VHP, intellectuals battle over nude art show
New Delhi: The capital saw two groups - Durga Vahini, the women's arm of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and a band of 20 intellectuals - engage in heated arguments over an exhibition titled "The Naked and the Nude" at a gallery here. Over 50 activists of the Durga Vahini, carrying placards against nudity, assembled outside the Delhi Art Gallery, Hauz Khas studio village, demanding that the gallery withdraw the exhibition.
The group of intellectuals and artists, meanwhile, including photographer-activist Ram Rahman, critic Nilanjana S. Roy, and painters Manu Parekh and Kanchan Chander, defended the exhibition saying the protest was an attempt to stifle creative expression.
Durga Vahini activists raised slogans like "Ham Bharat Ki Nari Hain, Band Karo, Band Karo (We are Indian Women, Shut down the Exhibition!)" and "Nagnata bardasht nahin (We will not tolerate nudity)". The artists and writers attempted to persuade the protestors, explaining that such acts would quell freedom in artistic and cultural pursuits.
A posse of at least 30 policemen and private security guards cordoned off the exhibition venue, allowing protestors to battle it out. The gallery owner and staff refused to be intimidated by the protests, and the exhibition continued.
"Nudity would not be tolerated in art in view of the recent incidents of gender atrocities and rape. It goes against Indian moral sensibility," a senior functionary of the Durga Vahini told IANS, refusing to be identified.
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Date 24-05-13, Duration 2:04, Views 64