New Delhi: Artist Maqbool Fida Husain has reportedly taken up the nationality of Qatar.
According to a report in The Hindu Husain was reportedly offered the citizenship by the emirate's ruling family.
"I'm honoured by Qatar nationality but deeply saddened by my forced exile. I, the Indian-born painter, will have to give up the citizenship of my land of birth if I accept nationality," the newspaper quoted Husain as saying.
Husain has reportedly taken up the Qatar offer, in which case he has to give up his Indian passport.
Government sources told CNN-IBN that since India does not recognises dual citizenship so Husain will have to give up his Indian citizenship if he wants to become a Qatari citizen.
Qatar has given him the citizenship even though Husain did not apply for it.
The 95-year-old was forced to leave India in 2006 as he has been the target of right-wing groups for his nude painting of Hindu Goddesses and has been lacking government backing.
Since then he has been living in Dubai and London.
Controversies surrounding Husain:
- 1996: Paintings of nude deities creates controversy. He had created these paintings in the 1970s.
- 1996: Hindi magazine publishes article on Husain calling him "painter or butcher".
- Eight criminal complaints filed against Husain following the article.
- 1998: Husain's house attacked by Bajrang Dal. Shiv Sena endorses attack.
- 1999: London exhibition cancelled after controversy gains steam in India.
- 2006: Charged with hurting sentiments of people because of nude portraits of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
- 2006: Non-bailable arrest warrant issued.