Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Free Nation?

I've said this before and I say it again, I consider myself a Hindu and I think I'm secure enough in my religion to not really care what anybody else has to say or do to my religion. I would prefer not to have my religious symbols tattooed on Madonna's ass, if I had to choose, but if she were to get such a tattoo (as far as I know, she hasn't!) I still don't think that harms me or my religion.

Because my God and His Divinity do not depend on what we do or do not do.

Rabble-rousing pieces like this piss me off. Big time.

I personally don't like Hussein's paintings but that is because his style does not appeal to me. If I visualise a clothed god and he visualises a naked one I don't see how his vision in any cancels mine out or undermines or demeans it. At the most extreme I would think that he and I have seperate faiths, something Hinduism, thankfully, does allow.

And for those who worry about Hussein demeaning India/Hinduism to the world with his art, I think it's more to the point for you to paint your 'better' visions to provide the world with alternatives rather than pull somebody else down because you couldn't be arsed to get up.

30 comments:

First Rain said...

Well said!

Maybe a bit off topic here, but the concept of a *personal* religion/faith/belief (I do not know the politically correct word - so whichever) is sadly lost on most people.

sher khan said...

Claps claps claps :-)
reminds me of one of your earlier posts on this same regard!

Saya said...

Woman.. wat do you hav to say about Ayn Rand? I read some amazing gossip about her the other day :-)

starry eyed said...

Lovely! *applauds*

why are some people so bleddy insecure?

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Hear hear!! Well said!

As for all these protectors of our Gods and Goddesses, I like the way you think...we should push a paintbrush into their hands -- make art, not war!

Gymnast said...

Firstly , people who complain really dont know the crux of hinduism...

If they knew , they would not care about all this.

Rajini said...

yes its a free nation and people have the right to write what they feel , even if it pisses some one else pants .

Sands said...

very well written. Couldn't agree more :)

sole said...

Clear thoughts. I wish more people would wake up and see such clarity. Nothing other people say or do should harm one's own belief. Nice one Sue!

Kirthi said...

....how about any of your family members getting pictured like that ? would you wait for the law to take its time ..oh wait this is a blog ..so may be you will rant about it here .

Gayatri said...

- Your absolutely right gal
- happy all the responses to this blog also agree to the fact that we have to learn to live and let live
- that just proves that the world has very few of those who use religion for all that it isn't meant to be ....
- We win :):):)...three cheers!

Shrabonti said...

Hi Kirthi,

So you think Hindu gods and godesses are like our family members and we have exclusive rights over them which are not shared by the likes of MF Husain? And why would you think that, exactly? Why is it ok for temple architecture in India to portray gods and godesses in erotic and unclothed postures and not MF Husain? Because his name is, you know, MF Husain, and not Sadalingam Venkatapathy or Harish PAtel?

Sue said...

First Rain -- On the other hand, I think religion counts for nothing if it is not personal. I don't have a problem with mass/organised religion per se but if your religion is not your own to interpret as you will, then what meaning does it have for you?

Sher Khan -- I have one? Which one?

Saya -- Go on, dish the dirt. I don't have much to say about Ayn Rand. I don't think very highly of her writing and I don't know anything about Objectivism or whatever it's called.

Starry -- Those who weren't insecure to start with seem to be egged on to developing a false sense of insecurity.

M4 -- Hey, that's a nice slogan, thanks.

Gymnast -- What is the crux of Hinduism, now that you bring it up?

Rajini -- My point is, why should somebody else's art piss anybody's pants? It's not the same as if Hussein came and drew on my walls, is it?

Sands -- Glad to hear that.

Sole, Gayatri -- I think there are lots of people who maybe feel the way I do. Perhaps we should also raise our voices. To provide alternatives.

Kirthi -- Actually, my gods are not my family. None of my family members are remotely god-like.

Shrabonti -- You know what annoys me about this prudery the most? The fact that it's a Western import from the Victorian Age, LOL!

Shrabonti said...

Yeah, the same Victorians who used to make skirts for table legs because they felt tables showing their legs was immodest! LOL.

Kirthi said...

You don't care for the portraits because you don't pray for them or have any kind of respect for the portraits for them may be. Why not try picture of Allah or maybe jesus MAry like that ..you might have been ripped apart before the post was written ? Personally i don't care who does ..some MF hussain or a 'Dear Anthony' ..the point is why to degrade some thing that majority of people respect and pray everyday in their homes ? ..hmm so what I basically understand is you can bear the portraits of family members to be shown like that ?Personally fine for me !

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sue...I disagree with you to some extent. If you see the paintings that Mr.Huseein has pianted, its only the Hindu deities he is trying to portray in a derogatory way. Why not Allah or paintings of his community? I dont have any problem with people having their freedom of speech/art..whatever. As Kirthi mentioned "why degrade something that people respect and pra?" And I particularly didnt like the way he portrayed 'Bharatmata' with names of states on different parts of her body..Hindu or Muslim I would not agree with this. This is ONLY my point of view and this being your blog I know that you have every right to express your thoughts. Just wanted to have a healthy discussion. Sorry if my long comment offends you in some way. But I am forced to think from your point of view also after seeing so many people support you. - Preethi

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

I disagree with your point that states, "Because my God and His Divinity do not depend on what we do or do not do." It's just a very easy way of saying you want to believe in something but you don't really take what it represents at any level in your life. What's the point of believing anything in life then?

We have the freedom to express anything but that freedom comes with the responsibility of ensuring you don't play music so loud that your neighbors can't sleep the whole night. The same formula applies to people in life. You can exercise your freedom but you need to ask yourself if you are hurting a lot of people in the process.

Hussein can display anything in art because for the layperson, it is total crap. However, does he have the right to demean a religion is a different question. He needs to take ownership about his priorities and what he wants to accomplish with his creative diahorrea. Frankly, I don't give a shit what people like him do.

Sue said...

Shrabonti -- :)

Kirthi -- I didn't tell you what I pray to now, did I? But I'll tell you this -- even if somebody does deface a picture of my God, it will only hurt me, not my God.

Also, what you "basically understand" doesn't seem to be what I said.

Sue said...

Preethi -- Your comment does not offend me, that webpage does. I'll tell you the difference as I see it. You present your point of view clearly and politely and with the aim of presenting your point of view. The webpage is aiming at stirring up crowds to keep a man out of this country. I don't like Hussein's style and I don't care if he doesn't stay in India but it's important to me that we as a nation retain the sense of balance to understand that Hussein's paintings are not representative of Hinduism. Comparing Hussein to Ravi Verma is pointless because they are from separate schools of art, born in different periods of history but that bothers me less than the tone taken by that writeup.

Swapna -- How can what I believe in not permeate every aspect of my life? Of course freedom comes with responsibility, I know I've said that enough times to sound like a grandmother.

I don't like the piece because the rant bases itself on communalism, not art. It is out to create trouble, the kind of trouble that results in damaged public property and that won't stop Hussein painting now, will it?

itchingtowrite said...

I do not know what great thought or concept was in MFH's mind when he painted it. Sorry I cannot understand it at all and prolly he should explain if he intended to offend deiberately. (though I am honestly not interested). Maybe the max I can understand is that the Bharat Mata is getting stripped by the occupants???? Profound thought indeed. But yes, as Sue you said it- what he does- does not affect what I think about Hinduism. As my perception does not depend or change according to what one is portraying it as. IMHO the less the Hindus display their annoyance with him (IF he is out to annoy the Hindus), the faster he will lose interest in doing it.

the mad momma said...

I agree with you totally Sue. Recently some artist created a furore by painting Jesus Christ's face on the inside of a men's urinal. And in another place they apparently created the likeness of Jesus by splattering faeces on a toilet bowl.

I understand that there are those who will take offence and I also know that they will never understand why I dont take offence.

None of us can claim to have seen God so we can't decide that God must be dressed in a particular way and neither does the idea of a blonde blue-eyed Jesus make sense to me.

I see the point of your post and I don't see why you're engaging with people who don't even see the POINT you've made. Debate is only meaningful when the other understands you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sue. I understand what you are trying to say. And btw you look super cool(pun intended) in that 'wool' - Preethi

B o o said...

I get offended by pictures of Gods and Goddesses in flip flops and underwear! Another might not. People have the right to feel offended or not. No one denies that. but what you do about it and how you react is the problem here.
I read a piece of news that Hussain pulled out his movie Meenaxi and apologized after some Muslim groups complained that one of the songs was offensive. Things like these are just asking for trouble, no?

Sue said...

Itchy -- You think he is doing it for the shock value? Then you're probably right, we should stop reacting. I don't know, never really thought about him so much.

MM -- Yuck, really? That's gross. Yes, thanks for getting what I've said. And I agree, none of us can claim to know what God appears to everybody else as -- if indeed they see Him at all.

Boo -- Yes, a lot of his behaviour does appear calculated to upset, now that Itchy and you point it out. All the more reason I say to make sure that we don't come across as the unbalanced ones here.

Sue said...

Preethi -- Thank you :)

dipali said...

It's so easy to focus on non-issues rather than do things to solve the very real problems that people in our country face. If the same Saraswati or Bharat Nata had been painted by a Hindu artist I am sure there would have been no backlash whatsoever.Art is too subjective anyway for people to get so uptight about. If you don't like it/approve of it, don't look at it or buy it. The loony fringe is getting more and more limelight and basking in it totally:(

DotThoughts said...

I agree Sue. Good art if thought provoking, bad art is just that.. bad. We need to have the ability to discern between the two. It's a free country and while some may not care for the style of expression or the content of his art, they have to realise its a secular country. You can critisize the art, but putting someone in jail over this?? We have better problems to worry about.

DotThoughts said...

I meant good art IS thought provoking. sorry for the typo :P

Sue said...

Dipali -- That's what makes me so wary. If I object to something, I object to it publicly in person, out here in my blog, try to meet like-minded people and carry on with the rest of my life. None of this includes destroying public property or rabble-rousing. You could say that my way wouldn't stop Hussein painting (not that I was aiming at that) but I could reply that neither does the other way.

Dot -- Yep. We do have bigger problems to worry about. Like the cross-border terrorists who are actually doing much more harm and getting in and out of the country with far more ease. *sigh* Living near a border myself makes me very sensistive to this one topic.

rohini said...

rightly expressed...