“I want to guard flowers against animals
I admire beauty and promote love
I want a wholesome peace with no crack
That's why I'm continuously under attack!”


A slap in the face of Indian democracy

for MF Husain 1915—2011   

By Habib Sulemani

India! You're a callous assassin, who declared
Maqbool Fida Husain a blasphemer and killed
him mercilessly outside his home!

Don’t be street smart. The nonagenarian artist
with boyish enthusiasm didn’t die a natural
death—your gangsters forcibly sent him into
exile, which was like separating a newborn from
the mother to die a painful death!

India! You destroyed the barefoot painter as if
he was a grotesque painting of Mother Nature!

You acknowledged the artist as a Desi Picasso
but where the genuine maestros are in this fake
society? I know you really don’t know! The only
thing you know is butchery—killing at state and
communal levels without a ceasefire—that is what
we’ve seen since the supposed independence!

You killed the iconoclastic artist born to a Muslim
family. He had committed no crime—had fallen in
love with the legendary charming Hindu goddesses.
The only thing he could do in this forbidden love
affair was to rely on his imagination—and paint the
deities in nude—but he was not bawdy rude!

The dead artist considered Hinduism more tolerant
and used nudity as a metaphor for purity!

The world went crazy when the artist painted 
and paid in millions for his masterpieces. The 
fakir flourished and soon was in a Ferrari and, 
India, your goons developed criminal jealousy!

You killed an artist with the help of your holy 
gangsters in such a tactful way (like the ISI)
that neither we can call him a martyr nor
register any criminal case against the assassins!

You killed him in a painful way—and our wicked
security forces, who killed an unarmed young man,
Sarfraz Shah, brutally in Karachi, are also
ashamed of your cruelty to an elderly artist!

India! You deserve capital punishment.
Don't be shocked. Death penalty is for
brutal nation-states not human beings!

India! You've become a country of the Hindu Taliban.
There is no more place for any Rabindranath Tagore,
C. V. Raman, Amartya Sen or Khushwant Singh. Now
you totally belong to the Bal Thackerays (similar to
Pakistan, where an Abdus Salam has no place, and the
Islamic Republic belongs to Maulana Fazlus and their
godfather generals). This is the level of intellectual
bankruptcy of a democracy. What a fall from grace!

India! You didn't allow an artist, with a bohemian
lifestyle, to live in his birthplace with all his creative
curiosity, but you officially facilitate televangelists to
spread sectarian, racial and nationalistic hatred
beyond your borders. WTF!

You can't provide bread to the poor but proudly
claim that you’re the would-be global power
(probably with nukes under a loose dhoti).
India! It sounds ridiculous!

You couldn't produce a single leader despite being
the most crowded democracy globally. You’re not 
a country but a family’s personal property—that
can be controlled through puppets or even a puppy!

Nehru betrayed the Gandhi, and hijacked the fakir-like 
founding-father’s surname besides you—the country. 
What a gimmick. It shows a typical ghetto mentality!

India! Where is liberty—the essence of a real democracy?
What was the aim of the self-styled independence: to get
rid of the British colonial rule or adoption of a new type of
slavery? Did the Subcontinent lose over a million lives in
communal violence for this biggest bigotry?

Persecution of writers, poets, painters, sculptors,
scientists and intellectuals is a situation beyond
embarrassment. It’s criminal. Do you understand?

(Oh my gosh! The entire region has got a silly face:
from Bangladesh to Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to
Bhutan, South Asia has become a Talibanistan!)

India! Listen to me carefully! If Scotland can
seek independence from an aging monarchy in
a democratic way—then why not the subdued
South Asians can reject the current toothless
democracy? Soon the younger generation
would be free of the traditional tyranny!

My prose poetry may cause offense to you or other
countries in this tribal region, where everyone has
got a gun and is scanning the neighborhood from
the balcony. Enemy, enemy, everyone is an enemy!

You can laugh at me—I know! But come out 
of the fantasy world (you better leave it for
creative writers) and face the harshest universal
reality. You've to prove yourself as a visionary!

South Asia! Get shot of your weird desi mentality
to get liberty. Talking about liberty is not my
typical poetic rant—it’s a universal decree!