IIT-Kanpur to probe whether Pak Poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz Poem "Anti-Hindu"

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Updated on Jan 6, 2020 11:26 IST

The IIT-Kanpur management seems to have come after immense outrage over the proposed probe into whether Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poem "Hum Dekhenge" provokes anti-Hindu sentiments.

Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz's iconic poem, "Hum Dekhenge", which was being sung as a protest anthem for decades is under scanner for the doubt of provoking anti-Hindu sentiments. After making the alleged "anti-Hindu" nature of the poem a focus of its investigation initially, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) now claims that the probe is much wider and relates to many allegations around a protest march by students at the campus.

The premier institute has set up a probe committee after a complaint over students reciting the poem in the institute on December 17, for their counterparts at Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University. These protests were triggered by the police crackdown on JMI students on December 15.

According to Professor Manindra Agarwal, Deputy Director of the IIT-Kanpur, "Some media has been reporting that IIT-Kanpur has set up a committee to decide if a poem by the poet Faiz is anti-Hindu or not. The institute has received a complaint saying that during a protest march taken out by students, a certain poem was read and then some inflammatory social media posts were made. So, IIT-K has set up a committee to see if the complaints are genuine and what action should be taken."

Among those who voiced their anger over the move was senior lyricist Javed Akhtar, who termed the incident absurd and funny. “Faiz wrote the poem "Hum Dekhenge" against then Pakistan government run by Zia-ul-Haq. He lived half his life outside Pakistan and was called anti-Pakistan there. He wrote 'Hum Dekhenge' against Zia ul Haq's government, which was a communal, regressive and fundamentalist government," he further added.

Dr Vashi Mant Sharma, who is part of the 'INSPIRE' faculty at the IIT-Kanpur filed a complaint against the students. Dr Sharma said that he confronted the students taking out the protest march inside IIT-Kanpur on the day. "I knew the poem and thus objected instantly. A few others joined me too. We outshouted the mob of 300. Since then, everybody is teaching us the context of these revolutionary lines," Dr Sharma said before going ahead with what he claims to be a take-down of the poet.

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