M.F. Husain surrenders Indian passport in Qatar

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Iconic artist Maqbool Fida Husain, who has been granted Qatari citizenship, has surrendered his Indian passport to the Indian embassy in Doha, an official said.

The 95-year-old painter met Deepa Wadhwa, India’s ambassador to Qatar, Sunday and surrendered his Indian passport, M.R. Qureshi, second secretary at the Indian embassy in Doha, told IANS over the phone.

Indian law prohibits dual citizenship. Once someone accepts citizenship of another country, he has to forego his Indian passport.

Under attack from sections of the Hindu right, India’s most celebrated artist has been shuttling between Dubai and London for the last four years.

The painter has many lawsuits pending against him across the country for his paintings of goddesses that some Hindus find sacrilegious. He has been living abroad since 2006.

Last week, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday said the government would be ‘very happy’ if Husain returns home after years of self-imposed exile.

The minister said the government had assured his family full security to Husain if he wished to return to India.

Chidambaram said there were some cases against the painter in some courts and his lawyers could find a way to put an end to those.

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