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India: Moral policing shuts art exhibition by Balbir Krishan at the Muse Gallery, Hyderabad - Statement by SAHMAT

by Sahmat, 2 December 2013

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Dated: 2.12.2013

Press Statement

Sahmat condemns yet another incident of moral policing of the art exhibition by Balbir Krishan at the Muse Gallery, Marriot Hotel in Hyderabad yesterday.

The gallery director was quoted in the Times of India - Throwing more light on what transpired post the preview, Kaali Sudheer, curator, said, “Things were fine during the preview on Saturday, which went on till quite sometime. Around 11 pm, a few right wing activists paid me a visit at the gallery and asked me to cancel the show. They said the artworks and artist stand for everything that’s ‘against Indian culture’.” When asked why he didn’t approach the Police, Sudheer said, “The people who paid me a visit are extremely well-known and influential. I don’t want hassles. I had no option but to cancel the show.”

The work was up on their website and social media, and it is clear there was nothing pornographic or obscene in the works which were male nudes. The gallery was fully aware of the work and had invited the artist to exhibit and the opening was well attended. It is because the artist is gay that the moral police of the right has swung into action. Their threats and intimidation are in fact against the law, and the gallery should have complained to the police.

This incident is another wake-up call to the increasing brazenness of the right-wing political forces and is a pointer to their plans in the run up to the national elections next year. The public needs to be alert to these plans and should resist any attempts to illegal enforcement of narrow political views which are against the constitutional rights of citizens.

Ram Rahman

for Sahmat

SAHMAT
29 Ferozshah Road, New Delhi-110001
Tel:011-23381276/011-23070787
email:sahmat8 at yahoo.com
Website: www.sahmat.org

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