Assault on M.F. Husain’s house in Mumbai
We strongly condemn the vicious assault on the house of renowned painter M.F. Husain by Bajrang Dal activists in Mumbai last Friday. The increasing attacks on the arts and artists have alarmed us all, but this invasion of the private space of an eminent citizen shows the brazen confidence these forces have recently acquired.
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s statement, ‘If Husain can enter Hindustan, why can’t we enter his house’, is absolutely shocking and deserves the strongest condemnation. To speak of fellow-citizens in such communal terms is inflammatory and unacceptable to us.
The people arrested for the assault have been let off with minor sureties
of Rs. 1000 each. This is farcical. The miscreants need to be booked for criminal trespass, intimidation and destruction of property, in order to prevent such incidents recurring in the future. The government has to act immediately to restore an atmosphere in which the creative community can function without fear.
We express our continuing solidarity with Husain and his family, and share their anguish.
Signed, among others, by: