New Delhi, Feb 25: Even as India is still contemplating on bringing back the self-exiled eminent artist M F Husain, he has been offered a Qatar nationality.
95-year-old Husain, who had called up 'The Hindu' editor N Ram from Dubai said that he was offered the Dubai nationality even though he had not applied for it.
The report said that the honor was confered to him at the instance of the emirate's ruling family.
"I'm honoured by Qatar nationality but deeply saddened by my forced exile. I, the Indian-born painter, will have to give up the citizenship of my land of birth if I accept nationality," Husain was quoted in the newspaper.
In a news agency report photographer, designer and activist Ram Rahman, Husain's family friend, said that the artist may consider accepting the nationality as he cannot possibly return to India.
'The citizenship has been offered by the sheikha, the wife of the sheikh of Qatar, and it has several implications.
'On a personal note, I feel it is quite clear that the man who is 95 years old and cannot return to his country to die, there is no point of him remaining an Indian citizen.'
'It would be a tragedy. He has not given up his Indian citizenship yet but if he decides to take up the Qatari offer, he will not remain an Indian citizen anymore. It is also a reflection of our legal system because the cases against him will drag on for 20-30 years.... so it is justified if he takes up the Qatari offer,' Rahman said in the news agency report.
Hussain was forced to leave India in 2006 by the Hindu fundamentalist for his nude paintings of Hindu gods and goddess, including painting a nude portrait of Mother India.
He has been living between Dubai and London ever since.
Husain had expressed his desire to come back to his country on several occasions.
In a positive response to it, on Oct 2009, Home Minister P Chidambaram had said that the government would ensure a speedy return of the artist and if things goes out well he can be back by Dec 2009.
It seems that Husain's dream to came back to India would take him some more time.