“Faiz’s poems frightened Pakistan’s dictators. The same poem is frightening those who are ruling India,” said Raut.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday criticised the BJP for labelling poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz as “anti-Hindu” and “anti-national”, stating that it is difficult to confine a poet like Faiz in the narrow confines of nationalism and religion.
“After the attack in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Faiz is being labelled as anti-Hindu and anti-national. Faiz is not alive to defend himself. You can’t confine a poet like Faiz into the confines and boundaries of a nation or a religion,” Raut said in his weekly column Rokhthok in Saamana.
“Faiz’s poems frightened Pakistan’s dictators. The same poem is frightening those who are ruling India,” he added.
The Sena MP further said that Faiz’s poem spoke about dethroning the rulers and statues. “This is a symbolism. There was an inspiration to fight for freedom,” he added.
Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur (IIT-K) has set up a panel to inquire into a complaint whether Faiz’s noted poem Hum Dekhenge hurts the sentiments of Hindus. An IIT-K student sang the poem Hum Dekhenge, against which a complaint was filed by Dr Vashimant Sharma, a temporary faculty member, and about 16 others, including faculty members and students.
Terming the inquiry panel set up by IIT-K as “foolish and ridiculous”, Raut said, “A section of the country is sowing the Talibani culture in the country by putting curbs on freedom and expression. They didn’t understand the Bhagavad Gita. So, they won’t understand the soul of a poet like Faiz yearning for freedom and democracy.”
The Sena MP further referred to countries such as Russia, China, Iraq and Germany that imprisoned political opponents. Now, those speaking against the government are being labelled as anti-nationals, he added.
Referring to Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone’s visit to JNU, Raut said that she expressed her feelings silently. “Hurdles will be created in her way in the future. Her advertisements are being banned,” he said.
However, Raut reminded the BJP supporters who are opposing Faiz about former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to Faiz in 1977-78. “Without understanding the meaning of the poem, Faiz has been termed as anti-Hindu. The BJP supporters are opposing Faiz today but a visit to Faiz had brought tears in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s eyes,” he said.