More than 50 women activists of the Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), protested outside the Delhi Art Gallery at Hauz Khas. They were venting their fury at the exhibition “The Naked and the Nude”.
Carrying placards against nudity, the women activists had heated arguments with a group of 20 intellectuals and artists, including photographer-activist Ram Rahman, critic Nilanjana S Roy and painters Manu Parekh and Kanchan Chander.
While the activists alleged that the government was defaming women by approving such exhibitions, the band of intellectuals defended the exhibition, saying the protest was an attempt to stifle creative expression. Roy said, “There is a political motive behind the protests”.
A posse of at least 30 policemen and private security guards cordoned off the gallery.
Despite protests, the exhibition continued, but under tight police protection. “We had anticipated such protests and informed the police. Police strength was increased on Wednesday and they handled the situation meticulously,” said Kishor Singh, head of the gallery.
The exhibition features 258 works and traces the history of nudes in the history of modern Indian art for over 150 years