M F Hussain's work hurts Hindu sentiments

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{image-mf hussain_23032008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New York, Mar 23: Demonstrators who protested against the painting auction of noted painter MF Hussain have defended their action, saying that he hurt the feelings of Hindus by drawing their religious deities portraits in a ''vulgar and derogatory'' fashion.

A prominent Hindu leader and president of Indian-American Intellectuals Forum Narain Kataria, who led the 50-member demonstration against auction house Christie earlier in the week, said the action of the painter was nothing but offending the sentiments of more than a billion Hindus. More than a dozen paintings of Hussain were sold at an auction of 'South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art', held by Christie's for an amount of 1.6 million dollar. The variety of paintings by the artist included that of Mother Teresa' s. Mr Kataria referred to a report in a section of the press and said neither he nor his forum had threatened any organisation or individual.

"We've not threatened anybody," he told UNI adding, "We expressed regret and displeasure. And Christie's shouldn't have done this.'' According to Sara Fox, a spokeswoman for the auction house, the art pieces were expressions of the individuals concerned. Art and culture have multiple interpretations and re-interpretations. "Christie's is aiding and abetting hate crime against Hindus,'' Mr Kataria alleged. Any irrelevant depiction of Hindu gods and goddesses would amount to ''pornography," he said.

According to him, it was a protest demonstration which passed off peacefully on Thursday. The demonstrators shouted slogans like Down with M F Hussain, Shame on Hussain, Anti-Hindu Coward, Husain from Indian law were among the slogans raised and messages on the placards written.

UNI

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