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 on December 17 during a solidarity march held for their counterparts at Delhi’s Jamia Milia University, institute’s Deputy Director Manindra Agarwal said. The police crackdown on the Jamia Milia Islamia campus on December 15 triggered nationwide protests.
During one such protest, about 300 students of the institute were not allowed to go out of the campus as large gatherings under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were banned, Agarwal added.
A complaint was filed by temporary faculty member Vashimant Sharma and 16 others against the poem. “The written complaint filed by them with the IIT Director states that the poem had some wordings that could hurt the sentiments of Hindus,” Agarwal said. “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.”
Agarwal also said the video of the recitation of the poem by students “suggests that the poem provokes anti-Hindu sentiments”, NDTV reported. “Who knows Faiz Ahmad Faiz?” he questioned.
The probe committee will investigate three areas – whether the students defied prohibitory orders, the social media posts they shared ahead of the solidarity march and if the poem of Faiz Ahmad Faiz is “anti-Hindu”.
The poem uses one of the most salient events in Islamic history to give a call to arms against tyranny and oppression. Faiz’s powerful words channelled Pakistan’s frustration with Zia’s Islamist dictatorship. Hum Dekhenge is now an anthem of protest across Pakistan and the Hindi-Urdu speaking parts of India.