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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    March 02, 2010

    Does MF Husain accepting Qatari citizenship mean India is intolerant?

    Last week, MF Husain revealed that he had been offered Qatari citizenship.

    Since then, there has been an avalanche of discussions on news channels, editorials / comment pieces / reader comments in newspapers and on blogs & other social networking sites about whether this meant that those who were responsible for him living in exile for the last 3-4 years have won.

    In my opinion, MF Hussain accepting Qatar's offer of citizenship actually proves that when it comes to tolerance, there're few others better than us Indians.

    • We never objected to him using 'Husain' as his last name. It breaks all spell-checkers. The internationally accepted norms only include Hussain, Hossain and Hussein. In fact, come to think of it, it's quite likely that the spelling has been the main reason for various 'nationalist' groups protesting whenever someone mentions 'MF' and 'Husain' in the same sentence, even when he is actually being abused! A parallel example would be Suzuki opposing RSSLN Bhaskarudu's appointment as the MD of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. in 1997. It was very obvious even then that Suzuki Motor Corporation was primarily concerned over figuring out what his name really was. Even now, nearly 13 years later, no-one seems to know!
    • India's constitution does not prevent someone from accepting the citizenship of another country. Yes, it does mean that they would cease to be a citizen, but we do provide the option of being called an 'Overseas citizen of India'. If that isn't tolerance, what is?
    • If MF Husain really thinks that Qatar is likely to be more liberal and tolerant, then good for him! India would have always had the option of sending in the Navy and RAW to kidnap him. But we're far too tolerant to do that!
    Is India intolerant? Let's hear a resounding No to that!

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