"Bas naam rahega Allah ka,
Jo gayeb bhi hai, haazir bhi,
Jo manzar bhi hai, naazir bhi.
Uthega 'An-al-haq' ka naara,
Jo main bhi hoon, aur tum bhi ho..."
Amid protests against the highly controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which was passed in December last year, a student at IIT-Kanpur sang "Hum Dekhenge" by poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz in act of solidarity with the students of Jamia Milia Islamia, where clashes between Delhi Police and protestors turned violent.
Soon after CAA was passed, students and citizens took to the streets to make their voices heard; the Act was deemed as highly unconstitutional and and an attack against the secular nature of the country. Protests were organised by educational institutions around the country, which included IIT-Kanpur. As part of the protest, students chanted "Hum Dekhenge", which was composed by Faiz, a revolutionary Pakistani poet who composed the poem during the regime of General Zia-ul-Haq who was considered oppressive.
However, some teachers and staff members have termed the song "anti-Hindu" and have set up an inquiry panel in order to investigate the matter. Allegedly, certain induviduals have lodged a complaint with the university, claiming the song invokes anti-Hindu sentiments. As the institution remains embroiled in controversy and debate, the song itself has become symbolic of the protests which have engulfed the nation.
The song, originally, was immortalised by Iqbal Bano, a famous Ghazal singer from Pakistan who sang the song amid heightened protests in 1985 to an enamoured audience in Lahore. You can listen to her sing here:
The song was also included in Coke Studio Pakistan, where famed singers like Ali Azmat and Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi came up with their modernized rendition of the song.
The song, which has now become a beacon for anyone who is raising their voice against dictatorship and tyranny, has been revised several times and each version is bound to result in goosebumps. From local artists to students chanting the lyrics at universities like Jamia Milia and Aligarh Muslim University this year, you cannot miss these renditions:
Poet and musician Poojan Sahil too came up with his version:
This version by The Hrazdaan Band is quite relevant, given that student leaders can be seen singing the song here:
Here's a powerful video from Jamia Milia, where students can be seen turning to music in order to voice their dissent:
Students of AMU, Aligarh too resorted to Faiz's words to emphasize that violence against students will never be tolerated and that no amount of aggression can silence them: