12/17/2006

Copy of M F Husain Bharat Ratna petition

Finally managed to get hold of a copy of the petition sent to the President of India, urging consideration of honoring M F Husain with the Bharat Ratna. Thanks to Shashi Tharoor and Ram Rahman for giving me a copy. Click here to read the pdf version. Personally, I don't understand his paintings very much and am no one to comment whether MFH deserves the Bharat Ratna or not. But the names in the letter are "big names" in their fields. There is a clip on CNN-IBN which you can watch by clicking on the image below. Pretty useless clip in my opinion and I wouldn't expect anything better from Ghose anyway. It was such a great opportunity to literally rip off this insane creation called Prafull Goradia and she totally missed it. I really wish Karan Thapar did this piece instead of her.



When Ram Rahman (himself an artist and photographer) wrote to me, I realized that the "Dashrath Jataka" exhibition which I had mentioned in my earlier article was infact designed by him. What a small world! The exhibition was part of "Hum Sab Ayodhya". You can read more about it here. I am attaching an excerpt below.
Meanwhile ‘Hum Sab Ayodhya’ was attacked in Faizabad by 15 Bajrang Dal activists looking for something to make an issue over. What they found was a text reference to the Dashrath Jataka, from the Buddhist tradition, the earliest known version of the Ram Katha, where the narrative and genealogy of Rama are at variance with the Valmiki Ramayan. A rumour was floated that we had made a ‘poster’ blaspheming Rama and Sita as brother and sister. Not having succeeded in scuttling ‘Mukt Nad’, the day after the programme, both in Parliament in Delhi and more effectively through the RSS machine, this rumour was spread across the country.
Btw, Ram Rahman is the son of Indrani Rahman (1930-1999) , who was India's cultural ambassador, a legendary dance performer in various styles including Bharata Natyam, Mohini Attam, Kuchipudi and Odissi. She was Miss India 1952 ( along with Nutan ) and the first Miss India to participate in Miss Universe Pageant in California in 1952 :)