Not that they are sensitive to these things, but the highest court in India has delivered a stinging slap on the menacing faces of the moral police and thought thugs; the connoisseurs who know exactly what we should see, hear, wear, watch, read, write, paint, feel and think.
Maqbool Fida Husain‘s Bharat Mata—a 2004 oil-on-canvas painting of a nude woman whose shape mimics the contours of the map of India, with the names of Indian cities written over her body—has been decreed “a work of art” by the Supreme Court of India.
Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, while refusing to initiate criminal proceedings against Husain for allegedly “hurting public sentiments” and the “national pride of Indians”, said:
“There are so many such subjects, photographs and publications. Does the sentiment of the petitioner get scandalized by the large number of photographs of erotic sculptures which are in circulation? Will you file cases against all of them?
“What about temple structures?
“It (Husain’s work) is art. If you don’t want to see it, don’t see it. There are so many such art forms in temple structures.”