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Husain gets Qatar nationality

New Delhi, February 25
Indian artist MF Husain, who has been under attack from Hindu groups for his paintings of Hindu goddesses and has been living in Dubai and London, has been given Qatar nationality, it was reported here today.

“I, an Indian-origin painter, MF Husain, 95, have been honoured by Qatar nationality,” the artist wrote above a line sketch of a horse, the leitmotif of much of his work. The black and white drawing was carried by The Hindu newspaper. In a signed article, The Hindu editor N Ram wrote that the artist had given him the news from Dubai “by reading out the few lines he had written on a black-and-white line drawing that he released to The Hindu”.

According to the report, Husain did not apply for the nationality, but it was conferred on him at the instance of the Emirate’s ruling family.

Photographer, designer and activist Ram Rahman, who is close to the Husain family, responded to the news by saying: “The citizenship has been offered by the sheikha, the wife of the sheikh of Qatar, and it has several implications. On a personal note, I feel it is quite clear that the man, who is 95-year-old and cannot return to his country to die, there is no point of him remaining an Indian citizen. It would be a tragedy. He has not given up his Indian citizenship yet. But, if he decides to take up the Qatari offer, he will not remain an Indian citizen anymore. It is also a reflection of our legal system because the cases against him will drag on for 20-30 years... so it is justified if he takes up the Qatari offer.”

Husain went into exile after a campaign was launched against him in 2006 over his controversial paintings. — IANS

Govt bound to give him security: Cong

The Congress said on Thursday that if MF Husain chose to return to India, it would be the government’s responsibility to provide him full security. “His problems are not because of the Congress and the UPA government. The RSS and organisations related to it had filed cases against him,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

Not opposed to his return: Bhagwat

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said in Thiruvananthapuram that the sangh was not opposed to the painter’s return to India, but he should apologise to the people “whose feelings he has hurt with his paintings”. “We welcome MF Husain as an Indian citizen. Why should I oppose? But every Indian has to take care that he should not hurt the feelings of other Indians,” he said. — PTI



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