Dubai: A Dubai-based Indian painter will be showcasing his artwork here inspired by the hardships and sacrifices of Indian Army personnel ahead of India’s Independence Day next week.
Artist Akbar Saheb hails from Karnataka and his latest paintings dedicated to the Indian armed forces will be unveiled over the weekend, Khaleej Times reported on Thursday.
Saheb gifted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a series of paintings during his 2015 visit to the United Arab Emirates. He also gained the distinction of being the only artist with illustrations in Modi’s book, Mann Ki Baat, unveiled in May in New Delhi.
He said Indian Army personnel face lot of hardships while serving the country.
“India has borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Nepal. The Indian soldiers are securing our country and our lives. There are a lot of terrorist attacks too. But, still, the soldiers everywhere are taking care of our country,” he told the daily in an interview.
“In places like Kargil, it is so cold that they can’t even breathe properly. They have to be alert 24 hours a day no matter what. If they are neglectful, they might take a bullet.”
“They are struggling a lot. But the normal public doesn’t really think about the soldiers, or what they are doing,” the artist said.
After the weekend exhibit, Saheb plans to put the paintings on the auction block, with all the proceeds going to a charity that focuses on helping Indian soldiers and their families.
Many of his paintings, Saheb noted, are inspired by a longing for his homeland. “I miss my country. I miss the culture. There are thousands and thousands of languages, and that sort of culture is what I miss,” he said.
He came to the UAE more than 20 years ago and composed well over 1,000 works of art on a variety of topics.
Saheb’s other notable works are paintings dedicated to the UAE’s leadership as to Emirati soldiers martyred during Yemen conflict in 2015. (IANS)