MF Hussain, the legendary painter who was in exile after threats to his life, died in London a few hours ago, according to media reports from the city.
Hussain died in exile from his homeland in India, having become a Qatari citizen in 2006.
In the 1990s some of Husain’s works became controversial because of their portrayal of Hindu deities in the nude or in an allegedly sexual manner.
The paintings in question were created in 1970, but did not become an issue until 1996, when they were printed in Vichar Mimansa, a Hindi monthly magazine, which published them in an article headlined “M.F. Husain: A Painter or Butcher”. In response, eight criminal complaints were filed against Husain. In 2004, Delhi High Court dismissed these complaints of “promoting enmity between different groups … by painting Hindu goddesses — Durga and Sarswati, that was later compromised by Hindu’s. “.
In 1998 Husain’s house was attacked by Hindu groups like Bajrang Dal and art works were vandalised. The leadership of Shiv Sena endorsed the attack. Twenty-six Bajrang Dal activists were arrested by the police. Protests against Husain also led to the closure of an exhibition in London, England.
In February 2006, Husain was charged with hurting sentiments of people because of his nude portraits of Hindu gods and goddesses.
A series of cases were brought against him and a court case related to the alleged obscene depiction of Hindu goddesses in his paintings resulted in issuing a non-bailable warrant against Husain after he failed to respond to summons.
Hussain is also famous for his painting of Madhuri Dixit, for his series Gaja Gamini.