UAE-based Indian artist, Akbar Saheb has gained the distinction of being the only artist whose illustrations feature in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book, Mann Ki Baat. The book, which discusses the making and evolution of PM Modi’s radio broadcasting show Mann ki Baat  (Heart’s Voice), was unveiled today at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi, India, in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee. In all, 11 of Akbar Saheb’s illustrations on various themes have been published in the book, including the cover illustration. The book will be widely circulated within the urban and rural Indian community in English and Hindi, and will soon be released in all regional languages and foreign languages in unlimited editions.

A big fan of Narendra Modi, Akbar Saheb had earlier painted a series of 12 paintings themed on the Indian PM and his achievements over 12 years, which were also exhibited in Baroda, India, in early 2015. The 54-year-old artist, originally from Mangalore, Karnataka, has been in Dubai for the past 22 years and is a well-respected prolific painter.

“This is a huge honour for me and I can never thank Prime Minister Modi enough for singling me out of thousands of local and expat Indian artists to contribute to a project so close to his heart. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of the book Mann ki Baat, which, as a radio programme has been a social revolution, giving voice to thousands of Indians,” said Akbar Saheb, who attended the book launch ceremony today, “I have been reading about Mr Modi for the past 15 years and met him in August 2015, when he was visiting the UAE.  He left an incredible impression on my mind as a people’s person. I’m humbled that he remembered me and I am mentioned as his well-wisher in the book.”

The illustrations are themed around the Indian PM’s different speeches, each giving out a positive message to the public. These include swatchh Bharat (clean India), yoga, beware of drugs, focus on exams, bond of humanity, the tourism potential in India, khaadi and road safety among other topics. Waterproofing ink illustrations on paper was the medium used for the artwork.

Describing the illustrations, Akbar Saheb added: “The artwork is a reflection of PM Modi’s speeches. I have tried to create a thought process so that when readers look at the pictures they can immediately connect it with the related speech. While reading through the speeches, I used to select phrases that inspired me and drew rough sketches in the margin which were later converted to full-fledged illustrations. The entire project was kept under wraps, until it was unveiled today”.

Art being his passion and profession, Akbar Saheb is a full-time artist, and has more than 1000 paintings to his credit. He has also exhibited a series of paintings paying tribute to the rulers of the UAE, including HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Entirely self-taught, Akbar Saheb is a master at Airbrushing, Oil, Acrylic and Watercolour mediums of painting. In colours, strokes and technique lies his skill to depict evocative images that express deep emotions from scenes of everyday life. From capturing the spirit of wild horses to the alluring facets of a woman, Akbar believes in bringing to life topics that touch him emotionally and that allow him to communicate with the world.


Source: Pulse 360 PR & Marketing Communications