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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) A group of 33 artists, writers, filmmakers, art enthusiasts, academicians and others have expressed deep anguish over and strongly condemned recent attempts by right-wing political forces to harass artist writers.
''We would like to assure our countrymen in general that Hussain is not only one of the most significant living artists of India but he truly represents the multi-cultural and multi-religious mosaic of our identity,'' they said in a signed''Appeal for Sanity''.
Sangh organisations have been accusing Hussain of denigrating Hindu gods and goddesses through his paintings. Some people have also dragged the artist to court over the issue.
In the signed appeal, Hussain's supporters recalled his secular upbringing in the temple town of Pandharpur, Maharashtra, and his distinguished career as an artist.
''Hussain has done a series of paintings not only of Islam and Hinduism but also on Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Buddism, Jainism and Sikhism. His work celebrates the life of ordinary Indians.
''To accuse such an artist of religious insensitivity or disrespect for Bharat Mata is not only an example of ignorance but perhaps of mischief. Such mischievous acts can only arise out of a narrow mindedness which is completely contrary to the tolerance and breadth of vision of Indian culture,'' they said.
Signatories to the appeal include filmmakers Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Anwar Jamal and K Bikram Singh, painters Amitava Das, Gopi Gajwani, K G Subramanyam, Manu Parekh and Chamali Ramachandran, writers Anamika, Ashok Vajpeyi, Namvar Singh, Kunwar Narain, Ramchandra Gandhi, Rajendra Yadav and Nand Kishore Acharya, among others.