Lyricist Javed Akhtar has reacted with shock on the ‘absurd’ claims by IIT Kanpur that legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz was ‘anti-Hindu.’ Akhtar told news agency ANI that calling Faiz Ahmed Faiz anti-Hindu was ‘so absurd and funny that it’s difficult to seriously talk about it.’
The controversy gained momentum after ITT Kanpur constituted a committee to probe if Faiz’s legendary poem Hum Dekhenge hurt Hindu sentiments. Faiz had penned the poem while in exile to protest the brutal Islamic regime of General Zia-ul-Haq in Pakistan.
“He lived half his life outside Pakistan, he was called anti-Pakistan there. ‘Hum Dekhenge‘, he wrote against Zia ul Haq’s government, which was a communal, regressive and fundamentalist government,” Akhtar told ANI.
#WATCH Javed Akhtar:Calling Faiz Ahmed Faiz ‘anti-Hindu’ is so absurd&funny that its difficult to seriously talk about it.He lived half his life outside Pakistan,he was called anti-Pakistan there.’Hum Dekhenge’ he wrote against Zia ul Haq’s communal,regressive&fundamentalist Govt pic.twitter.com/nOtFwtfjQ9
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2020
The IIT Kanpur’s decision to order an inquiry came after some faculty members alleged that a group of students had sung the poem on 17 December during their protest march against the amended Citizenship Act in solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia University. They alleged that the poem hurt Hindu sentiments.
Meanwhile, the topic has evoked strong reactions from Twitterati with many mocking the intellect of IIT Kanpur.
Shameful controversy over #HumDekhenge in IIT. Here’s @irfhabib explaining how Faiz and his poetry were seen as a challenge to Pakistan’s Islamization, how Iqbal Bano sang it to defy Zia & why this is cultural illiteracy (last two my words). Up on #Mojo https://t.co/2P5go92Uhh
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) January 2, 2020
The point is not of Faiz’s atheism or his greatness as a poet or the interpretation of Hum Dekhenge. The point is the ridiculousness of the inquiry at one of India’s most respected IITs.
— Sushant Singh (@SushantSin) January 2, 2020
IIT Kanpur has set up a panel to decide whether the poem ‘Hum dekhenge lazim hai ki hum bhi dekhenge’, penned by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, is anti-Hindu.
All lunacy must end someday in the churn of history. This too shall pass. Hum dekhenge. https://t.co/r0hCmZf34m
— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) January 1, 2020
Tragedy of our times: ignoramuses with zero knowledge of Urdu, poetry or Faiz debating ‘Hum dekhenge’ for hours on television
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 2, 2020