After living in self-imposed exile for four years following a spate of litigation against him for his paintings of Hindu goddesses, India’s iconic artist M.F. Husain has accepted the offer by Qatar to confer its nationality on him.
“He has accepted Qatar’s offer for citizenship and the formalities are under process,” Owais Husain, the legendary artist’s son living in Dubai told The Hindu.
In an exclusive write-up on Thursday, the paper had reported that Mr. Husain had been offered Qatari citizenship.
Asked whether his father could still change his mind and return to India, Mr. Owais Husain said: “I don’t know. These are all decisions that he takes on his own, which we respectfully accept.”
He said that notwithstanding his decision to move out of his homeland, India permeated every part of his father’s consciousness. “My father is too strongly rooted to India. You can take him to any part of the world, but he would still remain an Indian personified.”
Mr. Owais Husain said the painter’s early years, when he lost his mother followed by his migration to Mumbai, had significantly shaped his artistic and political consciousness. “For some time my father virtually lived on the steps of the Vithobha temple in Pandharpur, the place of his birth. Later he moved to Mumbai, during a time when the political atmosphere around him was also surcharged on account of the freedom struggle. I think these experiences influenced his mental make-up and impacted his innate sense of secularism.”
Asked how exile and the unhappy events surrounding his exit from India had affected Mr. Husain, Mr. Owais Husain said that it generated in his father, an extraordinary torrent of creativity. A man who expressed himself more through brush, paint and canvas, rather than the spoken word, he has painted a riot of images during this phase. Mr. Husain has been prolific in painting images out of the Ramayana, and is involved in painting 100 images on the history of India. “I suppose this happens when trauma of exile blocks some part of your senses, but energetically opens out other creative senses.”