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Why controversy dogs MF Husain


Sahar Zaman,CNN-IBN
May 06, 2006 at 09:51am IST

New Delhi: While the Centre's move to impose restriction on MF Husain's famous painting 'Bharatmata' has been a rare move of its kind, this is not the first time that M F Husain has courted controversy.

Nor is it the first time that he has been accused of insulting national honour.

The current legal mess started when his artwork -- Bharatmata in the nude -- was brought up for an auction in February this year.

It was later withdrawn following protests and criminal complaints were filed against Husain in Indore and Rajkot courts.

Soon, all hell broke loose.

The Hindu Personal Law Board announced a Rs 51-crore reward for beheading him. A local leader in Gujarat promised 1 kg of gold to anyone who gouged out his eyes.

In Madhya Pradesh, former Congress leader Akhtar Baig offered nearly 20,000 Euros to the person who would chop off Husain's hands.

Earlier to July, 2000, cases were filed against Husain over the same issue, though the cases were later quashed by the Delhi High Court.

In 1970s and '80s, Husain was caught in similar controversies for painting Hindu goddesses Saraswati and Durga in the nude.

When he moved on to dabble in the world of glamour, the All-India Ulema Council filed a complaint with the Mumbai police against him over the song Noorun-ala-Noor in the film 'Meenaxi'.

The council said the words used to define the persona of the Prophet Mohammed were used in the song to describe the beauty of a woman.

Apologies may have worked from time to time, but this time with the Centre taking a legal stand on the issue, Husain is likely to need more than an apology to get away.

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