Urdu poet Munawwar Rana recently hogged the spotlight for his blatantly Hinduphobic remarks wherein he had relegated 100 crores Hindus in India to ‘animals’ who come in handy only during the elections.
The remark stirred a massive outrage on the social media where netizens not only condemned Rana’s appalling remarks but also criticised Rana’s work and raised aspersions on the originality of the poems composed by him.
Rana has received widespread acclaims and praise for a famous couplet “Mere Hisse Main Maa Aayi (I inherited my mother). However, it has been accused now that the lines that brought so much fame to Rana may have been stolen from Vidisha poet Alok Srivastava.
This has been a subject of discussion on social media. Senior journalist Ashok Shrivastav took to Twitter to share an old letter penned by poet Alok Srivastava addressed to Munawwar Rana in which he alleges the Urdu poet of stealing his couplet and brazenly garnering accolades for it.
“Munawar Rana has been accused of stealing the lines of his famous couplet “Mere Hisse Main Maa Aai”, which was originally composed by the Hindi poet Alok Srivastava in his famous poem “Mere Hisse Mein Amma Aai”, senior Doordarshan journalist Ashok Shrivastav tweeted while tagging Munawwar Rana on Twitter and seeking his response on the charges of intellectual property theft levelled against him.
मुन्नवर राणा पर आरोप हैं कि उनकी मशहूर नज़्म “मेरे हिस्से में माँ आई” दअरसल हिंदी कवि आलोक श्रीवास्तव की कविता “मेरे हिस्से अम्मा आई” को चुरा कर लिखी गई। ( आलोक जी का पुराना पत्र पढ़िए)@MunawwarRana, जी आरोप गंभीर है। जवाब दें अन्यथा कोई अवार्ड बचा हो तो लौटा दें।#MunnawarRana pic.twitter.com/hwB5lH8e6A— Ashok Shrivastav (@AshokShrivasta6) May 15, 2020
The letter attached in the tweet is dated May 2003 in which poet Alok Srivastava alleged Munawwar Rana of brazenly copying lines from his poems and passing off as his in a function in Gwalior. He also added that despite being periodically reminded that he is using stolen poems to garner fame, Rana continued reproducing the adopted lines in many poetic symposiums.
It is pertinent to note that Alok Srivastava is amongst the most eminent poets in the country. Many illustrious celebrities such as Jagjit Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Malini Awasthi and others have lended their voices to the songs and Ghazals written by Alok Srivastava.
In addition to this, Alok has also been a prolific writer and renowned for writing songs for many Bollywood movies. Alok has also participated in a legion of Kavi Sammelan and Mushairas(poetic symposiums) in dozens of countries and has won laurels abroad.
In a subsequent tweet, journalist Ashok Shrivastav claimed that the letter by Alok Srivastava, that has been doing the rounds on the Internet, has not been validated yet. He has sought help on social media to establish the veracity of the claims made in the letter by asking people to put him through either Munawwar Rana or Alok Srivastava.
Shortly thereafter, journalist Ashok Shrivastav posted yet another tweet claiming that the letter has been validated. The Doordarshan journalist claimed that all his life Munawwar Rana continued garnering applause and fame for the couplets he shamelessly copied from the poems authored by Alok Srivastava and till date has not responded to the letter written by the Vidisha poet.
पुष्टि के बाद पुनः यह पत्र ट्वीट कर रहा हूँ। जिस नज़्म”मेरे हिस्से में माँ आई” की कमाई @MunawwarRana, ज़िंदगी भर खाते रहे वो @AalokTweet, जी की कविता की कॉपी है। #MunawwarRana ने खत का आज तक जवाब नहीं दिया, बेशर्मी से चुराई नज़्म पर पुरस्कार और तालियां बटोरते रहे।#मुनव्वर_राणा pic.twitter.com/MJeoVeXwTk— Ashok Shrivastav (@AshokShrivasta6) May 15, 2020
Alok Srivastava’s poem “Amma”
This is not the first that Munawwar Rana has been accused of plagiarism. There had been myriad occasions when Munawwar was alleged of stealing the poems composed by Alok Srivastava. However, it was not so hotly debated as it is being now. Perhaps, therefore Rana never deigned to issue a clarification on the allegations of copying poems levelled against him.
The lines of the poem ‘Amma’ written by Alok Shrivastava are as follows –
“बाबूजी गुजरे..आपस में सब चीजें तकसीम हुईं।
मैं घर में सबसे छोटा था, मेरे हिस्से आई अम्मा।“
This poem of Alok was reportedly published in many magazines. On several occasions, Alok has asserted that Munawwar had stolen the lines of his poem.
The lines which Munawwar Rana has always proclaimed as his are as follows:
‘किसी को घर मिला हिस्से में या कोई दुकाँ आई।
मैं घर में सब से छोटा था मेरे हिस्से में माँ आई।’
Munawwar Rana’s controversial Hinduphobic remarks
In a Hinduphobic tweet, Sahitya Akademi Award-winning poet Munawwar Rana referred to Hindus as ‘animals’ who only come in handy while voting and Muslims as the only ‘humans’.
Addressing BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, Munawwar Rana was criticising the government of India’s measures to combat coronavirus. He said, “After seeing government’s failure on coronavirus, it has been proven that there are 35 crore humans and 100 crore animals,”. As per 2011 census, the Muslim population was estimated at about 17.22 crore which would have grown over the years. And while he did not explicitly mention that he meant Hindus and Muslims as ‘animals’ and ‘humans’ in his tweet, the veiled allusion to Hindus was condemned by many on social media.