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 Nepali artist gets death threat for these artwork

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Posted on 09-13-12 12:16 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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   Boundaries on freedom of expression
 
 

YUKTA BAJRACHARYA

KATHMANDU, Sept 13: On September 11, a group of men visited Manish Harijan’s art exhibition ‘The Rise of the Collateral’ with a death threat. Taking offense from Harijan’s painting series on Gods and superheroes which was on display at Siddhartha Art Gallery located in Babermahal, by saying that the paintings were anti-Hindu and anti-nationalist, the group of men who have been said to be activists from the World Hindu Federation (WHF) led by Hem Bahadur Karki, former colonel of the Nepal Army, threatened to shoot the artist, sentence him for exile and burn his paintings.

“The group had, apparently, been frequently visiting and photographing my art work. That day, while a fellow artist and I were at the gallery, the group came in and asked me if I was the artist.

Upon confirming, they said, ‘You know what happened to MF Husain in India, don’t you?’” said Harijan who shares that the group of men were aggressive and not willing to listen to his explanations.

“When I started making these paintings, I did not think things would turn out this way because I know I have not painted anything that is offensive. People have simply misinterpreted my work,” said Harijan.



Artist Manish Harijan (L) and Curator of Siddhartha Art Gallery, Sangeeta Thapa (R) at the Chief District Office on Wednesday. World Hindu Federation’s Hem Bahadur Karki issued life threat to Harijan.

Manish also shares that according to the attackers, they had gone to one of the Nepali artist (whose name Harijan did not want to disclose) with photos of Harijan’s work.

The artist told them that some foreigners had approached him to make similar paintings of Hindu Gods for some amount of money, which he rejected. “The activist thus called me a foreigner’s broker, saying I had taken money to create these ‘offensive’ paintings,” shared Harijan.

Nepali artists have taken this incident as not only a threat to an individual but an infringement to the freedom of expression of all the artists.

Despite the negativity in the situation, Artist Sujan Chitrakar is hopeful.

“This incident seems to have stemmed from a clear lack of understanding of the public. It proves that artists have a lot to work on when it comes to helping the public interpret their work,” said Chitrakar.

He also believes that a new chapter will open out of this. “The changes in the society come out of moments like this,” said Chitrakar.



Commenting on Harijan’s work, he shared, “Harijan’s work, in its true sense, portrays the merging of the Western and the Eastern philosophies. It is an example of the diversity of culture that we are living in.”

Sangeeta Thapa, Curator of Siddhartha Art Gallery, also refuses the allegation of Harijan’s paintings being anti-Hindu and anti-nationalist.

“If they were so, I would not have exhibited them in the first place,” expressed Thapa, who also wrote a statement regarding Harijan’s works in the exhibition catalogue.

“When I asked them to go through the text, they replied that the picture should speak 1,000 words, not the text. Instead of reading it and trying to understand the artist’s perception, they chose to misinterpret his work,” she continued.

“The group filed complaints against the artist and the exhibition in several places including the District Administration Office (DAO) demanding that the artist be arrested,” said Thapa.

The gallery itself has been padlocked. “I tried to make arrangements for the artist’s security but the police never came. When they did, they came to seal the gallery without a warrant,” Thapa said.



“I also went to the Chief District Officer (CDO) to file a case against the death threat. At first they did not agree but after Sangeeta Ma’am came, they consented to take the case,” added Harijan.

“We have summoned both the parties involved and are looking into the matters,” informed DSP Dhiraj Pratap Singh of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police.

When asked about the provisions for the security of the artist, he said that it wasn’t a high level threat but that the artist has been warned to take precautions.

“Until the debate is resolved, the gallery will be sealed,” informed DSP Singh. When asked about the absence of a legal warrant while sealing the gallery, he said, “We got orders from the CDO. In such cases, we don’t require a warrant. His verbal order is the warrant itself.”

“We were told by the CDO that Harijan’s paintings were only appropriate during Gai Jatra and that the artist should paint beautiful paintings that confirm to the traditional ways. They also said that the artist did not have the right to interpret Gods,” added Thapa.

A case of invasion on the freedom of individual thought, the artists of Nepal have shown solidarity and are in preparation to protest against this violation of freedom of expression to ensure that such incidents do not take place in the future again.

 
   
Published on 2012-09-13 11:01:57

 
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Posted on 09-14-12 1:38 PM     [Snapshot: 1560]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Rid,

You pointed out the thing i was thinking. I had a suspicion that the guy was sponsored or motivated by some other religion to villify hindu icons. What kind of fusion is that with Nataraja with a gun and Kali with flipping fingers and Bhairav getting a severe beatings from freakin Captain America.

Christians work hard and invest a lot to show that Muslims are crazy and now they are trying to push hindus to their crazyness. I am not religious but if i was a hindu i would not let this event define myself as a crazy fanatic.

 
Posted on 09-14-12 6:49 PM     [Snapshot: 1777]     Reply [Subscribe]
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If thats not Kali, then thats not Medusa either. Medusa is from greek mythology and is not black. She also doesnt ave six hands.
 
Posted on 09-14-12 7:47 PM     [Snapshot: 1829]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Probably, am the only one who is not hating on this guy and not judging him either or others.
His art has abstract meaning and could mean different to different ppl.

Aba, haami  sojha-sajha nepali , aakash ma baadaal dekhe ni, uh 'Ram bhagwaan jasto' 'uh hanumaan jasto' ,' uh garud jasto' dekhney jaat ley,
yesari sidhai medusa ko tauka bhako jiu ma 6 haat jodd da kaali thanney
ani bhairab ley captain america lai parakram ka saath rokna khojeko bhaan huney drishya ma 'bhairab lai ladayeko' dekhney

ra ahiley ko samaya ma ek matra sansar ko shaktishali manab yaneki 'Obama' ko chitra jasma ek haath ma banduk ra arko ma phool cha ani pheri usko mudra dharmik kisim ko laagney bhaney ni euta santulan kayam gareko jasto dekhiney chitra lai nana bhati dekhney

ajab cha.., jai hos...

j bhaye ni,
keto ko tasbir dekhnu bhanda agadi nai mailey anuman lagai sakya thiye, yo pakkai comic pasal chaharney thito hunu parcha,

nabhandai .. bhakkarai ko thito rahecha..

I liked the art, I took and grasped the intention differently, not in religious manner at all and if he really meant to demean others religious figures, that he only knows within, it's an unfortunate act. It also means he wanted to have some cheap fame in short period of time using these scandalous portrayals of figures.

Uslai shri PashupatiNath ley rakcha garun.


 
Posted on 09-14-12 9:37 PM     [Snapshot: 1916]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Right wrong aside, dont tell me those depictions were not based upon the religious figure. You'd be either too naiive or in a denial.
 
Posted on 09-14-12 9:55 PM     [Snapshot: 1932]     Reply [Subscribe]
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These days people are slowly beginning to question traditional, cultural and religious practices that don't make sense. Religion is not as cool as it used to be. It's not fashionable to be religious and in 50 years time the value of religion in everyone's lives are set to decline. There is a religious faction that benefits from religion and they will try very hard to make people believe in religion but it's like in ancient times when the religious figures were adamant that moon was god and sun was god. The truth shall set everyone free.

Can you guys stop being religious fanatics? Religion is bunch of stories and you guys agree that someone should be killed for writing something that draws caricature on religious figures? You guys sure need to set your priorities straight.


 
Posted on 09-14-12 10:47 PM     [Snapshot: 2012]     Reply [Subscribe]
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mailey bhairab lai bhairab nai bhaneko chu, I don't think I'm on denial. Yeah, I don't want to be part of any religious factions and it doesn't mean anything to me, believe me when I said that I meant it, it doesnt mean anything to me.


and, I agree with reli,
religions kill, it separates, it divides,
humanity unites, the only thing that we don't have these days..




 
Posted on 09-15-12 12:13 AM     [Snapshot: 2066]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Bitter
You have a point. Art is what you observe. You dont see religious connotation there theni shouldnt force you to see one.

Reli, did you even read the earlier posts before you commented? Who is saying the threat is justified? Tettikai, tato na chharo.

 
Posted on 09-15-12 6:19 PM     [Snapshot: 2401]     Reply [Subscribe]
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नया मुल्हा ज्यादा प्याज खाता है भन्ने सुनेको थिए , नया पादरी को पदगी गुथे पछी पगडी गुथाउनेको चाकडी गर्ने पर्यो - यदि तेसो हो भने असल नियति भएन | Then it is not an creation but like the movie to bash others.

 
Posted on 09-16-12 1:19 AM     [Snapshot: 2518]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I hope that artist die soon for insulting others beliefs
 
Posted on 09-16-12 1:27 AM     [Snapshot: 2521]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Is he trying to be salman rusdie, or he is he trying to apply for asylum coz now one cannot show the threat relating to maoist anymore, so if he applies for asylum, then can be genuine case and i dont think his case will be disapproved, just need the extraordinary mind.

i remember a lady applied for asylum in usa fearing for life from drug cartels coz she stood for police chiefs nobody dares to.and she got it with benefits too.
 
Posted on 09-16-12 1:44 AM     [Snapshot: 2538]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Bittertruth no offense bro you are modernized nepali on way to be an American!
To whom our old nepali culture are old crappy things and believe in stupid western culture.
I am not criticizing western culture , they are good on their own way but new follower like you make it look like stupid.
Just dont forget non of nation of whole world has done progress by forgetting their old culture . even in here in US red indian monuments are preserved. 
kaali bhairab buddha are not only god of hindu they are also our culture ; if you start making them a joke just for shake of so called art or anything ; hindus are going to be next extremist group. 
Last edited: 16-Sep-12 02:02 AM

 
Posted on 09-16-12 10:49 AM     [Snapshot: 2691]     Reply [Subscribe]
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facebook bro, there is another phony 'bittertruth' nickname rampant now a days , I thought it wasn't serious until I saw the post above cussing someone to die but now it's getting serious.
my nickname is 'bittertruth' but anything other than that nick is not me.

Anyway, as per your comment, I'm not religious. I didn't disrespect any culture either, that was just my view. I believe in oneness and that strong belief before I met anyone was profound since childhood. It must be co-incidence, that I came to know the people of my thought is not only here in West but all around the world.

If you want to know what I believe, here is little snippet :D 


 
Posted on 09-16-12 5:11 PM     [Snapshot: 2829]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 Will someone define what the FREEDOM OF SPEECH is? I want to punch right on the nose of this HARIJAN guy, is that my freedom of action??  IDK why Sajha is being harboured by bunch of hypocrites.
 
Posted on 09-16-12 6:18 PM     [Snapshot: 2875]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 Freedom of speech is a weapon use by people like Hirajan to insult others fellings and to hurt others cultural value like "Innocense of muslim" movie in USA and Mf hussain in India . 
 
Posted on 09-16-12 6:24 PM     [Snapshot: 2891]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I dont support the death threat.
Having said that, wouldnt that also be protected under freedom of speech?
Think about it.
 
Posted on 09-17-12 1:10 PM     [Snapshot: 3098]     Reply [Subscribe]
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i don't know with what mindset he created those painting but to be honest, i don't see any art in it. what is the symbolism of Kali on superwoman costume giving a finger. can anyone enlighten me ? and how come Kali has snake hair ? now how is she related to Medusa of ancient Greek character who has such hair.


 
Posted on 09-17-12 1:49 PM     [Snapshot: 3116]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Before the divine art is work out, an astute pure devotee of Hindu's painter will perform a pooka and archana to lord Ganesha with the art materials too will be revealed to the Supreme Deity inorder to het
 
Posted on 09-17-12 1:58 PM     [Snapshot: 3135]     Reply [Subscribe]
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....get blessing and Bhakti to the God and the divine arts to be respect itself... If the art have no shown but against to..hence deprived the fields itself how will it be ...or it just another provokes ..the painter should be
blame..
 
Posted on 09-17-12 2:03 PM     [Snapshot: 3144]     Reply [Subscribe]
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hajur***[puuja)... It is true art has no boundaries... But a jokes and sensitivity of relligious matters is beyond the said was...
 
Posted on 09-17-12 2:22 PM     [Snapshot: 3167]     Reply [Subscribe]
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DId you just google translate your Nepali to English up there?
 



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