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Barefoot across the Nation: M F Husain and the Idea of India (Visual and Media Histories) Hardcover – November 2, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0415585941 ISBN-10: 0415585945

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Product Details

  • Series: Visual and Media Histories
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415585945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415585941
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,803,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Sumathi Ramaswamy is Professor of History at Duke University.

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In his long life as a Muslim painter, starting at the Partition by staying in India, and ending by achieving the maximum amount of recognition from the government in terms of citizen awards, Maqbool Fida Husain, at age 93, decided to take his family and leave India for Qatar, where he gave up his Indian passport. He died in London two years later (2011), age 95.

Husain had endured a decade of attacks by Hindu fundamentalists who claimed he desecrated the images of Hindu gods and goddesses, disrupting the devotional atmosphere of worshipers. Following verbal and physical attacks, as well as mounting unresolved legal suits, he faced a complete reversal of his national status and the destruction of any future for him in India.

The authors examine many problems that remain for art, free speech and an idea of the Indian nation in the events that surrounded Husain in his last years. The book was published six months before his death.

This is an academic text which entertains the points of view of 12 authors (9 women, 3 men) who speak separately to their own issues. As a group however, they firmly represent a rhetorical rebuttal to the sway of events on the ground. They conference among themselves in the development of each other's papers, resulting in a combined text of both continuity and diversity. It can read at times like the recorded minutes of a symposium. Text includes 60 illustrations.

I give this book credit mostly for its usefulness. While many books have existed on the painter, they are either old, out-of-print, and/or in great demand so as to make them available only at exorbitant prices. It has two publishers, Routledge/Hardcover (Amazon), and the South Asia edition softcover from Yoda Press.
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