MF Husain kept out of India Art Summit

The following statement was issued by members of Sahmat in New Delhi to protest against the decision of the authorities to keep MF Husain’s work out of the now-in-session India Art Summit. The Sahmat also offers the citizens of Delhi an opportunity to view MF Husain’s work in images at Sahmat office during the three days of the Summit.

In support of Sahmat statement and the action, Uddari offers to make available on the Net, some of the images of MF Husain’s work on display at Sahmat.

On Husain being kept out of India Art Summit

Delhi 21.8.2008

We are surprised and unhappy at the decision of the organisers of the first India Art Summit to exclude the works of MF Husain from the displays of all the participating galleries from across India. The Art summit and three day fair, which opens at the Trade Fair venue in Delhi on the 22nd, is also supported by the Ministry of Culture.

While the organisers may have made this decision out of a fear of attacks or protests against the work of Husain, by giving in to such threats by extremist political groups, they are playing into the hands of these forces. It is the duty of the state and the police to protect our institutions and citizens against threats of violence and surely the Trade Fair authorities and the Delhi police are capable of confronting any such threat. An earlier exhibit by Husain continued at the India International Centre last December under just such assurances by the Delhi police.

For the artists community, Husain is the reigning father-figure, commanding enormous respect. In fact, Husain has been single-handedly responsible for putting Indian art on the world map and equally responsible for creating the world market boom in Indian art, without which such a summit and fair would not be taking place in Delhi at this moment. It is therefore deeply ironical that his work is being excluded by dictate.

We request the organisers to rethink this decision. In solidarity with Husain, Sahmat will show Images of his work on all three days of the summit outside its office at 8 Vithalbhai Patel House, Rafi Marg. We invite all the citizens of Delhi and all artists to come view his work at Sahmat.

Ram Rahman, MK Raina, Madan Gopal Singh, Sohail Hashmi, Parthiv Shah, Vivan Sundaram, Indira Chandrasekhar, Geeta Kapur, K Bikram Singh

8, Vithalbhai Patel House, Rafi Marg
New Delhi-110001
Telephone-23711276/ 23351424
More information:
Banned artist misses Delhi’s first art show

Fauzia Rafique

Contact Uddari


2 comments on “MF Husain kept out of India Art Summit

  1. vinod sreebhashyam says:

    I saw this site only today. Anyway I will leave just one comment. Why did hussain have to depict only Hindu deities in the nude? Why not mohammad or allah or christ? This is no way to show his reverence for the Hindu mythology or epics or to prove that they inspired him in any way. Just because the ancient sculptures showed nudity, it doesn’t mean you apply the same principles to HIndu deities. No ancient HIndu had depicted Rama, Sita, Durga, Krishna, and any deity in the nude. Hussain had taken his artistic freedom too far and paid for it. We hope he learnt his lesson. And hope he never comes back to India the only Hindu nation left in the world, and democracy and secularism be damned.


  2. Amarjit Chandan says:

    Sahmat’s office was attacked today afternoon (24 Aug) by the Shiv Sena hooligans.
    Becuase the Sahmat had mounted an exhibition of MF Husain’s work in the lawns outside.


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