Tributes paid to M.F. Husain in London
At a memorial held at the Orchard Room of the Dorchester Hotel here on Saturday, speakers like Lord Gulam Noon, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram and former Tennis player Naresh Kumar lauded the outstanding achievements of Mr. Husain, who died here on Thursday, aged 95.
Prominent among those present included Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, actor Randhir Kapoor, writer Shobaa De and NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.
At the outset, a portrait of Husain was garlanded and a big candle was lit in memory of the departed soul.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Owais, the youngest of the six children of Husain, said, “There were long absences at home but even in the absence he (Husain) was present with us. He was very proud of his work and the pride came from hard work, nothing else.”
Mr. Ram said, “It was a sorry situation that Husain had to take up Qatari citizenship as he was harassed and hounded by bigoted people. It was sad that it could not go back to India.”
Mr. Naresh, a close friend of Husain, said, “he was a remarkable man, not only a painter but a photographer, dancer and writer and he wrote film scripts as well.”
Anwar Siddiqui, a friend of the artist, said that he had received many messages from common friends “who were sad and angry but did not know which way to turn.”
Lord Gulam Noon recalled his long association with Husain and said “Husain sab one day came to me and said he had done a portrait of my brother in 1936 and wanted to see it. I went in search of it and found it at my ancestral home, rolled up and preserved in a cupboard. I brought it back and got it autographed again by the artist. In the early days he used to sign as Maqbool.”
Lord Noon said though Husain had been treated badly by fringe elements he was never bitter.
At the time of his death, Husain was working on two major series — one on Indian civilisation and the other on Arab Civilisation. These two works have remained unfinished.