Time to get over controversies: Raj

The Shiv Sena on Thursday said M.F. Husain pursued his art ardently but his depiction of Hindu gods and goddesses was flawed.

The artist had become the target of saffron ire for his depiction of Hindu deities. In 2007, Sena activists attacked his exhibition in the capital, forcing the organisers to close down the show.

Sena chief Bal Thackeray said: “M.F. Husain was as strong-willed as he was fantastic. There are differences over his art, but he did not give up his obstinacy. But he left the country. I do not agree with this form called modern art. In an interview to Time magazine, Picasso has said, ‘I fool the people.' An artist has his peculiar style, and Husain pursued his modern style wilfully. He only slipped up on the depiction of Hindu gods and goddesses. Otherwise, he was happy and content in his field. If his demise is a loss for modern art, then so be it. May his Allah give him peace!”

An asset: Raj

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray said it was time to get over the controversies surrounding Husain's paintings, and due respect should be paid to the painter.

“He was an asset to the country. His passing should put an end to all the controversies surrounding his paintings. His family should be allowed to bring back his mortal remains.”

“His own genre”

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said: “This maverick painter, who was born in the soil of Maharashtra, made great efforts to gain international recognition. Known as India's Picasso, he created his own genre of art. With his demise, colours have turned pale with grief.”