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Pranava Prakash's exhibition profiles the MNS's hate campaign against North Indians in Mumabi
When the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) began its attacks on North Indians in Mumbai last year, Pranava Prakash, who belongs to Patna, was in the city. His mother would call him every day to check if he was fine. Those days of hate and insecurity return in Prakash's series of paintings called Chal hat be Bihari. "My art work is a direct reflection of my brief stint in Mumbai. It is a reflection that challenges the notion of hidden xenophobia in our generation that exists in the name of cultural regionalism," says Prakash.
"I met a taxi driver and asked him where was he from. Although I knew he was from Bihar, I was surprised when he said he belonged to Punjab. It was at that moment that I decided to speak about this irony where people in their own country were scared of revealing their true identity," explains Prakash, who painted the taxi as the first piece in the series. "This series is also meant to be a record of our time which is so turbulent," he says.
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