September 11, 2008

Hindu artist to return from exile


by David Masters

India’s favourite painter, M. F. Husain, is set to return to his homeland after efforts to prosecute him for offending religious feelings were dropped.

The Supreme Court in India found no grounds to prosecute the 92 year old artist.

Husain entered voluntary exile in 2006, after conservative Hindu groups filed criminal cases against him because of his nude paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses.

He has been living in the Middle East since that time.

Charges against him included obscenity and offending the feelings of a religious community, both of which carry a jail sentence in India.

However, the Supreme Court has refused to prosecute Husain, and pointed out that the nude portrayal of Hindu deities has a long tradition in Indian history.

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