identity.
I am surprised. Not because this happened, but because such quick action was taken. What gives? And Ujjwal Nikam, the CBI’s own Man Friday, said, “They are innocent Kashmiris living and working in Nepal…After verifying their identities from the CBI records and from their hometown in Kashmir, we have ascertained that these two men are not the ones who are on the list of the absconding accused.’’
The CBI will pay for their return.
Please pinch me. Within three days they managed this when thousands of undertrials are rotting in our prisons for the same cases. Is the government just trying to act like it is very responsible and understanding and cares about Kashmiris all of a sudden? Would it like to do something about all those other innocents in jails? Come on, it is possible. Before the elections are announced.
Here’s to President Asif Ali Zardari:
“Yeh kya hua, kaise hua, kab hua, kyon hua, jab hua, tab hua, oh chhodo yeh na socho…”