Aurangzeb painting exhibit off after row

7 03 2008
Aurangazeb exhibition creates flutter
(Deccan Chronicle Chennai)

Chennai, March 6: The Chennai police on Thursday detained three women associated with an art exhibition after forcing them to close down the show, where a French artist had displayed his paintings on Mughal emperor Aurangazeb.

The police took Saraswathi (65), Dr.Vijayalakshmi (62) and Malathi (47) to the Thousand Lights station at around 7.30 p.m. for enquiry into charges of assisting an exhibition by French journalist Francois Gautier at Lalit Kala Akademi’s (LKA) Regional Centre on Greams Road. They were detained in the station for half-an-hour.

Earlier in the day, tension prevailed on LKA premises when the police, Hindu Munnani president Rama Gopalan and Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali visited the exhibition. The visit of the police came in the wake of three letters including one from an advocate Mr Zainudeen to Lalit Kala Akademi stating that the exhibition would disturb communal harmony. The police initially suggested removal of two pictures depicting demolition of Keshava Rai temple in Mathura and that of Somnath temple by the armies of Aurangazeb.

However, the organisers of the exhibition told the police that they would not remove the pictures as it violated their artistic freedom. Janata party president Ms Chandralekha rushed to the spot to express solidarity with the organisers of the exhibition. Talking to this newspaper, Ms Saraswati (65) said, “The police was rude to us. They asked us whether we were terrorists. We were detained in the station for more than half an hour and they did not allow us to contact our family.” Ms Malathi said, “The police entered the exhibition hall at 7.30 pm and threw away some paintings.” However, the police and LKA officials denied breaking any art pieces put up at the exhibition.

Later in the day, two Muslim outfits Tamil Nadu Towheed Jamaat and Samooha Neethi Peravai protested in front of the LKA demanding that the exhibition be called off as it would disturb religious amity. FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism), an art foundation of Mr Francois Gautier, has been organizing historical art exhibitions on emperors such as Aurangazeb and Shivaji in the metropolitan cities including New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai for the last two years.

Mr Francois said, “I have conducted the same exhibition at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. No one protested. It is necessary to create a dialogue between communities and put an end to the intolerant culture of Aurangazeb. Let us inculcate the cosmopolitan spirit of Dara Shkoh, the brother of Aurangazeb, who learnt Upanishads and had a dialogue with the Hindu brethren.” Ms Chandralekha said, “This is atrocious. The DMK-led government has always been against the Hindus. This incident also vindicated that.”

Mr Balasubramanian, Joint Commissioner of police, said, “The exhibition is called off temporarily as a few people raised objections to the exhibits. As we feared that it might create a law and order problem, we advised the organisers to obtain permission before holding the exhibition again.” Meanwhile, artist Francois met the Joint Commissioner and said he did not have any ulterior motive in holding the exhibition and had only wanted to create an awareness on Indian history.

Aurangzeb art expo cancelled after objections

(The Statesman)

Chennai, March 6: An art exhibition on the life of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb was today cancelled following directions from police after some Muslim individuals objected to two paintings showing demolition of temples in Somnath and Mathura on the ground that they would “disturb peace” in Tamil Nadu.
Four persons, including Mr R Saraswathi, a volunteer of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (Fact), the organisers of the exhibition, have been detained for interrogation, a senior police official said.
“If found innocent, they would be let off,” he said.
The foundation is run by Delhi-based French journalist Francois Gautier.
Police said some Muslims, who came to the Lalith Kala Academy, the venue of the exibition, raised objections to the paintings, depicting Aurangazeb’s forces demolishing Hindu temples at Somnath and Mathura.
“They claimed that the pictures were sending wrong messages which could lead to communal hatred following which we asked Fact to cancel the exhibition,” the official said. The exhibition which opened on 3 March was scheduled to run till March 9. Earlier in the day, regional secretary of the academy Mr RM Palaniappan told reporters that he was waiting for orders from the Delhi headquarters on cancelling the show. n PTI

Aurangzeb painting exhibit off after row

(Asian age)

Chennai, March 6: An art exhibition on the life of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb was on Thursday cancelled following directions from the police after some Muslim individuals objected to two paintings showing demolition of temples in Somnath and Mathura on the ground that they would “disturb peace” in Tamil Nadu.

Four persons, including R. Saraswathi, a volunteer of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT), the organisers of the exhibition, have been detained for interrogation, a senior police official said.

“If found innocent, they would be let off,” he said.

The foundation is run by Delhi-based French journalist Francois Gautier.

The police said some Muslims, who came to the Lalit Kala Akademi, the venue of the exhibition, raised objections to the paintings, depicting Aurangazeb’s forces demolishing Hindu temples at Somnath and Mathura.

“They claimed that the pictures were sending wrong messages which could lead to communal hatred following which we asked FACT to cancel the exhibition,” the official said.

The exhibition which opened on March 3 was scheduled to run till March 9.

Earlier in the day, regional secretary of the academy R.M. Palaniappan told reporters that he was waiting for orders from the Delhi headquarters on cancelling the show, following similar complaints on Wednesday.

However, he could not be reached for comments after the exhibition was cancelled.

The Hindu Munnani, which earlier threatened to stage a demonstration if the exhibition was cancelled, said a decision on the protest would be taken on Friday morning. (PTI)

News that National Media Censors – Muslim Vandalism in Chennai
by Singha on Mar 07, 2008 07:22 AM | Hide replies
From Sulekha
Aurangzeb art expo cancelled after objections

Chennai, March 6: An art exhibition on the life of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb was today cancelled following directions from police after some Muslim individuals objected to two paintings showing demolition of temples in Somnath and Mathura on the ground that they would %u201Cdisturb peace%u201D in Tamil Nadu.

Four persons, including Mr R Saraswathi, a volunteer of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (Fact), the organisers of the exhibition, have been detained for interrogation, a senior police official said.

If found innocent, they would be let off, he said.

The foundation is run by Delhi-based French journalist Francois Gautier.
Police said some Muslims, who came to the Lalith Kala Academy, the venue of the exibition, raised objections to the paintings, depicting Aurangazeb’s forces demolishing Hindu temples at Somnath and Mathura.

They claimed that the pictures were sending wrong messages which could lead to communal hatred following which we asked Fact to cancel the exhibition, the official said. The exhibition which opened on 3 March was scheduled to run till March 9. Earlier in the day, regional secretary of the academy Mr RM Palaniappan told reporters that he was waiting for orders from the Delhi headquarters on cancelling the show. n PTI

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