Amidst extensive protests against the Citizenship Act and National Register of Citizens, poet Rahat Indori’s ghazal Agar Khilaf Hai Hone Do (above) is enjoying a second life.
From appearing on numerous protest posters, to speeches highlighting to the poem’s iconic line “Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai,” the simply worded yet powerfully layered lyrics appear to be resonating with many. “Hum Kaagaz Nahi Dikhayenge”, the now-viral poem by Varun Grover also pays homage to Indori’s classic.
“I wrote this sher as an Urdu poet and as a citizen of India. This country is not the property of any particular individual, party or religion. As the ghazal says, sabhi ka khoon hai shaamil yahan ki mitti mein/ kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai (this land has seen sacrifices from everyone / Hindustan is not anyone’s personal property),” the poet told Indian Express.
On the recent revival of the lines that were written three decades ago, Indori said, “Now, wherever I go, people request me to recite this, but it’s unfortunate that it’s often taken as a sher by a Muslim. Yeh kisi ek mazhab ka sher nahi hai (these lines are not for any particular religion).”