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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Citizen Husain, come back, says India

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram, February 26, 2010
First Published: 02:04 IST(26/2/2010) | Last Updated: 02:42 IST(26/2/2010)

After Qatar offers citizenship to Indian painter MF Hussin, who has been living in Dubai in self-imposed exile for the last five years following threats to his life, even RSS, which had objected to his nude paintings, wants him back.

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Hindu groups said they had no objections to painter MF Husain returning to India even as the government said it would provide adequate security if he did.

<b1>Home Secretary GK Pillai, who made this commitment on Thursday, was reacting to media reports that the artist had been offered citizenship of Qatar, an Arab state in West Asia.

Husain (95) had angered Hindu groups by painting nude images of Goddess Durga and Goddess Saraswati. He has been living in Dubai in self-imposed exile for the last five years, following threats to his life.

In Kerala, RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat said, “We will neither oppose nor welcome his return. But it is always good to respect other’s sentiments.”

The BJP also sounded conciliatory. “Every citizen has the right to stay anywhere in the country. We don’t want to deprive him of that right,” said SS Ahluwalia, deputy leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
 
But Husain’s family remains concerned. “Though we really want him to return, he’s not safe here,” Salamat Husain, the painter’s grandson, told HT.

Added Owais Husain, the painter’s son: “You must remember that he is 95 years old. It’s not as if he’s 40 and has time on his hands.”
 
The Shiv Sena, however, struck a discordant note. “He has insulted the gods and goddesses of this country and should apologise,” said party spokesman Sanjay Raut.

The Congress, expectedly, stood by the painter. “As an Indian, I am very sad he has to even think about adopting an alternative nationality,” Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said.


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