Asia House Gallery cancel Husain exhibition after Hindu groups threatens protest and vandalism incident

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Date: 2006

Region: Europe

Subject: Religious Explicit Sexuality

Medium: Painting


Durga.jpg
Hussain.jpg

Artist: M.F. Husain (1915 - 2011)

Confronting Bodies: Hindu Human Rights group, Hindu Forum of Britain

Dates of Action: May, 2006

Location: London, England

Description of Artwork: Husain's painting of the Hindu Goddess Durga is depicted in a sexual manner.

The Incident: Hindu Human Rights group and Hindu Forum of Britain requested the Asia House Gallery to not exhibit Husain's artwork. The Hindu Human Rights group and the Hindu Forum of Britain asked all Hindus to join in a protest against the exhibition. They claimed Husain was "showing obscene images of Hindu goddesses." However, Hindu goddesses are often depicted in various sexual and erotic poses and the Hindu society is tolerant as to sexual practices. Both groups believe that Asia House should have consulted with them before planning the exhibition of the artwork. However, both organizations do not consist of elected representatives of Hindus living in the United Kingdom and the gallery should not be required to consult with the organizations before an exhibition. Some claim these Hindu Right Groups are attemting to deny Husain his freedom of expression because he is Muslim. Before the exhibition opened, two of Husain's paintings were spray painted with black paint by three men. The damage equals about 200,000 pounds.

Results of Incident: The Hindu Human Rights group canceled the protest against the Husain exhibitin at the Asia House Gallery after the gallery canceled the exhibition for security reasons. Many different figures in the Hindu community have requested that the Asia House reinstate the Husain exhibit.

Source: www.communitynewswire.press.net; Hindu Human Rights group, www.hinduhumanrights.org; http://www.awaazsaw.org; The Guardian; The Telegraph