As the protests surrounding the new Citizenship Amendment Act peters out, those accused of fomenting trouble appear to be making amends for the wrongs that they did during the peak of the anti-CAA demonstrations. In one such incident, a third-year student from the prestigious Indian Institute, Kanpur, whose public recital of controversial poem prompted a faculty member to file a complaint against him, has apologised and expressed his regrets to the institute for “hurting sentiments” through his “error in judgment”.
In December 2019, during the anti-CAA protests in Kanpur, the controversial couplet penned by Faiz Ahmed Faiz was recited by students on the college campus. A complaint was then lodged by a faculty of the Institute, Dr Vashi Sharma, according to whom the poem recited by the students had contained clarion calls to “destroy all idols” while emphasising that everything will vanish except for Allah’s name.
In the video of the incident, according to Sharma, lines from ‘ Hum Dekhenge ’ was recited along with placards reading, “tumhari laathi aur goli se tez hamari awaaz hai” (our voice is louder than your sticks and bullets).
A faculty at IIT Kanpur has submitted this video and a complaint to director, alleging anti-India & communal statements made at a recent event held in ‘solidarity with Jamia’ & that event held without permission.— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) December 21, 2019
“When All Idols Will Be Removed…
Only Allah’s Name Will Remain” pic.twitter.com/fbmNFwVBiw
The poem read, “Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge. Jab arz-e-Khuda ke kaabe se. Sab but uthwae jaenge. Hum ahl-e-safa mardood-e-harm. Masnad pe bethae jaenge. Sab taaj uchale jaenge. Sab takht girae jaenge. Bas naam rahega Allah ka. Hum dekhenge.”
The lines used from the poem appear deeply communal in isolation and are often used by Pakistani-sponsored terrorists and separatists in Kashmir to express their anti-Hindu and anti-India hatred. The ones raising these slogans essentially wanted that all the idols, crowns will be vanished to keep Allah’s name alive.
Soon after Swarajya exclusively reported about Dr Sharma’s complaint, the Institute had established a six-member committee to investigate if any student or faculty member had used “inflammatory, abusive and intimidating language” during the event or on social media after Dr Sharma registered her complaint against the students.
After investigating the matter, a report was submitted to the Institute director last week by the committee. The report lists down 5 teachers and 6 students for their “less-than-desirable” conduct. The committee has advised the director to provide “guidance” to them.
Regarding the recital of the problematic poem, the deputy director of IIT Kanpur, Manindra Agarwal said that the student who chanted the poem is remorseful of his actions. “We asked him if he believes he was right in reciting the poem at the communally charged up environment. He said he did not intend to hurt anybody’s sentiments but if in case he has offended anyone’s feelings, he is apologetic about it,” Agarwal said to Swati Goel Sharma of Swarajya.
While Agarwal refused to disclose the identities of the people named in the report, he added that the committee considers the matter to be closed.
In contrast to some misleading media reports which said the committee formed by the Institute is tasked with studying if the poem was “anti-Hindu”, Agarwal rubbished such media canards saying the committee was never instructed to analyse the content and the meaning of the poem. “We were simply asked to investigate why tempers ran high and who was accountable for it,” he had added.
Apropos of the recommended counselling, Agarwal said that the counselling may not have happened owing to the campus lockdown amidst the coronavirus scare. The institute has closed down for two weeks and the students and other members have been advised to mot come to campus in case they are on vacation.