Fearlessness is the poetry of revolution

Faiz Ahmad Faiz

IIT Kanpur‘s decision to form a ‘committee’ to ‘investigate’ whether Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Nazam ‘ Hum Dekhenge, Lazim hai ke hum dekhenge’ i.e. ‘we shall see’ , constitute anti Hindu prejudices as it was being sung by a group of students who were protesting against the CAA-NPR-NRC like many others in different parts of the country.

People like
me will never say that Faiz cannot be challenged or critique just like any
other author but it also reflects poorly on the quality of these ‘teachers’ who
are also called as ‘scholars’ when they misinterpret things or are absolutely
ignorant about the history of a poem.

Even when
they don’t know, should our teachers be looking and attempting to threaten and
intimidate students with action for ‘being’ ‘anti national. This shows that
despite being an IIT, which I call the biggest institutions where the caste
based discrimination continue and the person who filed complaint basically
represent the same lynch mob which is ‘monitoring’ each word and sentence that
we speak while mum about the open rape threat, murder threat, name calling by
the Hindutva paid trolls who proudly claim their association with the ruling
party.

Faiz is
the proud symbol of secular values, of romance and revolution in the Indian
subcontinent.

A poet of
great revolution, Faiz was arrested many times and when in 1979 General Zia was
converting Pakistan into an Islamic theocracy, demolishing all the
institutions, Faiz was the voice of resistance against the dictatorship of Zia
whose Islamisation campaign saw the minorities particularly the Hindus and
Hindu symbols under attack. Iqbal Bano, who hail from Dilli Gharana and one of
the finest exponent of Gazal Gayaki, an artist of great substance, our
heritage, sang it, wearing the black Saree ( Zia and his kind of people termed
wearing Saree as Un-Islamic”) despite prohibition in front of a massive
gathering of over fifty thousand people, at Lahore.

It is
strange to see how people analyse the poetry which is actually written as per
the local circumstances and to give hope to those fighting for a cause. When
Zia was making a ‘personality’ cult, and when he felt that nothing will happen
to him, Faiz wrote:

जब
ज़ुल्म-ओ-सितम के कोह-ए-गरां

रूई
की तरह उड़ जायेंगे

हम
महकूमों के पांव तले

ये
धरती धड़-धड़ धड़केगी

और
अह्ल-ए-हकम के सर ऊपर

जब
बिजली कड़-कड़ कड़केगी

These remind
people power of people and that dictator and oppressor will be wiped away one
day. I don’t know how the poetry can be ‘anti Hindu’ when it is being written
to mobilise people against an Islamic dictator. The Kanpur IIT professor has
the objection to these lines which he claims is against the idol worshiping and
hence anti Hindu and therefore anti national.

जब
अर्ज़-ए-ख़ुदा के काबे से

सब
बुत उठवाये जायेंगे

हम
अह्ले-ए-सफा मर्दूद-ए-हरम

मसनद
पे बिठाये जायेंगे

सब
ताज उछाले जायेंगे

सब
तख़्त गिराये जायेंगे

As I
mentioned about, the call is against General Zia and his Islamic regime which
violated all the rules and demolished democracy in Pakistan. It has no
relations with India or Hindus but it mocks at those who build their
personality cult and yes, the symbolism is Islamic which does not believe in
idol worshiping but then even Vedas speak against idol worship. Great Sufi
revolutionaries like Kabir, Nanak, Tukaram, Raidas all condemn the Brahmanical
way of worshiping and claimed that there is just one God whether you call him
‘Ishwar or Allah’. Didn’t Kabir say: Pahan Puje Hari Mile, to mai puju pahar,
tase ye chaki bhali, pees khaay sansaar, ” If you can get God just by
worshiping the stone, then I am ready to worship the mountain. Better than
this, please worship ‘grinder’ which help you grind wheat so that you can have
your roti’.

It is sad
that we have come to this stage when even quoting or singing something is being
looked as in terms of being ‘anti national’. One of the greatest poets of our
time was Shailendra, whose revolutionary poetry even challenged the God. They
speak against unjust order and give a warning to those in power to mend their
ways. Now read this:

ये
ग़म के और चार दिन, सितम के और चार दिन,

ये
दिन भी जाएंगे गुज़र, गुज़र गए हज़ार दिन,

कभी
तो होगी इस चमन पर भी बहार की नज़र!

अगर
कहीं है स्वर्ग तो उतार ला ज़मीन पर!…. तू ज़िन्दा है

हमारे
कारवां का मंज़िलों को इन्तज़ार है,

यह
आंधियों, ये बिजलियों की, पीठ पर सवार है,

जिधर
पड़ेंगे ये क़दम बनेगी एक नई डगर

अगर
कहीं है स्वर्ग तो उतार ला ज़मीन पर!.

बुरी
है आग पेट की, बुरे हैं दिल के दाग़ ये,


दब सकेंगे, एक दिन बनेंगे इन्क़लाब ये,

गिरेंगे
जुल्म के महल, बनेंगे फिर नवीन घर!

अगर
कहीं है स्वर्ग तो उतार ला ज़मीन पर!

Even today,
this is the song which is sung with great passion in all the mass protests.
They give us hope and aspiration to fight. This inspire not only to those in
universities but also those fighting for their land rights and food
sovereignty.

But the fact
is that religious right is always afraid of revolutionary poetry as it strengthens
the mood and determination to fight against oppression. Before, I end this, I
wish to share my optimism and hope in these beautiful lines of Sahir Ludhianvi
from film Phir Subah Hogi.

वह
सुबह कभी तो आएगी

मजबूर
बुढ़ापा जब सूनी राहों की धूल ना फांकेगा

मासूम
लड़कपन जब गंदी गलियों में भीख ना मांगेगा

हक
मांगने वालों को जिस दिन सूली ना दिखाई जाएगी

वह
सुबह कभी तो आएगी

फ़ाकों
की चिताओं पर जिस दिन इंन्सा न जलाए जाएंगे

सीनों
के दहकते दोज़ख़ में अरमां ना जलाए जाएंगे

यह
नरक से भी गंदी दुनिया, जब स्वर्ग बनाई जाएगी

वह
सुबह हमीं से आएगी

जब
धरती करवट बदलेगी, जब क़ैद से क़ैदी छूटेंगे

जब
पाप-घरोंदे फूटेंगे, जब ज़ुल्म के बंधन टूटेंगे

उस
सुबह को हम ही लाएंगे, वह सुबह हमीं से आएगी

वह
सुबह हमीं से आएगी

मनहूस
समाजी ढाँचों में जब जुर्म न पाले जाएंगे

जब
हाथ न काटे जाएंगे जब सर न उछाले जाएंगे

जेलों
के बिना जब दुनिया की सरकार चलाई जाएगी

वह
सुबह हमीं से आएगी

संसार
के सारे मेहनतकश, खेतों से मिलों से निकलेंगे

बेघर, बेदर, बेबस
इन्सां, तारीक बिलों से निकलेंगे

दुनिया
अमन और खुशहाली के फूलों से सजाई जाएगी

वह
सुबह हमीं से आएगी

Today, I
wish to salute to all these mighty poets of revolutions who have kept our hope
for a better future high. The songs of revolutions will remain our life line to
remind the power that at the end of the day it is the people who matter more
and however brutal one is, will have to go one day. The forces of goodness and
love will win, the forces of humanism will prevail and those spreading hatred
will realise the wrongs of their ideas and hopefully will change for better.

Vidya
Bhushan Rawat

January 2nd 2020

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