Red alert on MF Husain
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Red alert on MF Husain

For the first time, the Centre will go against the Padma Vibhushan winner, reports Aloke Tikku.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 09:18 IST

Artist MF Husain’s apology for the nude painting, Bharatmata, has not helped. The Union Home Ministry has alerted the police chiefs of Delhi and Mumbai to his “objectionable” paintings and asked them to take “appropriate action”. It is the first time the Centre has decided to go against the Padma Vibhushan winner.

The Home Ministry’s advisory follows concerns — backed by intelligence reports — that Husain's Bharatmata and other controversial paintings of Hindu goddesses can spark communal trouble. A case against him is already pending in an Indore court.

The Law Ministry — which examined half-a-dozen paintings of the 91-year-old artist — told the North Block last month that prosecutors would be on a sound footing if they moved against Husain under the penal provision for committing deliberate acts to disaffect feelings of a class by insulting its religion.

In the wake of protests against the Prophet cartoons, it is felt that there should be limits to an individual claiming immunity in the name of artistic freedom.

The state police can treat the Home Ministry’s report as a complaint — the accompanying documents are said to be quite detailed — and proceed against Husain. But it is a call the state governments will have to take.

First Published: May 05, 2006 00:54 IST