Never underestimate the power of Faiz’s poetry: Daughter

NEW DELHI: Two days after the row over the poem “Hum Dekhenge, lazim hai ki hum bhi dekhenge” erupted, daughter of Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz responded to the controversy.

Salima Hashmi respond comes after the IIT in Kanpur 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.

In an exclusive interview with news agency PTI, the daughter has rubbished the claim the famous poem has anti-India or anti-Hindu element in it “only because it has been sung by protesting oppressed students”.

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“A group of people investigating the poem’s message is nothing to be sad about, it is very funny. Let’s look at in another way, they may end up getting interested in Urdu poetry and it’s metaphors. Never underestimate the power of Faiz.”

Hashmi said that the poems of her father, who died in November 1984, are not restricted by borders and will always speak to those who need to express themselves.

“It is not surprising that Faiz continues to be relevant this side of the border or that side. I was told that this poem was sung in Nepal during their days of democratic struggle against the monarchy. I suppose poets and their words are claimed wherever and by whoever they are needed. They provide the words that people cannot find for themselves,” she said.

Earlier on Thursday, veteran lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar described IIT-Kanpur’s decision as absurd and funny. 

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During a campus demonstration on December 17, the IIT-Kanpur students recited Faiz’s poem as a mark of protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and in solidarity with Jamia Millia Islamia students.

Exluding Muslims, the CAA grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and came to India on or before December 31, 2014.

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