The anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh area have been going since December 15. These protests which are led by women, mostly Muslim, turned political in the run-up to the Delhi Assembly elections. Two gun-wielding men opened fire in the area on two different occasions. One of them identified as Kapil Gujjar was heard saying, "Iss desh mein kisi ki nahin chalegi, sirf Hinduon ki chalegi (In this country, no one but Hindus can have their say)."
Numerous activists and artists also visited Shaheen Bagh to encourage the protesters. Shubha Mudgal, Madan Gopal Singh, Ankur Tewari, Prateek Kuhad and band Advaita were among the few who performed in solidarity at the site.
Now, Carnatic vocalist, writer, activist and author T. M. Krishna performed a unique rendition of Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz's 'Hum Dekhenge' at Shaheen Bagh. Krishna sung Faiz's poem in Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil as well.
Faiz's poem was a direct attack on the torturous times of Pakistani military dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq who had imposed severe restrictions on several kinds of arts during his regime.
The poem later came to known as 'the poem of protests'. Anti-CAA protesters across the country, including the students at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Savitribai Phule Pune University and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur recited the poem as a mark of protest over JNU violence.
However, a IIT Kanpur faculty member filed complaints claiming the poem is “anti-Hindu”. Later, the institution formed a panel to decide whether the poem is offensive to Hindu sentiments.
Reacting to the incident, Faiz's daughter Saleema Hashmi said, "It is funny how Hum Dekhenge is being taken as anti-India, only because it has been sung by protesting oppressed students".
"Faiz's poetry gave voice and words to those who hated him. I believe poetry serves its purpose when it becomes voice of those who cannot find for themselves," Hashmi told India today.
Twitter users loved T. M. Krishna's renditions of Faiz Ahmed Faiz's 'Hum Dekhenge'. Here are some of the reactions on the micro-blogging site: