M.F. Husain's remark that no one, including political leaders, artists and intellectuals, went to his help when he was targeted by the sangh parivar (March 3) made sad reading.
It is amusing to see the Union Home Minister saying he would be very happy if Mr. Husain returned to India. Where were he and his government all these years?
Mr. Husain's decision to accept the citizenship of Qatar reminds me of the plight of Charles Chaplin. At the height of McCarthyism sweeping the Unites States, Chaplin was accused of being a “fellow traveller” and denied entry into the country. He settled down in Switzerland. He returned to the U.S. in 1972 to accept a special Academy Award. Who knows, Mr. Husain may also come back one day.
Mr. Husain's stature as an artist cannot be confined to a country. Although Charlie Chaplin had to leave the U.S., his stature as an actor remained unaffected.
Mr. Husain's talent will continue to be appreciated by Indian art lovers. His choice of citizenship is settled but nothing can stop him from visiting the country of his birth.
It is a shame on all Indians that a great icon of Indian art had to leave this country fearing cultural hooligans. A nation with a great tradition has virtually banished an illustrious son who brought fame and glory to this land.
P.M. Abdul Sakir,
Leaving aside religion, politics, chauvinism, art, creativity, sentiments, and all else, if our country is unable to protect an aged man, it is a shame.
At least a few should bell the cat in times of need. Otherwise, there will be nobody to protect anybody.
A. Abbas Manthiri,