Death totally destroys any sense of perspective in most people. The more famous a death is, the greater the perspective-destruction. Every idiot will become intelligent in death and the vilest degenerate will be sanctified. It’s not their fault, it’s the fault of the everyday idiots who are still living, who want to sound composed and dignified and saintly and even philosophical. The evil that men do lives after them, and the good may or not oft be interred in their bones but what of a lifetime spent in the limelight behind which lies some shrewd deception ? Death doesn’t somehow automatically nullify that.
And so Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare, the Maran Bros, Kanimozhi, and Karunanidhi can now take the much-needed commercial break: the old pervert is finally dead.
Renowned artist MF Husain, whose paintings made waves and also stirred controversies, passed away in Royal Brompton Hospital on Thursday. He was 95.
May his soul burn in hell. Whatever be his technical expertise and skill at painting and the rest, he was primarily a pervert who created a fake aura around himself and routinely hid under the blanket of freedom of expression he selectively applied to himself. It is for this reason barring all other reasons that this man deserves nary a kind word. Even in death.
I’ve done justice to M F Husain’s “art” on several occasions on this blog so I don’t need to repeat all that now. What should interest us now is his career as a painter/artist. The Times of India report (linked above) gives us his career-sketch thus:
Husain’s initial success as an artist was in the late 1940s. In 1947, he joined the Progressive Artists’ Group, founded by Francis Newton Souza. This was a group of young artists who wished to break with the nationalist traditions established by the Bengal school of art and to encourage an Indian avant-garde, engaged at an international level.
And therein lie the roots of the grossly disproportionate and wholly undeserved acclaim that he received throughout his career. In exactly one word: progressive. The whole hoopla about “young artists who wished to break with the nationalist traditions” only confirms what we always knew about progressives and Husain, specifically. Husain is not alone in the mindless adulation heaped upon him. Take any field: the early birds, the founding fathers and the battle-hardened veterans—the U R Ananthamurthys, Girish Karnads, Vijay Tendulkars and so on—continue to enjoy similar adulation. They did their best to wreck ancient Indian values and the maximum height that today’s Pankaj Mishras and Arundhati Roys can hope to rise won’t cross the knee-level of these Original Sinners.
See how clear things suddenly become when you have this background to examine the now-deceased barefooted profligate?
These Original Sinners laid the foundation for perverting public discourse. They laid the rules as to what constitutes freedom of expression. They defined Progressiveness. They gave us stuff like “the goal of art” and gradually, defined art itself. Look at any field in the Humanities: they’ve held sway for almost four decades. After the “early days,” they began to breed like pigs and bred tirelessly until they pretty much converted all universities, institutions, boards, history and culture departments to huge, smelly sewerages the stink of which endures to this day. And they were fiercely protective of their own. More on that in just a bit.
Now when we trace Souza’s Elite Art Club, we notice that he attained literary fame by being published by that Communist poet, Stephen Spender. Husain was indeed in the company that mattered. He was also at right time and place: it was just the beginning of politicization of art (and everything) and he was an early bird. You had to be a Communist or a Congress party member. The former had a bloody ideology and the latter had power. I don’t know if Husain was a card-carrying communist party member but he was a Progressive Artist and that Explained Everything. The Theory. The Answer. In any case, associating with Newton Souza proved richly rewarding for the then still-formative pervert. He dabbled in that art-film equivalent of juvenility called avant-garde, which was in essence public masturbation accompanied by a noisy symphony of likeminded wankers who dreamt of social and reform through masturbation. And he got invited to the Big White Art Exhibitions and made his name. And then the money rained in torrents. Husain became unstoppable till merciful death finally took him away today.
The Phenomenon was at work in his case: impress the White Man so you can earn the licence to look down upon your own and spit on them. What’s even better is the said inbreeding gave rise to a class of folks who glowingly reviewed such spit. It doesn’t matter if the reviewer knows nothing about the subject he/she is reviewing. He/she has “earned” the “right” to review because the badge reads Progressive. And so everybody’s grandmother and that ex-Filmfare guy Khalid Mohamed has an opinion on Husain. To be fair, we don’t know Khalid Mohamed’s political leanings, but in that interview, it’s obvious that the Mohamed is asking inoffensive questions lest the iconic pervert’s aged sensibilities be breached.
In reality, Husain’s art isn’t art: it’s painting, and in some cases, actually multi-hued bullshit on canvas. Exhibit 1. Compare with this poster of Gone with the Wind and draw your own conclusions. But then it’s a free country and while he’s free to daub paint on shit, people are free to buy that coloured shit. Husain’s art isn’t art—and this is in Husain’s own words—because if he had followed the dictum of traditional Indian art, he’d have never joined agenda-pushing groups like Progressive Artists-whatever. An artist typically works alone and he neither belongs to clubs and societies nor seeks their endorsement much less pushes an agenda or theme. In traditional Indian art (for which Husain professes great respect), the idea is to subsume one’s ego to the work of art one is creating. The thousands of sculptures and miniature paintings and similar works that we see in our temples and palaces and antique places are created by artists who never made their name public. Which makes it clear that M F Husain apart from being a non-artist, was a hypocrite. Free expression works both ways: if you claim the freedom to offend, be ready to be offended instead of running to Momma (read: the lib-secular-free speech thugs). If you want to paint Hindu gods and goddesses in a perverse light, you must have similar guts to stand by your atrocious Meenaxi when offense-seeking Mullahs bay for your blood. If you want Sita to sit suggestively on Hanuman’s tail, you mustn’t shy away from painting the Prophet’s (PBUH) Holy Trysts with Young Ayesha and recite an appropriate surah justifying it in the name of serving Islam, etc.
Let’s think about the whole eruption of the Husain controversy. When can we reasonably date Husain’s run-ins with the deadly Hindu groups? Answer: the mid-90s. But these paintings were first done by the arch-degenerate sometime in 1970. A Hindi magazine ran these pictures in 1996 terming them offensive. So why didn’t anybody take notice of his pictures for 26 long years? The answer: politics, control of information and the Progressive clique. The ‘70s was truly the most oppressive decade since Independence. And look what happened after the Communists and Congress lost ground ever since. A good case is how the “art” films died as quickly as they were born. Subsequent political and social developments broke this control and voices previously unheard began to spread throughout the country. An indicator of these developments is the fact that the Progressives were at their rabid worst in the ‘90s, which was the decade when there was a resurgence of sorts among Hindus.
But then the pervert painter couldn’t be let down at any cost. His “art” had by then been solidly fed into the public imagination along with his image with all the trappings—the typical queer, badly-dressed barefoot artist-genius who cared for nobody, who lived his life on his own terms and whose art was great because nobody understood it but the art critics nevertheless praised it and the said painted perversions earned millions of bucks. Everybody got rich in their own way. It’d be insane to allow a few loony Hindu fanatics to spoil the kind of stuff at stake.
Equally, Husain had become a law unto himself. Answerable to no one. Well, if you think I’m exaggerating, what explains this?
…a court case related to the alleged obscene depiction of Hindu goddesses in his paintings resulted in issuing a non-bailable warrant against Husain after he failed to respond to summons.
I’d have said this was a case of bad behaviour but this isn’t merely bad behaviour. Every society grants a wide latitude to its men and women of the arts. Normal societal mores don’t apply to them because they have earned the right to indulge in bad behaviour, immorality, etc—or so goes the general reasoning. Which is perfectly fine. But then they’re citizens first and nobody is above the law of the land. Even the Icon of Artistic Debauchery. But that’s not all: this arch-pervert not only does not disregard the law, he flees the country, takes a Qatari citizenship and whines via remote control about how his right to free expression was constantly threatened in India. But the real reason is the fact that he’s above the law to appear before any court. Ok, I made that up. A non-bailable warrant means spending some time behind bars. The very thought is sufficient to sully his fair name. And when does his remote-control whining happen? After he has received long years of singular support from the secular-liberal brigandry, after he’s accepted both the Padma awards from the government, after he has sat in the Rajya Sabha and after he has savoured the magnanimity of a majority of Hindus throughout his career. Hussain was not only a coward but a deeply ungrateful person who bit the hand that fed him with a golden spoon.
May his soul burn in hell.