Mourning the death of MF Husain, who died in London early Thursday, information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said the celebrated painter never stopped loving India, despite shifting base abroad after facing attack from the saffron brigade.
"It is true that he was upset with the government on some issues and efforts were made by the government and NGOs to address those issues. As far as his citizenship is concerned, he gave solid reasons for shifting from India but never stopped loving the country," Soni told reporters in New Delhi.
Husain was suffering from age-related ailments for some months and was in hospital. He was 95.
"Always an Indian citizen and creative genius. There may have been issues which may have concerned him. But as far as the government is concerned, he was always an eminent and respected personality," Soni told reporters.
He was invited to India on many occasions, she added.
"His artworks have been displayed with great interest for the viewing public, so I don't think what you are asking is the reality," she said, when asked why India's most celebrated painter was not allowed to return.
"It's unfortunate that some narrow-minded people tried to judge his creativity and artistic works," she said on Husain facing flak from some Hindu organisations for his painting of an Indian goddess in the nude.
Soni said that the rest of the country "does not support" such thoughts.