news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30
Over twenty years ago, a karate expert in Chennai participated in an event that allowed 101 cars to drive over his right hand after which he attempted to set a world record by using the same hand to break 5000 tiles and 1000 bricks. Using his own blood after the event, he immediately went on to paint a blood portrait of then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa ; something that earned him Rs. 3 lakh cash and a state government grant of prime land for his karate school. This bizarre act is just one of the many that feature in the list of a man, Shihan Hussaini who has performed the first ever self-crucification in Chennai in celebration of his leader ‘s birthday J Jayalalithaa. This time however, his daredevil antics took a step forward after he got his hands and feet nailed to a 300 kg , 8x6 ft wooden cross using six-inch iron nails. Conducted as a plea to allow AIADMK chief’s return to power as TN’s Chief Minister, Hussaini’s deep loyalty has been displayed in myriad ways over the years – acts that have been acknowledged and appreciated by Jayalalithaa herself. A man of many trades, from archery to karate, cookery classes to acting in movies, Hussaini who runs an archery school has very smartly used his PR skills thus always ensuring his name in the news. In 1994, when he drew her portrait, Jayalalithaa herself responded advising him not to hurt himself again. She also sanctioned him with 18 grounds for his karate school. The artist however, never got the grounds after the new DMK government settled in. Down the line, In 2005, for her 56th birthday, he drew 56 portraits using 1500 ml of his own blood to celebrate Jayalalithaa’s birthday. According to him, the idea of using blood created a rare bond that showed the respect he had for his leader. His obsession with blood continued and soon again in 2013, for Jayalalithaa’s 65 th birthday, he collected 11 litres of blood some of which included his own to make a blood bust of the leader. The statue made using frozen blood, it was moulded and placed in a freezer for 62 days before being unveiled to public. Image courtesy: Prabhu Ramakrishnan Photography FB page His act of nailing himself in a self-styled ‘crucifixion’ has been the latest in a series of sycophantic acts by the karate expert who says that he is not an AIADMK man. Make her my Chief Minister, he prayed after the crucifixion process. When I met her for the first time after my world record, she told me that I should never do something that will hurt me again, said Hussaini while speaking to TNM. Even when he had drawn the portraits of her, he says that she was horrified. “She told me not to do anything with blood,” he said. Borderline-crazy it may seem, but Hussaini who calls himself a ‘sensationalist’ and a ‘mass influencer’ once explained the reasons behind his actions. "I would like to be called a sensationalist. Some of my works cause a sensation on their own, and others are created by me expressly for causing a sensation. Either way," he quite modestly remarks, "they are sensational”, he told in an old Hindu interview.  Hussaini drew a portrait of former SL president Mahinde Rajapakse using pig's blood With three Masters degrees, in Painting, Sculpture and Social Work , Hussaini is a a single-man PR institution. He was once falsely accused of being a Sri Lankan militant and spent 10 days in Tihar jail. A journalist recalls, "Anyone else would have come out of Tihar jail and gone into oblivion. But he made a splash of it. I remember posters in Chennai announcing Tihar return Hussaini's exhibition." Hussaini converted his frustration into paintings and thus were born 127 sketches in jail. Since prisoners in Tihar are not allowed to use mirrors, Hussaini made portraits of many prisoners. He later claimed this allowed prisoners to know how they looked now, and were added to his collection. Soon after his return to Chennai, police raided his office and confiscated many of the paintings, one which included that of Jayalalithaa’s sketched with blood. According to him, the DMK had demanded his arrest after his crucifixion on Monday. “She wanted me to join the party. But I declined it,” he says explaining a previous instance he had met the former Chief Minister. Will he do something like this again? I have a lot of plans. “She never approves of anything I do with blood,” he says referring to Jayalalithaa. Not all about Jayalalithaa His world record attempts include being bitten by poisonous cobras and being set on fire with 140 litres of petrol poured over him. He also unveiled a twenty two-feet high bronze statue of Pope John Paul II after he said that the Pope's first death anniversary had gone unnoticed by the media. According to him, it was the Pope’s powers that had saved him when he attempted and completed three world records. He has earlier sculpted statues of Kalpana Chawla and sandalwood brigand Veerapan. The General Secretary of the Archery Association of Tamil Nadu, he earlier used to run a security agency. It was through this agency that Hussaini became close to the who is who of Chennai. A friend of Hussaini's who did not want to be quoted said, "In 1998, when Jeans movie released, video piracy was rampant. Hussaini was hired to provide security at cinema halls and stop people from recording the movie for piracy purposes," (unclear if he was hired by production house or by cinema halls) Not everything has been about sensationalism, He was also part of a courageous attempt to teach blind girl students karate in Chennai. Prior to this, a group of nuns were taught the martial arts after growing concerns of attacks on nuns in India. Jayalalithaa writes to Hussaini yet again This time too the ‘crucifixion’ has not gone unnoticed by the birthday girl. In a letter addressed to Hussaini, Jayalalithaa expressed her shock and distress over his ‘extreme act of penance’.  Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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