Ready to catch 1st flight if Chidambaram calls: MF
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Last Updated: Sunday, November 01, 2009, 15:18
New Delhi: As the government plans to approach the Supreme Court for speedy disposal of all cases against him, renowned painter M F Husain on Sunday said he is ready to return to India at the earliest.

Husain, who is on a self-imposed exile, said he "wholeheartedly”, welcomes the government's move, which will end litigations against him arising out of his paintings.

"If right now I get a call from Mr Chidambaram (Union Home Minister), I will take the first flight to India and congratulate him that the government has done really good," he told an agency over phone from Dubai.

Home Ministry sources said cases filed against Husain across the country over his controversial paintings should be brought to a logical end and that the Centre was contemplating to move the Supreme Court for their expeditious disposal to ensure his early return.

"I am glad that they have woken up. I think this is a great news which I was dreaming about for four years. I was expecting this for a long time," said the 94-year-old painter, who has repeatedly expressed his wish to return to India.

Husain, whose paintings depicting Hindu deities in the nude led to protests and threats by saffron outfits, has been living in Dubai and London for the past few years.

Asked whether he was approached by anyone from the government on his possible return, Husain said, "nothing. Not a word..."

He made it clear that said there was no ban on him from any quarter. "There is no ban on me, nothing," he said.

The Delhi High Court in May last year had quashed some of the criminal proceedings against the nonogenarian painter, saying his paintings were an expression of creativity.

Husain said the fresh indications from authorities were a "positive sign" and expressed trust in the government's ability to protect him.

"If they decide to do it they can, because its a huge big country and a great country," he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, November 01, 2009, 15:18

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