Row over Faiz Ahmad’s poem


The poetry of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, especially “Hum Dekhenge“, has become a chant of students who are protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. After students of IIT Kanpur chanted it during a protest on December 17, a police complaint was filed, claiming the poem was anti-Hindu. A panel was set up by IIT Kanpur to look into the protests and the complaint. This move has sparked off fierce debates on social media whether Faiz’s poem was communal and anti-Hindu. The poem was written in 1979 during General Zia-ul-Haq’s oppressive martial law regime in Pakistan, and it used Islamic religious imagery to attack Zia’s dictatorship and push for democracy. It became a song after Iqbal Bano sang it to a packed audience in 1986 despite a ban on Faiz’s poetry. And now it has sparked a controversy in India.

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