MAQBOOL Fida Husain, or simply ‘MF’ to art connoisseurs across the world, has been in the eye of a storm, thanks to some of his recent sketches. The “International Gypsy”, as he likes to describe himself, has been living in Dubai for nearly a year now. Back home in India, a section of Hindu extremists is adamant that this “Muslim painter” must answer for the “insulting” depiction of their deities. At 90-plus, one of the most visible symbols of secular India is facing a court case as well as a concerted hate mail campaign geared to socially isolate him. In a freewheeling interview with MehreRead More →

CONTROVERSIES AND misunderstandings go hand in hand. Actors get blamed for things they may have little to do with, says Anu Aggarwal, the model-actress-turned-monk, while commenting on the recent Padmavat controversy that had bogged down Bollywood for a while. “In this case, Deepika [Padukone] was targeted and not the script writer who wrote the story,” she says. “Freedom to express oneself and viewpoints openly, without a prejudice, comes from an open mind. But let’s not undermine the fact that an open mindset, allowing free thinking of the individual, is required for this to begin with,” she tells Qatar Tribune. Talking about southern superstars KamalRead More →

“HUMAN beings are not property… let us reaffirm the inherent dignity of all men, women, and children. And let us redouble our efforts so that the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — ‘no one shall be held in slavery or servitude’ — ring true.” Kofi Annan Lately, some aid agencies have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Some of their staff have accused of perverse behaviour on duty — they were found offering handouts in exchange for sexual favours. Adding to the shock, however, is the way honchos at these human aid organisations have been trying to explain awayRead More →

AS A newsman having spent more than a decade in Middle East newsrooms, it’s a poser one has often found facetious. One is referring here to the coverage in the media of the long-standing Palestine-Israel imbroglio. Of course the media landscape has undergone humongous changes with focus shifting to the visual and the digital over the last few years. And, unlike in the past, what is overlooked in the print now can always find its pride of place on the new mediums. But despite all this metamorphosis I still find myself slipping into the myriad and, way too often, the incongruous hues of this deeplyRead More →