Anti-CAA Protests: IIT-Kanpur Professor Finds Recital Of Faiz's 'Hum Dekhenge' Communal, Anti-Indian
Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) administration on Saturday, December 21, formed a high-level committee to probe into a complaint that students of the institute allegedly made communal statements during a protest march.
On December 17, around 300 students and a few faculty members of the institute had participated in a peaceful march in solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia and condemned Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) and National Register Of Citizens(NRC).
Post the rally, an IIT-K professor Dr Vashi Mant Sharma lodged a complaint against the students for allegedly raising ‘anti-India’ and ‘communal’ slogans.
During the protests, the students recited a few lines from Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poem ‘Hum Dekhenge.’
The video that was reportedly submitted by Sharma in his complaint had poor sound quality. However, the English subtitle read, “When from Allah’s place, all idols will be removed, when crowns will be tossed and thrones will vanish, only Allah’s name will remain.”
A faculty at IIT Kanpur has submitted this video and a complaint to director, alleging anti-India & communal statements made at a recent event held in 'solidarity with Jamia' & that event held without permission.
"When All Idols Will Be Removed…
Only Allah’s Name Will Remain" pic.twitter.com/fbmNFwVBiw
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) December 21, 2019
‘Don’t Communalise The Peaceful Gathering’
To clarify their side, the students of the prestigious institute published an editorial on the student media portal – Vox Populi – and claimed that their chant was given a ‘communal’ and ‘misleading’ turn.
According to the article, a right-wing magazine – Swarajya had published the professor’s complaint.
“The article spreads misinformation and communalisation by putting up an incomplete picture. This Vox Populi editorial sets the record straight: it presents the entire picture and the details of the event that took place,” said a Facebook Post by Vox Populi.
*The link has been deactivated. For more details refer to the post above.*Recently, Swarajya published an article…
On Thursday, December 26, the student media body was asked to take down the editorial by the institute.
“The committee has asked our publication to pull down our recent editorial —“Don’t communalize the peaceful gathering at IIT Kanpur”—to reinstate harmony on campus,” said a post by the Facebook page of Vox Populi.
A high-level enquiry committee had been set up by the director to investigate the complaints against the student march…
“The editorial was the opinion of the editorial board on the issue surrounding the 17th December march. As a team, we stand by every word in our editorial, but as per instructions, we have to take it down,” said the post.
The student body also said that this was the first time that they had pulled down any article following instructions from the administration.
According to an India Today report, the article by the students said that the magazine gave a “literal-but misleading- translation by the complainants of two lines of the poem, which read: “When All Idols Will Be Removed Only Allah’s Name Will Remain.”
“This is exactly how propaganda is manufactured to create ruckus in an otherwise peaceful community: lines were taken out of context, the events of the march were grossly misrepresented, the publication did not contact the students to cross-check the claims made by Sharma, and half-truths are being circulated to drive an agenda,” read the article.
The poem reads: “Jab arz-e-Khuda ke Ka’abe se, sab buutt uthwaae jaayenge / Hum ahl-e-safa mardood-e-haram, masnad pe bithaaye jaayenge / Sab taaj uchhale jaayenge, sab takht giraaye jaayenge/ Bas naam rahega Allah ka, hum dekhenge” (From the abode of God, when the icons of falsehood will be removed / When we, the faithful, who have been barred from sacred places, will be seated on a high pedestal / When crowns will be tossed, when thrones will be brought down, only Allah’s name will remain.)”
It was the last line that professor misleadingly translated.
The poem, written in 1979, while deeply draws from religious symbolism, is in context to the military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq’s regime in Pakistan. In the poem, Faiz is criticizing Zia’s authoritarian regime, where he used Islam as a tyrannical and repressive tool.
Mamata Banerjee Stands In Solidarity With The Students
West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday, December 24, expressed concerns over the university’s decision to set up a committee to probe the matter.
“Sad and deeply concerned to know about what is happening with the students of IIT Kanpur who expressed solidarity with JMI and AMU students over CAA and NRC,” Banerjee said in a Facebook Post.
Sad and deeply concerned to know about what is happening with the students of IIT Kanpur who expressed solidarity with…
“In a democratic country, everyone has the right to express themselves. Any sort of intimidation or curbs to throttle the voice of students, that too in a centre of academic excellence, is most unwelcome,” she added.