India’s eminent artist M.F. Husain, who has been under attack from Hindu fundamentalists for his paintings of Hindu goddesses and has been living in Dubai and London, has been given Qatar nationality, it was reported here on Thursday.
"I, the Indian origin painter M.F. Husain at 95, have been honoured by Qatar nationality," the celebrated artist wrote above a line sketch of a horse, the leitmotif of much of his work. The black and white drawing was carried by The Hindu newspaper.
In a signed article, The Hindu editor N. Ram wrote that the artist had given him the news from Dubai "by reading out the few lines he had written on a black-and-white line drawing that he released to The Hindu".
According to the report, Husain did not apply for the nationality but it was conferred on him at the instance of the emirate’s ruling family.
Photographer, designer and activist Ram Rahman, who is close to the Husain family, responded to the news by saying: "The citizenship has been offered by the sheikha, the wife of the sheikh of Qatar, and it has several implications.
"On a personal note, I feel it is quite clear that the man who is 95 years old and cannot return to his country to die, there is no point of him remaining an Indian citizen."
"It would be a tragedy. He has not given up his Indian citizenship yet but if he decides to take up the Qatari offer, he will not remain an Indian citizen anymore. It is also a reflection of our legal system because the cases against him will drag on for 20-30 years…. so it is justified if he takes up the Qatari offer," Rahman told IANS.(IANS)