Guwahati, April 13: There have been numerous cases when artists have created controversial paintings and images, that often hurt the sentiments of different religions.
This time an Assam-based artist Akram Hussain has painted Hindu deity Lord Krishna along with seven bikini-clad gopis, in a bar.
The objectionable painting was put on display during a group exhibition in the Guwahati State Art Gallery in Ravindra Bhavan, which ended on April 8.
After an outrage over artist's painting depicting Lord Krishna in an unacceptable manner, the state art gallery has removed that painting. [Lucknow's Mohammed Shakeel paints his love for Lord Krishna]
Akram also insulted National Flag
Akram had put on display another painting that allegedly dishonoured the National Flag.
He had symbolically drawn an unfurled Tricolour on which many objectionable items including liquor bottles were heaped while in the other painting,
"The act of dishonouring the National Flag under the guise of artistic freedom cannot be tolerated and besides the condemning the act we also demand that the artist be arrested immediately", a statement issued by the All India Patriotic Forum, Assam branch said.
"The exhibition of the paintings ... was in poor light and an offence that hurts the sentiments of millions of patriots," the statement said.
FIR filed against Akram
An FIR was filed against Akram, who hails from Goalpara and is a graduate of Government Art College, for hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
Under the 'Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971' whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures,destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to the National Flag, deserves to be punished. [Artist fears for life over 'nude' goddess paintings]
The Journalists' Forum, Assam, Assam Public Works and Patriotic People's Front have also extended support to the demand for punishing Hussain for misusing the freedom of expression.
The organizations also criticized the Directorate of Cultural Affairs for allowing such an exhibition to be held at the State Art Gallery.
Hussain, however, could not be contacted for comments.
However, this is not the first time when Hindu Gods have been projected in negative way by artists. India's renowned late artist MF Hussain had also made nude paintings on Hindu Gods, due to which he had to even leave the country and had to take refuge in Doha. [Why was MF Hussain banished from India?]
Outrage on Twitter
Akram's painting of Lord Krishna did not go down well with Hindus and evoked sharp criticism from Twitterati:
*No offense* But excuse me #AkramHussain Doesn't ur own religion inspire painting ur talent dat u believe poking else 1 to gain popularity?— Goutam Roy (@G4Goutam) April 13, 2015