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The dangerous campaign against painter MF Husain

Investigate Hindutva groups and websites spreading hate against artists and communities

by Sahmat, 22 November 2008

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SAHMAT
- 8, Vithalbhai Patel House, Rafi Marg
- New Delhi-110001
- Telephone-23711276/ 23351424
- e-mail-sahmat at vsnl.com

22.11.2008

Press Statement

We would like to bring to your attention the reports in the Delhi press today, that a doctor is being investigated for possible connections to the alleged conspirators in the Malegaon blast cases in Maharashtra. The doctor, Dr Ram Pratap Singh is the same man who had filed cases against painter MF Husain in Delhi courts in 2006. In the report in the Indian Express, he is mentioned attending meetings with BL Sharma “Prem”. “Prem” is the same man brought by Raghu Vyas to attack the Academy of Fine Arts in Delhi, run by eminent painter Arpana Caur ten years ago (23rd February 1998). Ajeet Caur was injured in that melee and painter Jatin Das was also attacked.

We at SAHMAT have been trying to alert the general public to the fact that the campaign against Husain is being run at a very high level in the Hindutva groups and has an extremely serious dimension and is very well coordinated. The website of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, www.hindujagruti.org, which has led the vicious campaign against Husain has also spread completely distorted interpretations and titles of his work, is run by the Sanatan Sanstha, also alleged to have links with the Nanded blasts. We urge the investigative authorities to investigate these websites which are spreading hate speech against artists, other individuals and communities.

We feel this is an extremely alarming development and should be a wakeup call for us to be more much more vigilant to threats from extremist groups.

Ram Rahman

for SAHMAT

The link to the story in the Indian Express