As anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests have raged on through the country ever since the contentious act was passed by the government in December last year, two poems have emerged as powerful and popular songs of peaceful dissent among protesters across the country - Faiz Ahmad Faiz's 'Hum Dekhenge' and Rabindranath Tagore's 'Where the Mind is Without Fear'.
Though written by two very different litterateurs, both the poems have struck a chord with protesters who have been protesting against the Act for being discriminatory against minorities.
Over the past 10 days have heard 6 different renditions of #HumDekhenge. The power of poetry! Who would have thought one day #Faiz would become the protest anthem in India.That 73 years after a land was partitioned, Faiz would bind and stir emotions.https://t.co/kuMsrWhTHp— bs بریندا (@brinda_suri) January 23, 2020
And now, a Sufi singer by the name of Sonam Kalra has brought the two poems together in a great rendition that is serving as a "tonic for soul" on Twitter. In the rendition, Kalra sings Faiz's 1979 song, written against the dictatorial policies of then Pakistani leader Zia ul-Haq. Interspersed throughthe verses in Tagore's 'Where the Mind is Without fear', recited by Dashtango poet Sunil Mehra.
The moving performance is being widely shared on Twitter.
Faiz and Robi Thakur in tandem. Jai Hind https://t.co/K7GVyUcMre— Amit Shah (@zekeinjun) January 22, 2020
Faiz's 'Hum Dekhnge' recently caused controversy in India after staff members of IIT Kanpur raised doubts that the song, written against Pakistani dictatorship of Haq, was "anti-Hindu". The allegations were met with widespread outrage on social media as well as off it.
Recently, Hollywood actor Martin Sheen went viral in India for reciting Tagore's 'Where the Mind is Without Fear' at an event against climate crisis in the United States.