Here’s Shekhar Kapoor on the contentious, seemingly, issue of MF Hussein’s exile and his subsequent surrender of his Indian passport to become a Qatari, and other things. I for one don’t have an opinion on the issues except that a certain degree of artistic freedom should exist in society, otherwise, we artists will be constrained to censor ourselves even before we have started writing/composing/dreaming our works of art. Artists are humans; they stumble once in a while when they are on an artistic high. Don’t they? So couldn’t Hussein apologize and make up? Couldn’t we consider his age (He is 95, and is still of sound mind. Hehe. I can’t imagine being the same.) and his standing in Indian society? How can we be so cruel to an artist who – only a few years ago – was celebrated as an icon and a pillar of artistic achievement? I guess the whole chattering class should take it upon themselves to bring him back to India.
Here’s another story in which the Mexican edition of Playboy had to apologize and make up for showing a nude likeness of Virgin Mary on the cover. I would have been scandalized if I had seen the issue, being from a conservative Syrian Christian background. But I would, at the same time, have accepted the apology and moved ahead. I am a Christian and believe in the forgiveness of sins. Here’s the apology:
“While Playboy Mexico never meant for the cover or images to offend anyone, we recognize that it has created offense, and we as well as Playboy Mexico offer our sincerest apologies.”
Could Hussein do the same? Just wondering aloud.