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GUWAHATI: Two paintings by an Assam-based artist have been condemned by several organisations as it allegedly dishonours the National Flag. The organisations have also demanded arrest of the artist.
"The act of dishonouring the National Flag under the guise of artistic freedom cannot be tolerated and besides the condemning the act we also demand that the artist be arrested immediately", a statement issued by the All India Patriotic Forum, Assam branch stated.
The artist Akram Hussain, who hails from Goalpara is a graduate of Government Art College and had recently displayed two paintings at a group exhibition in the Assam State Art Gallery which ended on April 8.
In one of the paintings, Hussain had symbolically drawn an unfurled Tricolour on which many objectionable items including liquor bottles were heaped. Meanwhile, in the other painting, Lord Krishna was shown with semi-nude modern girls.
"The exhibition of the paintings … Was in poor light and an offence that hurts the sentiments of millions of patriots," the statement said.
Under the 'Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971′ whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to the National Flag, deserves to be punished.
The Journalists' Forum, Assam, Assam Public Works and Patriotic People's Front have also extended support to the demand for punishing Hussain for misusing the freedom of expression.
The organizations also criticized the Directorate of Cultural Affairs for allowing such an exhibition to be held at the State Art Gallery.