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BJP mourns MF Husain's death; Bajrang Dal opposes burial in India

Husain, who died in London Thursday, was forced to live in self-imposed exile due to death threats from Hindu radicals, including the Bajrang Dal.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday condoled the demise of famous artist Maqbool Fida Husain but said he "had got distanced from India and Indians", while Hindu rightwing outfit Bajrang Dal said the artist had insulted the community and it will oppose any move to bring his body back to the country.  

Husain, who died in London Thursday, was forced to live in self-imposed exile due to death threats from Hindu radicals, including the Bajrang Dal.

BJP leader Ananth Kumar said Husain had contributed to Indian art.

"We offer our condolences on his demise," he told reporters at the party's official briefing here.

BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay said Husain should have come back and "respected sentiments of people".

"He (Husain) should have come back, respected the law and people's sentiments and merged his breath and body with Indian soil. Alas, not only he got distanced from Indians but also from India," Vijay told IANS.

He said the party had not opposed his return to India but wanted that "he should have respected sentiments of Indian people."

"His caricature of Durga and Bharat Mata was obnoxious and unacceptable," he said.

Bajrang Dal, an affiliate of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), however, said that Husain spent time in exile as he had insulted the country's majority community.

"The portrayal of Hindu goddesses in nude is an unpardonable offence. No society will tolerate this," Bajrang Dal spokeman Vinod Bansal told IANS.

He said his organisation will oppose any move to bring Husain's body back to the country.

Bansal also took exception to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance leaders paying glowing tributes to Husain.

"While they termed demise of a man who insulted a religion as a national loss, they allowed attacks on patriotic people protesting against corruption with lathis," he said.
 

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