Nudes are not anti-Hindu

UntitledUntitled by MF Husain

Q&A: ‘The erotic has never been denied in Hindu tradition’-Editorial-Opinion-The Times of India:
Husain is not anti-Hindu. On the contrary, he is one of the few who constantly engages with Hindu mythology with bold imagination and creativity. Hindu deities have been depicted in the nude and semi-nude since at least the 2nd century AD and similarly in the texts their physical descriptions are explicit. This is because in Hindu tradition, there is a constant intermingling of sacred and profane love and the erotic has never been denied.

Unfortunately, during the colonial period we imported Victorian prudery and now seem to be thriving on it. Finally, Husain’s depictions of Hindu goddesses are hardly erotic

I am so glad to see that there are people working to make inroads on this topic, it frustrates me that with such a history of openness and appreciation for the nude and sexuality there is suddenly fanatical opposition to nude art. Husain is the most famous example but there remain the students who were jailed for creating nude art and riots that have started over a knee jerk reaction to this contentious artform. I think it is a pendulum and I hope that it swings away from the fanatacism that has created so many controversies. My biggest fear is that some of the temples and carvings may be defaced as a result and I dread the thought of losing such beautiful archaeological works. While these militant views exist we cannot learn to appreciate art for what it is, especially the nude.

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8 thoughts on “Nudes are not anti-Hindu

  1. FUCK U BITCH……….



  2. wow. ok. first off, I am certainly not anti hindu. I have Hindu friends and am certainly not attacking anyone. I’ve studied a great deal of art history and comparative religion and I don’t understand why suddenly there is a great deal of hatred towards the nude from extreme Hindu groups in India at the moment. especially considering the rather enlightened view of the nude for the fast few thousand years. would you be able to explain it to me please?

  3. Okay, bharath, if you want anybody to take you seriously ….

    1 – what exactly has this artist said that is anti-Hindu? I’d like you to be specific – a blanket generalisation of “she’s insulting Hindus” really doesn’t give an answer we can all learn from.

    2 – please define who “ALL PEOPLE” and “U PEOPLE” refers to … non-Hindus? Muslims? Christians? Artists? Females? People who don’t feel the need to type in all caps?
    2a – what do you define as important values and ethics, and how has this post
    transgressed them? Do you believe that anonymously threatening strangers
    asking questions on the internet is in any way wrong?

    3 – this artist is asking a question to clarify something she doesn’t understand about the attitude suddenly taken by a small subset of a particular culture. How does this qualify as an “attack”? Can you suggest how she could have better posed the question? Or are you so insecure with your own faith that you can’t bear any such questions?

    4 – for adequate follow-up, please publish your email address (preferably not a throw-away one like hotmail or yahoo) and a webpage. Even a phone number would be nice, if you actually want to have a civil conversation about this, rather than spout random insults which quite clearly demonstrate your lack of grammar and obvious ignorance about this artist, both professionally and as a person, in every way, shape and form

    But back to the topic at hand. I’ve always found it rather bizarre that where nudity is accepted and appreciated in a culture is then suddenly called vile and repugnant. The other example that springs to my mind (only vaguely related) was a nude statue of one pope’s mistress that was placed in the Vatican, and a later pope ordered metallic clothing to be constructed for the statue because its nudity was offensive.

  4. Jennie, have you got a copy of this image at higher resolution? I would appreciate a copy, possibly by email. Seems to me if we are going to criticize (in the broad liberal sense) we need to at least have a look, no? And all copies on the net seem to have disappeared.

    be well.

  5. I’m sorry David, I’ve been looking around for some better copies of these pieces too. it’s hard to keep up with them as they are censored so much!

  6. Bharath’s gay lover: Wov, you think you have a good sense of humor and you want email addresses and phone numbers…mmmm. Gaylover, why dont you see it this way? You thibk that in the name of art, anybody can do anything. so bharath has exhibited his art forms. What you give is what you get.

    Jennie: “Hindu deities have been depicted in the nude and semi-nude since at least the 2nd century AD”. In the 2nd century AD, there was nothing called “Hindu deities”. Anyways, you would have made tons of money. You might have hurt a soul or two, but doesnt matter. Hindus are not going to fly planes into your buildings. As a Hindu, personally iam not hurt because i know that your view of the world is limited. Your education(art history and comparative religion) look to be more or less very cursory and shallow.

    A little bit of education for you: Family life has been central(or i should say was) to most Hindu denominations/cultures. The concept of sex is very different in the Indian context as oppossed to the western context. There are lot of rituals in the sex life of an average Indian. Unless one experiences it himself/herself, it is difficult to understand and explain. All in all, the mystery in sex is infinite. Sex is in the mind. It is not a simple matter of nudity. No Hindu deity whether from 10000BC or 2 AD would be depicted nude. Its in bad taste. Iam not asking you to apologise.

    Religion is about asking questions such as “Who am I?”…..Religion is not about nudity, or mysteryless sex or violence or politics or making money or hurting somebody else’s beliefs.

    Are your kids capable of leading a meaningful life? I doubt, given the kind of parenting that they would be subject to.

  7. Pingback: India’s loss, Qatar’s Gain – M.F Husain to receive Qatar nationality « Jennie’s Palette

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