My GOD is naked!

Mother India as depicted by M F HussainYesterday, I received this email from a friend. The email was exhorting me to act against the insensitive ways of Famed Artist M.F.Hussain. This was a mail (forward) that was well-prepared with proper illustrations that clearly showed neat comparisons of different paintings of the artist. The images showed a distinct bias of Hussain to depict Hindu gods and goddess, including Mother India and even an Indian Brahman naked.

The mail talked about the lack of action by Hindus and how Hindus are ashamed of standing up for the desecration of our Gods and Goddesses by a Muslim artist.

I read this and was a little saddened. Rather I was very saddened because the mail came from a friend who is well educated and a writer. I believe writers are also artists because they create beautiful stories, poems and so on. But when writers (artists) themselves support such emails by spreading them around, I cannot understand the fate of art in our country.

I believe perhaps Hinduism is one the few religions left that talk of tolerance and peace. Every body seems to be more and more interested in adopting violent measures, the urgent need to make a statement through action and so on.

It is very very ironic when you consider the fact that many of our saints sitting up in the Himalayas are in fact naked or clad with minimalistic clothing because they consider it a way of being closest to nature, and here we are, irritated by gods being depicted naked. These saints are the ones who have given up materialistic pursuits of the world and we revere them for the same. But we are agitated by the fact that our gods are not shown in the material components of the world.

Think about it. Clothes and jewels and crowns and thrones are perhaps our greatest materialistic desires and fantasies. We always want to adorn our gods with the most precious stones and gold and jewels. We want to robe them in silk and satin and the finest materials in the world but did God ask for these? And now we want to take up arms and spread animosity because someone attempted to paint our Gods nude; the very nudity that is considered pure and very near to nature itself.

Now let’s assume God made everything. He is the creator of all. So why would God be fascinated with jewels and diamonds and not with stones and pebbles? After all He created all of it. Why would God appreciate the wanton boiling of Silkworms that he lovingly created, so that he could be wrapped in Silk?

I feel that Gods must be naked if they do exist in the humanized forms that we give them. And not naked in a vulgar way. God must be so beautiful in a way only a mother can appreciate her deformed child.

Do you think our God will like to have two hands when so many of his creations do not have one? Do you think he will like to walk on two legs when so many of his children crawl? Do you think God would like to keep ‘sight’ for himself in a way that we know, when so many of his loved ones are blind? I fail to understand why we humans want to give God a human form which we consider is more superior than all other forms of life. On the contrary, the human form is perhaps the most weak and helpless when compared to some of the life forms existing on earth.

The all loving, all forgiving God that we know and I believe in cannot be so materialistic as His devotees claim. God must shun clothes. If He really liked clothes, then He would have made arrangements for us to be born with something that covers us properly rather than sending us buck naked. In fact, perhaps we should stand up against the injustice done to God by forcing clothes and other human fineries on Him.

I do not know why M.F.Hussain paints Hindu Gods naked. For that matter, I do not understand his paintings at all. But I do understand that if an artist wants to express his or her creativity then we should respect that. If everyone were worried about sensibilities and sentiments alone, then perhaps Khajuraho and Kamasutra would have never seen the light of the day. Our governments and the so called moral brigade do not seem to have a problem making foreign currency from tourists who are in awe of these places.

Artists choose to think different and create something that is way outside the purview of the common thinking man and that is what makes them special.

Every society needs someone who can contribute to it by being and thinking different. Otherwise we will be stuck in a rudimentary herd of cows and sheeps who wants to do nothing but follow orders and send senseless emails around because their leaders asked them to.


    • It is definitely interesting to note that someone who calls himself “Comrade Lenin” is eager to comment on anything related to God? Considering Lenin believed in an atheist and anti-religious philosophy. Lenin wrote in his Marxist-Lenin interpretation of Marxist Philosophy that all religions are negative to human development. So I guess its obvious who the fraud is.

  1. I would like to see Hussain’s mother, sisters, daughters, daughter-in-laws, nieces, etc.. naked. Please with pubic haira! Many thanks Hussain Ji

  2. I had the privilege of being read by a Respected Disciple of Swami Chidananda (disciple of Chinmayananda).

    She sent me this email after having read this post. I sincerely appreciate her for sharing her views on this topic. Coming from someone who is so well-versed with the life of spirituality and also teach the Vedanta and Gita, this means a lot to me.

    I have pasted the email as it is:

    dear Pratheesh,


    I do agree with your view for God. the so called fanatics of Hinduism are ignorant and as though they want to compete with other religions.

    I feel if a child is playing mischief and if we scold or abuse him/her, child will revolt. but a silent glance makes the child see within and ask, is my action okay?

    here we are proving ourselves to be sailing in the same boat of other religious fanatics.
    I too had got this and many of such emails but I do not pay heed to ignorant fools.
    leave them alone at the mercy of God Himself.

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog and taking your time to comment.

    Let me first understand your concern here. If a group of people think or talk or even present a sect or religion in the wrong, does it make the religion wrong? HareRama HareKrishna mission is still going strong.

    Again just because an artist decided to sketch a few nude paintings, I do feel that it makes my religion any lesser pure. Reacting in the same ways that other religion react through violent means or spreading ‘awareness’ by distributing paintings that the common man had not even seen ever before is doing nothing but fanning the flames of fanaticism.

    No religion needs fanatics who resort to religion because religion by itself is a way of life that preaches peace. Due to unfortunate times, today Islam is associated with terrorism. A seminar had to be arranged to convince people that Islam stands for peace. If such (hindu) zealots persist then Hindus will also be seen conducting seminars soon.

    Shakti, I really appreciate your tips on promoting my blog. But did you stop to think for a moment, these so called moral brigade have been sending these paintings across the world and people did not even know about it. So who is promoting the paintings for Hussain?

    On one hand you talk about People having the freedom to have an opinion whether writers or not, and on the other hand you ask me NOT to write about my opinion. I believe I have not forced my opinion on anyone and anyone who has read the whole article will realize that this is nothing but my point of view.

  4. You know due to some wrong presentation of the harerama harekrishna temple in the 70’s even today some non-hindus think that there are all drug addicts in all the ISKCON temples. Similarly, if now this is not put to a stop, there may be a time when Hinduism will be portrayed as a religion promoting porn. Although, I feel you have been smart enuh to take up this topic to promote your blog… its more like yellow journalism. PLEASE DONT INDULGE IN THIS. People are free to have an opinion whether writers or non-writers.

  5. @Sai – Now now, lets not get carried away here. I would like to make it very clear that I have not labeled or judged my friend to be a Hindu Fundamentalist. All I have said is my friend being an artist, you expect them to be more sensitive to artistic sensibilities.

    As I mentioned before, I do not know why Hussain paints the way he does. But then, I am surprised at the compete lack of belief in oneself and ones faith in the religion.

    How easily one feels disgraced and religion sullied? How shallow must be the faith or belief to feel so easily offended? The anger seems to boil over from the fact that the artist in question is a Muslim and keen on depicting Hindu Gods in nude. Most of the so-called fighters of the upkeep of Hinduism feel that he should paint his own Gods in the nude.

    I guess the most challenging job for the artist will be to give a human form to their God. So let’s see if he can do that and paint his God too and while he is at it try some nudism again. May be then the Hindus can feel at peace since now the Muslims will also feel disgraced and offended.

  6. My take–

    The question here actually is–Do you think an artist of his stature would really give a crap whether its a Hindu god or whatever. For an artist I believe, anything can be a vision of beauty, which he would want to use as an inspiration for his work. An artist, be it a writer, painter musician does not limit itself to the shackles of such things. Had that been the case, what would be the difference between me and say Jimi Hendrix for example. If we have a little paradigm shift here and try to look at it from the artists point of view, for him, its his passion, its his vision of beauty, I seriously doubt, religion would be anywhere in the picture.

    And for our fundamentalist friends, be happy that someone from another religion found so much beauty in your gods that he would want to spend that much time and energy and convert that into a work of art. Take it as an ode of respect that he has shown with his own artistic fervour.

  7. Now now…Let’s not be myopic here…I mean…U’ve judged ur frnd to be one of those Hindu Fundamentalists, though he is resorting to milder means like chain mails 😛 of spreading the so called awareness about the ‘disgrace’ brought upon to his religion…but I see it differently…the qstn here is…why does Mr. Hussain rely on Hindu Gods and Goddesses to vent out his creativity?? Why not give His Almighty…who with all due respect does not have a form…a sense of form…and then let his creativity and sense of art run amok…only coz not only the Indian Muslims but also those world over would use his hide as a canvas and his grey hair as a brush and give their creativity and art a form 😉 U know what I mean???

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