New Delhi, Mar 3: Breaking his silence for the first time after Qatar's nationality offer, legendary painter M F Husain said, "I still love India. But India doesn't need me."
Husain said, "India is my motherland. I can't hate my motherland. But she rejected me. Then why should I stay in India?"
He was speaking in an interview to a Kerala-based Malayalam daily Madhyamam's Doha edition.
He further said, "When Sangh Parivar outfits targeted me, all kept silent. No one, including political leadership, artists or intellectuals came forward to speak for me. But I know the fact that 90 percent of the people of India love me. They are with me."
Husain has dozens of lawsuits against him across the country for his paintings of goddesses that some Hindus find sacrilegious. He was forced into self-exile since 2006.
"India's continuing governments could not protect me. So, it is very difficult for me to stay in such a country. Politicians are eyeing only votes," he said.
"Now, they are asking me to come back. I was in exile...There was no one to speak for me. No governments recalled me. Now they are asking me to return after one country offered me citizenship. How can I trust a political leadership that refused to protect me?" he said.
"I enjoy complete freedom in Qatar. Now Qatar is my place. Here no one controls my freedom of expression. I am very happy here," he added.