While replying to the ‘Motion of Thanks on the President’s address’ in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, 26 June, read out an Urdu couplet and attributed it to popular Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib.
“Taaumra Ghalib yeh bhool karta raha, dhool chehre par thi aaina saaf karta raha,” Modi used these lines while addressing the Parliament.
शायद इसीलिए ग़ालिब ने कहा था कि— BJP (@BJP4India) June 26, 2019
ताउम्र ग़ालिब ये भूल करता रहा, ताउम्र ग़ालिब ये भूल करता रहा,
धूल चेहरे पर थी और मैं आइना साफ़ करता रहा: पीएम मोदी
However, lyricist Javed Akhtar was quick to point out that Modi had wrongly attributed the couplet to Ghalib.
Akhtar took to Twitter to say, “The sher that the prime minister saheb has quoted in his Rajya Sabha speech is wrongly attributed to Ghalib in the social media. Actually both the lines are not even in the proper meter. (sic)”
The sher that the prime minister saheb has quoted in his Rajya Sabha speech is wrongly attributed to Ghalib in the Social media . Actually both the lines are not even in the proper meter .— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) June 26, 2019
The Quint spoke to historian Rana Safvi who said that the sher (couplet) has been wrongly attributed to Ghalib. However, it is not known whose sher is it.
“In our lingo, it is called SMS shayari. But it is not Ghalib’s sher,” Safvi said.
A Common Error
However, Modi is not the first one to misquote the couplet to Ghalib. Earlier in 2012, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt too had done the same.
Umra bhar Ghalib yahi Bhool Karta raha, Dhool Chehre pe thi, aur Aina saaf karta raha. Mirza Galib.— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) November 30, 2012
According to an article by India Today, in March 2012, Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal misquoted the aforementioned couplet to the Urdu poet in the state Assembly.
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