An exhibition of Maqbool Fida Husain’s paintings at the India International Centre was postponed for two days following threats from right wing organisations. The IIC management, however, decided to continue with the exhibition from Sunday with added security.
Dolly Narang, sponsor of the 10-day exhibition, ‘India in the Era of Moghuls’ and IIC officials received threatening calls and letters on Thursday, asking them to close the event.
“Four unidentified individuals met me at my office and asked me to stop the exhibition in 24 hours. We even received threat calls from Mumbai and Pune in this regard,” said Commodore Venugopal, secretary, IIC.
One organisation in particular, which has been vocal in their protest against Husain in the past, is Hindu Janjagruti Samiti. They have also sent a formal letter to the organisers. In their letter, they have said, “MF Husain has been accused of outraging religious sentiments, promoting enmity between different religious groups, selling obscene material and disturbing National integrity. Your action of inclusion his paintings for your noble objective is not justified, as noble objective cannot be fulfilled at the cost of National Honour. In view of aforesaid with you are requested not to exhibit/auction M.F.Husain’s paintings in your above exhibition/auction.”
Keeping in mind any possible acts of violence by religious organisations IIC has asked the police to provide them with adequate security.
“We had written to the police commissioner for additional security, which has been provided to us. The exhibition will again start from Sunday morning or afternoon,” said PC Sen, Director IIC.