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India's Supreme Court suspends arrest warrant for artist M.F. Husain

India's Supreme Court suspends arrest warrant for artist M.F. Husain

India's top court on Tuesday suspended an arrest warrant for M.F. Husain, one of the country's most famous artists, who is living in self-imposed exile because of threats from Hindu hard-liners enraged by his painting of a nude woman posed in the shape of India.
Husain, a Muslim, has lived in London and the United Arab Emirates since the controversy erupted last year over the painting, known as "Mother India." He was quoted Tuesday as saying that he misses India.
After the court's ruling, Husain's lawyer, Akhil Sibal, said the painter plans to return soon to India.
Hard-line Hindu groups filed several lawsuits against Husain after "Mother India" was exhibited in 2006, saying it was disrespectful to associate India with nudity. Husain also reportedly received a number of death threats.
In March, a court in the northern city of Hardwar, where one of the lawsuits was filed, issued an arrest warrant for Husain and ordered his property be seized after the artist failed to appear for a hearing.
Police earlier this week began the process of seizing Husain's property, prompting the Supreme Court to step in Tuesday and suspend the arrest warrant and the property seizure order, Sibal told reporters.
The Supreme Court's order was issued after Sibal requested that the case against Husain be transferred from Hardwar to New Delhi, the capital. No ruling was made on that request.
In an interview given before the Supreme Court ruling, Husain told Mumbai's DNA newspaper: "The truth is that I'm missing my country. I'll accept whatever the law decides."
Husain's works have fetched millions of U.S. dollars (euros) at auctions in recent years, and his "Mother India" shows a nude woman on her knees, creating the shape of India's geographic borders.
It is not the first of his works to come under attack from right-wing Hindus, who have repeatedly objected to his nude depictions of Hindu gods.

Updated : 2021-09-21 11:42 GMT+08:00