Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem Hum Dekhenge has become the subject of something of a manufactured controversy after IIT Kanpur set up a panel to determine whether the poem is “anti-Hindu.” Originally written in 1979 to oppose Zia Ul Haq’s military dictatorship in Pakistan, the poem is being recited and sung widely as a protest anthem at many protests in India, including Citizenship Act protests.

However, after students of IIT Kanpur on December 17 sang it while marching in solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, a faculty member complained that it hurt Hindu sentiments. Students of the university responded by asking the faculty member not to communalise a peaceful protest.

In light of the accusation of anti-Hindu or hateful sentiments in the poem, activist, lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar said, “Calling Faiz’s words or his poem anti-Hindu is so absurd and funny that it is hard to even talk about seriously.”

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IIT-Kanpur sets up panel to investigate if Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ is ‘anti-Hindu’