GUWAHATI, April 11 � The All India Patriotic Forum, Assam branch, has vehemently condemned the act of dishonouring the National Flag in the name of artistic freedom by a person named Akram Hussain, and demanded that the authorities concerned arrest him immediately.
�The exhibition of the paintings of the so-called artist showing the Indian civilization, culture, religion and heritage in poor light, was held recently at the State Art Gallery. The exhibition included a painting dishonouring the Tricolour, which is an unforgivable offence,� said a joint statement by several organizations.
�In a painting, Hussain has symbolically drawn an unfurled Tricolour pouring many objectionable items like liquor bottles, under garments, etc. The forum terms the act as an offence that hurts the sentiments of millions of patriots,� added the statement.
Arguing that along with the national pride, the Tricolour symbolizes the sacrifices made by innumerable martyrs of the country, the forum said that bravehearts of Assam like Kanaklata, Mukunda Kakati, Kushal Konwar, Bhogeswari Phukanani, Tilak Deka and many others laid their lives to protect the national honour.
It may be mentioned that under the �Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971�, whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to the National Flag, deserves to be punished.
The term Indian National Flag includes any picture, painting, drawing or photograph, or other visible representation of the Tricolour, or of any part or parts thereof, made of any substance or represented on any substance, added the statement.
The Journalists� Forum, Assam, Assam Public Works and Patriotic People�s Front have also extended their support to the demand for punishing Hussain for this act of misusing his freedom of expression.
The organizations also criticized the Directorate of Cultural Affairs for allowing such an exhibition to be held at the State Art Gallery.