Calling Faiz’s Poem Anti-Hindu Is Absurd and Funny: Javed Akhtar
The Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur has set up a panel to investigate if Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s iconic poem Hum Dekhenge is “anti-Hindu”, PTI reported on Wednesday. The poem was recited by students on campus during a march held in solidarity with the members of Delhi’s Jamia Milia University. Reacting to the news, veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar told ANI,
“How can you speak of a man in such a manner when he used his poetry to express his sorrow at the partition of India?” he said.
According to reports, the complainant had objected to two lines from the poem that read "Jab arz-e-Khuda ke kaabe se/Sab but uthwaye jayenge” and “Bas naam rahega Allah ka”. These literally translate to “when all idols will be removed from God’s Kaaba” and “only Allah’s name will remain” respectively.
Akhtar went on to explain that Hum Dekhenge was written in protest against the regime of Pakistani dictator Zia Ul Haq, which began in September 1978. “The poem that you’re discussing now was written against the Zia Ul Haq government, which was a communal, regressive and fundamentalist government. A person asked the meaning of ‘anal haq’, and that meaning is ‘aham brahm’. This is not an Islamic thought; it was started by the Sufis. According to Vedic philosophy, creation and the creator are not separate – they are one.”
“Sufis used this term ‘anal haq’, which was against fundamentalism and traditional regressive religious interpretation. Aurangzeb was against this term because he thought it was an insult to Islam. A man lost his life because he dared raise this slogan. So what objections are being raised today are in keeping with Aurangzeb’s line of thought. How can one reason with such fools?”Javed Akhtar
The complaint was filed by temporary faculty member Vashimant Sharma and 16 others who, according to the institute’s Deputy Director Manindra Agarwal, claimed that the poem could hurt the sentiments of Hindus. “A committee of six members was established, headed by me, to investigate the matter. Some students have been questioned, while the others will be questioned after they return to the institution after the holidays,” he added.