Controversies India

Mourning an exile

Critics calls Indian government's elegies of M.F. Husain hypocritical

M.F. Husain

The Indian government’s response to the death of artist M.F. Husain, who passed away on 9 June, aged 95, has been criticised as being hypocritical. Husain, a Muslim, left India in 2006, following a campaign by right-wing activists against his depictions of nude Hindu goddesses; he became a Qatari citizen last year. Information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni reportedly said that Husain was “always an Indian citizen and creative genius”. But blogger John Elliott said: “Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, who did little if anything during Husain’s lifetime to encourage him to return home, had the gall to talk about the ‘national loss’ of an ‘iconic artist’.”

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