IIT Kanpur decrees reading Faiz's Hum Dekhenge during anti-CAA protests on campus as 'unsuitable'
After almost a two-month-long deliberation over the issue of whether the recitation of Faiz Ahmed Faiz's poem, 'Hum Dekhenge' during the nationwide anti-CAA protests was offensive to Hindu sentiments or not, the special committee constituted by IIT Kanpur declares that it was 'unsuitable to the time and place'.
After almost a two-month-long deliberation over whether the recitation of Faiz Ahmed Faiz's poem, 'Hum Dekhenge' during the nationwide anti-CAA protests was offensive to Hindu sentiments or not, the special committee constituted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur declares that it was "unsuitable to the time and place".
According to a report by The Indian Express, the committee said that the report was submitted last week. They stressed on the fact that since the situation was "volatile" then, one should have avoided any action that agitated others with different perspectives and opinions.
Manindra Agarwal, committee chairperson and deputy director, spoke to The Indian Express and said, "The committee observed that perhaps, at that time and place, it was not the most suitable thing to say. The person who recited that (poem) agreed with this perspective and wrote a note saying that he regrets (it) in case anybody’s feelings were hurt. So that matter was closed.”
The committee has also found five teachers and six students at fault in particular for their “less than desirable behaviour”, to go on a protest march on 17 December, despite the institute's withdrawal of permission.
Said committee was set up in January this year, after a faculty member named Vashi Mant Sharma complained that the students who carried out a peaceful march in the campus on 17 December against the CAA, and expressing solidarity with Jamia Millia Islamia students, sung it as a mark of protest.
Sharma had objected to two lines from the poem that read "Jab arz-e-Khuda ke kaabe se/Sab butt uthwaye jayenge”, and “Bas naam rahega Allah ka”. The lines roughly translate to: “When all icons of deception will be removed from the abode of God”, and “only Allah’s name will remain”, respectively.
Agarwal, however, told The Indian Express that the committee didn't get into the interpretation of the poem, and that in any case, it has instructed the institute to "counsel" the faculty and the students found guilty.
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To be truly inclusive, anti-CAA movement must acknowledge protest traditions in languages beyond Urdu
The experience of resistance is a shared one — one that cuts across language and region. A plurality of defiant voices would only reinforce the solidarity that is at the centre of such resistance, by helping people both express and hear it in new ways that channel their anger and frustration, telling them that they are not alone in this. Learning about marginalised traditions and offering them representation also ties in to the broader inclusiveness, progressiveness, and opposition to homogenisation that the anti-CAA movement stands for.