Kenan Malik on cultural appropriation
1 dec. 2017 - Maqbool Fida Husain is perhaps India’s greatest artist of the twentieth century. His work linked ancient and modern traditions and helped transform Indian modernism. But not everyone appreciated Husain’s work. His depictions of Hindu deities, often naked, outraged Hindu nationalists who questioned his right, as someone of Muslim background, to depict figures sacred to Hindus, accusing him of ‘hurting religious feelings’. His home and gallery were ransacked, many of his paintings destroyed. He faced law suits, including ones for ‘promoting enmity between different groups’. The harassment spread beyond India’s borders. In 2006, London’s Asia House Gallery shut an exhibition of his work after protests and the defacement of two paintings. Husain, who died in 2011, was forced to live his last years in exile, in London and Qatar.