On Ganesh Chaturthi, Twitter fumes over these MF Husain paintings of the Hindu deity

While people celebrate the auspicious festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, late Indian painter MF Husain's paintings of the deity have sparked a new debate.

The auspicious Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is here. The ten-day long festival , which is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, commences today and is celebrated to honour the birth of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with much gusto across India. Throughout the country, people model beautiful, embellished idols of the Hindu God to celebrate the festival. However, the expression of art is not limited to just sculpting. People communicate their love for the festivities through various art forms be it dancing, singing or even painting.

In light of the festival, Twitter user Vaibhav Vishal shared paintings of the Hindu deity, paintings by the (in)famous Indian painter, late MF Husain. “These are some of the Ganeshas painted by MF Hussain. Yeah, he’s the same guy who was shunted out of India for hurting religious sentiments,” wrote Vishal. The paintings have turned into a subject of debate on Twitter as Husain’s modernised paintings of nude Hindu Goddesses have been quite a controversial topic.

In the past, MF Husain’s paintings of religious deities have hurt the sentiments of several Hindu nationalist groups who deemed them obscene and several complaints were filed against the artist. Even in 2014, exhibitors took down a painting of Ganesha by Husain from the Delhi Art Gallery (DAG) at JW Marriott in Mumbai to avoid protests. The painting of Lord Ganesha sitting in the lap of Parvati became a subject of controversy as the depiction of a God next to a nude woman was considered vulgar.

From the looks of it, even after the painter’s demise, his art continues to be contentious as Twitter raged over the paintings, which, interestingly, are not “obscene” in any manner.

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