File photo of IIT-Kanpur |
File photo of IIT-Kanpur |
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New Delhi: A panel constituted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, will decide whether ‘Hum Dekhenge’, a poem by legendary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, is “anti-Hindu”.

The poem was sung by some students at a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on campus on 17 December, and faculty member Dr Vashi Mant Sharma filed a complaint with the institute against them.

A video of the event had surfaced on social media, where students could be heard reciting the Faiz poem.

Sharma’s complaint demands that “organisers and masterminds be identified and expelled immediately”, IIT-Kanpur deputy director Manindra Agarwal told ThePrint.

The panel, formed a week after the complaint, will also decide whether the students violated Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which bars the assembly of four or more people, and whether anything inflammatory was posted on social media.

Also read: Modi govt asks IITs, IIMs, varsities to track student social media posts amid CAA protests

The ‘offending’ lines

The poem is actually titled ‘Wa yabqa wajh-o-rabbik’ after a verse from the Quran, but is commonly known by its refrain “Hum dekhenge (We will see)”. Faiz wrote it in 1979 against the rule of Pakistan’s military dictator Zia-ul-Haq. It has become an anthem of protest in the ensuing years, especially since Iqbal Bano rendered it in Lahore in 1986.

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Sharma’s complaint is directed against two lines, “Jab arz-e-Khuda ke kaabe se/Sab but uthwaye jayenge” and “Bas naam rahega Allah ka”, which translate to “when all the idols are removed from God’s Kaaba” and “only Allah’s name will remain”.

“A complaint was received on 19 December by a faculty member against protesting students. The institute decided to form a panel to look into the merits of the complaint,” said Agarwal.

“Any action will be taken on the basis of the panel’s recommendations,” he added.

“The complaint talks about three things… First, the march was in violation of Section 144; second, that there was a poem read, which had a certain line which was hurtful; and third, that subsequent social media posts made by some people were inflammatory.”

Students at the institute had condemned the complaint, saying the gathering was peaceful and is being unnecessarily communalised. The campus journalism body of IIT-Kanpur had written an article titled ‘Don’t communalise the peaceful gathering at IIT Kanpur’, and stated the lines were being taken out of context.

The post has since been removed, after intervention from the administration and formation of the panel.

Also read: What Coke Studio did to Faiz’s song, Pakistan is doing to its people


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18 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Your admission that kaba housed 360 idols before Islamic hordes took over this Temple and built a Masque over it really reinforce the narrative that Babri Structure was forcibly imposed over the existing Ram Temple.
    Your distinction of Idols being Hindu or non Hindu suggests that you did check the circumcision status of those idols.
    That may or may not be the case but you calling yourself Sanjiv does require a peek under your Panama.

    • You will be disappointed to know that the truth is the other way around. The Kaba was actually built by Abraham and his son (I think Issac) for One God, and it was USURPED by the idol-worshipping Arabs to house their multiple stonegods.

  2. Just to clarify, the complainant Vashi Mant Sharma is not a faculty member. He’s a postdoctoral fellow on a 5 year contract.

    We’re not far gone enough to hire luminaries like him on a permanent basis, although I suppose it’s only a matter of time before we do.

  3. Does Dr Saab (complainent) even know and understands that Faiz Ahmed Faiz was an antagonist. I mean seriously, the guy has taken an objection to Faiz Saab’s verse. I just hope that Dr Sharma is not a RSS sympathizer. Till 6-7 years back I was not very anti-RSS, but since we have had emperor Nero as our Prime Minister, I have had privilege of listening to lot of RSS sympathizers and seriously they have turned me off. If this Dr Saab turns out to be one of the ilk, that would be last nail in coffin for any liking I may have for RSS.

  4. For the record, Faiz was an atheist and leftist.
    The poem is more ‘anti-Islam’, so to speak.
    ‘Anal-Haq’ is considered blasphemous by a large number of Muslims. There are a number of other such references and such references are common in sufi poetry.

  5. The faculty member Vashi Mant Sharma who made the original complain is a known hindutva guy and has written against liberal voices before (do a search and you’ll see for yourself).

  6. But itself is word that comes from Buddh.
    The idols of Buddh were everywhere in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan which these Arab barbarians destroyed.

    But parasti is considered haram according to Muslims and breaking idols is what they did in entire Islamic war mongering history.

    This has to be taoen seriously

  7. @ Sanjiv if i remember correctly then in quram-e-sharif , India is mentioned as al-hind. And the line about idol can easily be generalised for all idols.

  8. “… Sharma’s complaint is directed against two lines, “Jab arz-e-Khuda ke kaabe se/Sab but uthwaye jayenge” and “Bas naam rahega Allah ka”, which translate…” (quote from the article).
    This faculty member Mr Sharma should have crosschecked some facts before branding these lines anti-Hindu. The “but” or idols mentioned here refers to the 360 stone-gods that were stored in Kaba before the advent of Islam. These idols belonged to different Arabic tribes who worshipped them. These are not of the Hindu gods by any stretch of the imagination. In fact the word Hindu or Hinduism IS NOT MENTIONED EVEN ONCE IN THE ENTIRE QURAN.
    This incident once again shows the intolerance, haughtiness, and lack of relevant knowledge which are the hallmarks of all Hindutva guys. Mr Sharma and deputy director Maninder Agarwal quite obviously belong to that group.

    • Who are you fooling ? The same destruction of religious icons of other faiths that was done in Arab was done a million times more in India, quoting the same hate against other forms of worship.

    • Can you stop lying?

      The word But (boot) comes from Buddh.
      Muslim Arabs destroyed thousands of Buddha idols in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan. Faiz was a jihadi intellectual. There are many suvh educated jihadis around the world responsible for human suffering

    • Did Muhammad or Quran said that Idol worship by Hindus is allowed in Quran? You show lack of even basic understanding and start your propaganda. You belong to the daydreaming group who can not fathom any logical facts!

      • As I said, the Quran just does not have a word called Hindu or Hinduism. Quran was against idol worship because it was trying to tell the Arabs to start believing in One God instead of mythical and multiple stonegods.


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