Yesterday, I received this email from a friend. The email was exhorting me to act against the insensitive ways of Famed Artist M.F.Hussain. This was a mail (forward) that was well-prepared with proper illustrations that clearly showed neat comparisons of different paintings of the artist. The images showed a distinct bias of Hussain to depict Hindu gods and goddess, including Mother India and even an Indian Brahman naked.
The mail talked about the lack of action by Hindus and how Hindus are ashamed of standing up for the desecration of our Gods and Goddesses by a Muslim artist.
I read this and was a little saddened. Rather I was very saddened because the mail came from a friend who is well educated and a writer. I believe writers are also artists because they create beautiful stories, poems and so on. But when writers (artists) themselves support such emails by spreading them around, I cannot understand the fate of art in our country.
I believe perhaps Hinduism is one the few religions left that talk of tolerance and peace. Every body seems to be more and more interested in adopting violent measures, the urgent need to make a statement through action and so on.
It is very very ironic when you consider the fact that many of our saints sitting up in the Himalayas are in fact naked or clad with minimalistic clothing because they consider it a way of being closest to nature, and here we are, irritated by gods being depicted naked. These saints are the ones who have given up materialistic pursuits of the world and we revere them for the same. But we are agitated by the fact that our gods are not shown in the material components of the world.
Think about it. Clothes and jewels and crowns and thrones are perhaps our greatest materialistic desires and fantasies. We always want to adorn our gods with the most precious stones and gold and jewels. We want to robe them in silk and satin and the finest materials in the world but did God ask for these? And now we want to take up arms and spread animosity because someone attempted to paint our Gods nude; the very nudity that is considered pure and very near to nature itself.
Now let’s assume God made everything. He is the creator of all. So why would God be fascinated with jewels and diamonds and not with stones and pebbles? After all He created all of it. Why would God appreciate the wanton boiling of Silkworms that he lovingly created, so that he could be wrapped in Silk?
I feel that Gods must be naked if they do exist in the humanized forms that we give them. And not naked in a vulgar way. God must be so beautiful in a way only a mother can appreciate her deformed child.
Do you think our God will like to have two hands when so many of his creations do not have one? Do you think he will like to walk on two legs when so many of his children crawl? Do you think God would like to keep ‘sight’ for himself in a way that we know, when so many of his loved ones are blind? I fail to understand why we humans want to give God a human form which we consider is more superior than all other forms of life. On the contrary, the human form is perhaps the most weak and helpless when compared to some of the life forms existing on earth.
The all loving, all forgiving God that we know and I believe in cannot be so materialistic as His devotees claim. God must shun clothes. If He really liked clothes, then He would have made arrangements for us to be born with something that covers us properly rather than sending us buck naked. In fact, perhaps we should stand up against the injustice done to God by forcing clothes and other human fineries on Him.
I do not know why M.F.Hussain paints Hindu Gods naked. For that matter, I do not understand his paintings at all. But I do understand that if an artist wants to express his or her creativity then we should respect that. If everyone were worried about sensibilities and sentiments alone, then perhaps Khajuraho and Kamasutra would have never seen the light of the day. Our governments and the so called moral brigade do not seem to have a problem making foreign currency from tourists who are in awe of these places.
Artists choose to think different and create something that is way outside the purview of the common thinking man and that is what makes them special.
Every society needs someone who can contribute to it by being and thinking different. Otherwise we will be stuck in a rudimentary herd of cows and sheeps who wants to do nothing but follow orders and send senseless emails around because their leaders asked them to.