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Mumbai meet condemns moral policing

By Binoy Valsan in Mumbai
Last updated on: May 15, 2007 13:14 IST
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As many as 100 protestors turned up at the entrance of Jehangir Art Gallery in south Mumbai to express their solidarity in upholding the creative liberties of an artist and condemn the growing incidents of moral policing across the country.

The meeting was organised after the arrest of a student artist who stirred up a hornet's nest in Baroda with his paintings of religious icons last week.

The message at the Mumbai meet was loud and clear - protestors with posters, placards and banners denouncing moral policing lined up in support of artists who have suffered the brunt of moral and religious brigades.

Chandra Mohan, the student artist from MS University Baroda and MF Husain were two names that were repeated throughout the meeting.

Husain had dispatched a special sketch to the supporters to express his solidarity to the cause and it was displayed at the meeting venue.

"Mobilising public opinion and ensuring legal action against those responsible is the sole means to tackle the issue," said Ranjit Hoskote, an art critic who was present on the occasion.

The crowd was made up of a considerable number of theatre, television and literary personalities.

"We are living in a democracy, so how can we tolerate it when someone is running a state like a dictator," asked Kitu Gidwani, actress.

The protestors termed Narendra Modi a 'fascist who was against the concept of freedom of expression'.

Some of the protestors had organised a radio broadcast of the meeting to emphasise the message of freedom of expression.

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