Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz got an unlikely ally in Shiv Sena when its mouthpiece Saamana's executive editor Sanjay Raut, on Sunday, slammed the BJP government for terming Faiz's poem anti-Hindu. Calling Faiz a 'one who challenged Pakistani government', Raut explained that poetry has always been a tool for the Indian revolution. Naming poets like Suresh Bhat, Veer Savarkar, he said poems were always used to question regimes in Russia, China, Iraq, Germany etc.
The editorial also slammed the BJP for terming protestors raising slogans against it 'anti-national' citing the example of the backlash actor Deepika Padukone faced after she was spotted at a JNU protest. Moreover, Raut claimed that the religious zealots in the BJP had called the poem 'Hum Dekhenge' anti-Hindu, adding that Faiz extended beyond borders and languages. The editorial then explains every line of the poem in detail titling the editorial - 'Faiz, the name is enough!'
The controversy was started when the students of IIT-Kanpur held a march in solidarity with the Jamia Millia students on December 17. While protesting against the police action against the students, IIT-Kanpur students had read a poem titled 'Hum Dekhenge' by renowned Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. 16 days later - on January 1, IIT-Kanpur authorities constituted a panel to probe after several complaints were registered- calling the poem 'anti-Hindu'.
The institute's Director Prof. Abhay Karandukar said that a high-level committee has been set up and action will be taken accordingly. However, Deputy Director Mahindra Agrawal said members of certain communities had mentioned that the protesting students had read out at a certain poem adding that the panel is not probing whether the above-mentioned poem was 'anti-Hindu' or not. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, lyricist Javed Akhtar have called the probe absurd and shameful.
Faiz penned the iconic 'Hum Dekhenge' poem in 1979. Subsequently, it gained popularity as the revolutionary song against Pakistan dictator Zia-ul-Haq's regime which had overthrown the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government. In 1986, Pakistani singer Iqbal Bano had sung the poem in front of a 50,000-plus crowd while protesting against the martial law inspite of the ban imposed on Faiz's poems by the Zia government.