MF Husain, India’s most prolific and controversial artist, leaves behind a great body of work whose value will jump manifold with his passing away
The nation and the art world are yet to come to terms with the death of India's most prolific and controversial artist, MF Husain. One of the best-selling Indian artists, Husain proved that Indian art could command the same prestige and value as that by Western contemporaries. Dedicated Husain collectors will mourn the passing away of a legend, but his works are doubly precious now.
"Husain's paintings always commanded substantial value, but now, when no new paintings will be added to the collection, the paintings will be more valuable. Not only are his paintings great works of art, but they are a sound investment," said Rajan Jayakar, eminent collector and advocate.
Husain was one of the few painters who churned out works at a rapid pace; yet the volume never diminished the value of his creations. It is no mean achievement that the man, who painted film hoardings for a livelihood early on in life, was described by none other than Forbes magazine as the "Pablo Picasso of India".
His platinum locks, sage-like looks and the brush that he carried always like a king's sceptre, increased the enigma. His aura and his bold, sharp, cubism-inspired style added value to his works and cemented his position as one of the stalwarts in India's artistic canon.
People who own Husain's works may now be left with something that is more precious. Apart from private collectors, many industrial houses like the Tatas, Godrej and Birla Academy in Kolkata are home to a number of his creations.
Husain used to gift away a lot of paintings to his friends. Amitabh Bachchan tweeted that Husain had painted two works for him personally, one of them during the filming of Coolie, when Bachchan was hospitalised. Celebrities like Shobhaa De and Pritish Nandy own quite a few of his creations.
While some people may be apprehensive about the value of controversial paintings, Mr Jayakar thinks these paintings will emerge as the most valuable ones. "Art is like movies, more controversy means more money. But, more importantly, rarer pieces are more precious," he said. "The controversial paintings are few in number, and so their value will appreciate far more than his other creations."
"The more precious a thing is, the more the reluctance to part with it," said Udit Chaudhuri, art connoisseur and son of famous sculptor Sankho Chaudhuri. "I don't think there will be an immediate jump which we see in share markets when something happens. The value of art depends on demand, but with Husain, we can expect substantial appreciation." A prominent art dealer estimated that it is possible that his paintings may appreciate as much as two and a half times in value after his death.
Union minister for corporate affairs Murli Deora was one of Husain's close friends, and owns many of his paintings. Surprisingly, despite the value of these works (even prior to the artist's death), Mr Deora has declared that his assets are worth only Rs62 lakh!
Husain's approach was completely different from the dominant Bengali school, but it established a place for Indian art in the international canvas. The painting 'Battle of Ganga and Yamuna: Mahabharata 12' created a record in 2008, when it sold for $1.6 million at an auction. Recently, three of his paintings were auctioned at Rs2.32 crore, and an unnamed oil painting was priced at Rs1.23 crore.
Along the way, Husain won accolades and collected several national and international awards, including the Padma Shree and a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his 1967 film Through the Eyes of a Painter. He went on to direct two more Hindi films, and painted actresses like Amrita Rao, Anushka Sharma and most famously, Madhuri Dixit.
Yet, his nude paintings of Hindu Godesses resulted in a saffron uproar, and he went on a self-imposed exile. He got citizenship in Qatar, and frequented London. He often expressed his longing to come back, and declared his faith in Indian democracy, while emphasising that he had "never betrayed India".
Following the notification, general insurers would now have to file the draft agreement of the proposed merger with IRDA and also the respective balance sheet while seeking approval from the regulator
New Delhi: The Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) has notified the merger and acquisition (M&A) guidelines for general insurance companies thereby paving way for consolidation in the sector, reports PTI.
The regulation-Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Scheme of Amalgamation and Transfer of General Insurance Business) Regulations, 2011-would apply to all private general insurance companies with immediate effect.
With more than 10 years after opening up of the insurance sector, the regulations would pave way for M&As between 20 private sector players, most of who have foreign investment that is capped at 26%.
Following this, the general insurers would now have to file the draft agreement of the proposed merger with IRDA and also the respective balance sheet while seeking approval from the regulator.
The regulator has retained with itself the power to vet the valuations arrived at by the companies involved in M&As, saying that the authority would carry out an independent valuation of the insurance business of the transacting parties to arrive at the valuation.
In order to safeguard policyholders' interest, IRDA has mandated the insurers to inform their respective customers about the deal, it said.
Besides IRDA, an acquirer would need to have approvals from the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry, in case it has foreign direct investment. It also needs to have clearance of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
According to industry players, most of the private sector general insurance companies require fresh infusion of capital which may come from foreign partners, who have been constrained by the FDI cap. The Bill to raise the FDI ceiling is pending in Parliament.
The general insurance business has remained loss making for want of capital, which is constrained due cap on foreign capital infusion.
Till now, the Insurance Act provided for the M&As only for life insurance companies.
The company was being probed for various violations of rules between April 2007 and March 2009. These included lack of documentary proof for a branch office, collection of excess securities transaction tax and collection of cheque in the name of Reliance Money, among other irregularities
Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today agreed to settle a probe against Reliance Securities (RSL) for a suspected breach of regulations, after the Anil Ambani group firm offered to pay Rs25 lakh among various settlement terms, reports PTI.
Brokerage firm RSL will also not register any new clients for the next 45 days and would spend Rs1 crore on investor education and awareness programs, as per the terms of the settlement with SEBI.
The company was being probed for alleged violations of rules concerning code of conduct for brokerage entities between the period from April 2007 and March 2009.
SEBI said that its inspection of the books of RSL for the aforesaid period prima facie revealed various irregularities.
These included lack of documentary proof for a branch office, collection of excess securities transaction tax and collection of cheque in the name of Reliance Money (another group company), among other irregularities.
Reacting to the SEBI consent order, an out-of-court like settlement procedure, the company said that the consent was reached at voluntarily without admission or denial of guilt.
The company adopted the consent route voluntarily to avoid long drawn litigation, legal costs, etc, RSL said, while adding that the order would not have any impact on its existing customers. It also said that it voluntarily agreed to all the terms of the settlement.
"RSL voluntarily agreed to spend Rs1 crore on investor education and awareness programs. RSL has already announced extensive Investor Awareness Program to cover over 1.5 lakh investors across 200 cities in India within this year," it added.
Earlier in January, two other Anil Ambani group firms Reliance Infra and Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) had reached a settlement with SEBI after paying consent charges of Rs50 crore for settling a probe into alleged unfair market dealings by the two firms.
Besides, the two companies also agreed to abstain from investing in secondary market till 2012, while their top officials, including chairman Anil Ambani, agreed to abstain from investing in secondary market till December 2011.
SEBI said that its probe into RSL also prima facie found irregularities like the company not informing its clients about changes in their registration, which led to large number of investor complaints.
Also, frequent disruptions were noticed in internet trading platform, while the company was found to be equipped for handling only 50% of its customer base, while it issued undated letters at times to different organisations.
Also, RSL did not update its client master data despite being pointed out by the stock exchanges BSE and NSE and took power of attorney in the name of Reliance Commodities.
In other suspected violation of rules, RSL did not maintain clear segregation between broking and other activities of the group, did not take adequate steps to redress complaints within 30 days, outsourced its call centre activities for calls related to phone trading.
Also, the company used the name 'Reliance Money' at various places, thus creating a confusion about the identity of the registered entity.
After noticing these irregularities, SEBI began its enquiry as also cease and desist proceedings and a show cause notice was issued on 31 August 2010.
Subsequently, RSL requested on 14 September 2010 for a settlement through a consent order and later submitted its revised settlement offer on 7 December 2010.
A high-powered advisory committee of SEBI accepted the terms of conditions for the settlement and the same was informed to the company on 19 April 2011.
The company paid Rs25 lakh towards settlement fees and expenses on 1st June, paving the way for the consent order being passed today, SEBI said.
The regulator said that the consent order was without prejudice to its right to take enforcement action, including commencement or reopening of the pending proceedings, against the company.