Today, Bollywood mourned upon the news of legendry painter MF Hussain who passed away at the age of 95 in London on Thursday.
Hussain went into self-imposed exile because of the huge controversy over his nude images of Hindu icons. He lived in Dubai since 2006 following death threats from Hindu groups in India for his nude painting of a woman shaped in a map of India. This image, also known as “Mother India” is popular in Indian folklore and literature. He accepted Qatari citizenship which was offered to him in January 2010.
Maqbool Fida Hussain, who was simply known as MF Hussain, began his career as a Bollywood poster artist. Many years later, his artwork earned him millions of dollars and was regarded as a status symbol for India’s elite.
Many expressed their grief and condolences for the “Picasso of India” using micro-blogging site, Twitter. Amongst them was veteran actor Dev Anand who tweeted, “Very sad to hear that the great M F Husain is no more, RIP.”
“The news is shocking. It is yet to sink in. Just two days back I was discussing him with a friend. He was a great filmmaker who made films which he believed in and financed it himself. He was a special person and a genuine artist,” said director Anurag Kashyap.
Shabana Azmi, a close friend of Hussain said, “He was a prolific painter. He is someone who is born once in 100 years. I last met him through a video-conference. He was deeply moved when we told him we will try to bring him back to India. He missed India.”
“I think many people realize the importance of artists in this country because of him. His contribution to Indian art has been totally unprecedented,” said lyricist Javed Akhtar.
After his 1967 film, Through the Eyes of a Painter, Hussain made Gaja Gamini with Madhuri Dixit (his then muse). That was followed by Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities, which starred Tabu.
Speaking of the artist’s demise, Raghubir Yadav, who co-starred in Meenaxi said, “It is sad that an artist of such a stature is no longer among us. Working with him was a learning experience. He was peaceful by nature and an open-minded person.”
Kunal Kapoor who made his acting debut in Meenaxi, tweeted, “Deeply saddened by the news about Hussain saab. He was not only a great artist but an incredible human being. His passion and love for life was contagious and unparalleled. May his soul rest in peace.”
Here a few more tweets from Bollywood personalities who expressed their grief about the late MF Hussain:
Hussain passes away. We hang our heads partly in grief and partly in shame for not being able to let him spend his last days in this country. (Rahul Bose)
Very sad to hear of the passing of M F Hussain saab. A wonderful person and a great artist. May his soul rest in peace. (Abhishek Bachchan)
Sad to hear renowned legendary artist M F Husain passes away, RIP!!! (Madhur Bhandarkar)
The legendary MF Husain has left us. Rest in peace sir. (Siddharth)
RIP, M F Husain, son, lover and nemesis of India. (Ranvir Shorey)
Few people had that zest for living as Husain. My walls are full of his notes and drawings left in my office when I wasn’t there. (Pritish Nandy)
Apologies for the lack of understanding your home country showed you. There was nothing vulgar about Husain&’s work. Pity that some illiterate people who saw his stuff had dirty minds. (Vishal Dadlani)
M F Husain who seemed ageless, painting till his last days leaves us with one of India’s greatest legacy of art. (Shekhar Kapur)