Basharat Bashir

Protest in Poetry

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You say flowers are blooming on branches              you say the deprived are receiving wine

You say their bruised breasts are healing                    this blatant lie, this corruption of intellect

                                                  I do not accept, I will not accept

(Habib Jalib)

Among various forms of art that we know ‘Poetry’ has had a greater impact when it comes to remonstration for a cause. Artists and activists have used poetry as a tool to establish social and political movements. We are very familiar with how valiantly Habib Jalib, Maya Angelou, and Agha Shahid used their poetry to raise questions and concern over the tyranny of people. Poetry has been more popular and powerful form of art, and commanding enough to gather crowds. Poetry demands and attracts much more attention than any other form of art. With its Capacity to embrace a multitude of Perspectives poetry becomes more convenient form of protest that has a lasting impact.

Many poets from the past have courageously used their poems to expose grim truth’s, raise consciousness and started social and political movements. Poets as activists have played an important role in uniting people for a better change. The Poetry which is intended to generate consciousness serves as a catalyst to rise and shape a Revolution.  And in many cases poets have faced a great deal of discrimination by the power. We are in the time when atrocities of power Gloom over integrity of people and ruthless oppressors shatter human values.  And we Witness most gruesome acts being performed everyday In front of an audience. We understand wrong and right, we have capability to separate filthy from innocent but we are too much involved in ourselves that we oversee all the subjugation the week is going through. World has turned much messier in recent times and it seems difficult to form a relationship of events. And in this mess a revolution is revealing its presence through the words of poets. Poets, who are actively fighting for the oppressed, exposing the powerful and trying to recover the perception of people,. One such poet is Hafiz Ahmad from Assam who is one among many poets who with his poems pose an indubitable struggle against people in power to subjugate the feeble.


Write down I am a Miya

My serial number in NRC is 20,543

I have two children

Another is coming next summer

Will you hate him as you hate me?

These lines by Hafiz Ahmed published in an article are an amazing description of discrimination faced by minorities. Hafiz Ahmed is a Muslim poet of Assam from Bengali origin. He is also part of a literary movement called “Miya poetry”. Muslims of Bengali origin are referred to as “Miyas” in Assam that, among other things, highlights the inequity the community faces in the state. On 11 July, a first-information report was filed against Ahmed, along with nine other Miya poets, who were charged with criminal conspiracy and spreading social disharmony under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. Their poems were referred as an attempt to defame the Assamese people as racist, at a time when the National Register of Citizens was being updated in the state. Currently, more than 19 lac people who are residents of Assam have been excluded from the NRC, and are at risk of statelessness.

Naveen Chorey pen name ‘Mukamal’ is yet another poet who has recently come up to light with his powerful verses. “Vaastavik Kanoon” a poem about mob lynching by Naveen acclaimed amazing response from social media. Naveen in an interview with Ndtv India said that he was stirred by the terrible things that are happening around and that he wanted to contribute something as a stand against such atrocities. Chemical engineer from IIT Delhi Naveen raises some concerning questions through his poetry.  Naveen calls himself an admirer of Adam Gondvi, an Indian poet whose poetry highlighted the plight of marginalized castes, Dalits, and impoverished people.

Amir Aziz, a former student of Jamia Millia Islamia expresses his grief through his poetry on police and system brutality on the protesting students from various universities in different states.

Sab Yaad Rakha Jayega

Sab yaad rakha jayega

Sab Kuch yaad rakha jayega

Tmhari lathiyon or goliyon se jo qatl huye hain mere yaar sab

Unki yaad ko dilo me barbaad rakha jayega

Sab yaad rkha jayega

Sab kuch yaad rkha jayega

Or tum siyahiyon se jhoot likhoge hume maloom hai

Ho hamare khoon se hi sahi sach zaroor likha jayega

Sab yaad rkha jayega

Sab kuch yaad rkha jayega

Mobile, internet, telephone bhari dopeher me band kr k

Sard andheri raat me poore sheher ko nazar band kr k

Hathodiyan lekr dafatan mere ghr me ghus aana

Mere sar badan meri mukhtasar si zindagi ko tod jana

Mere lakht-e-jigar ko beech chorahe pe maar kr

Yun be andaaz hokr tmhara jhund me khade hokr muskurana

Sab yaad rkha jayega

Sab kuch yaad rkha jayega

Or din me mithi mithi baate krna saamne se

Sab kuch thik hai hr zubaan me tutlana

Raat hote hi haq maang rahe logo pe laathiyan chalana goliyan chalana

Hum hi pe hamla krke hum hi ko hamlawar batana

Sab yaad rkha jayega

Sab kuch yaad rkha jayega

Or ye b yaad rakha jayega k kis kis tarah se tumne watan todne ki sazishe ki

Or ye bhi yaad rkha jayega k kis kis tarah se humne watan jodne ki khwahishe ki

Sab yaad rkha jayega

Sab kuch yaad rkha jayega

Or jab kabhi b zikr ayega jahan me daur-e-buzdili ka

Tmhara kaam yaad rkha jayega

Or jab kabhi b zikr ayega jahan me daur-e-zindagi ka

Hmara naam yaad rkha jayega

K kuch log the, jinke irade toote nhi the lohe ki hathodiyon se

K kuch log the, jinke zameer bikey nhi the izar-e-daro ki kodiyon se

K kuch log the, jo tike rhe the tufaan-e-nooh k guzar jaane k baad tak

Or kuch log the, jo zinda rahe the apni maut ki khabar aane k baad tak

Bhale bhool jaye palak aankho ko mundna

Bhale bhool jaye zameen apni dhuri pe ghoomna

Hmare kate paro ki parwaz ko

Hmare phate galo ki awaaz ko yaad rkha jayega

Or tm raat likho, hum chand likhenge

Tm jail me daalo, hum deewar phand likhenge

Tm FIR likho, hum hain tayyar likhenge

Tm hme qatl krdo, hum bnke bhoot likhenge

Tmhare qatl k saare suboot likhenge

Tm adalato se chutkule likho

Hum deewaro pe insaaf likhenge

Behre bhi sunle, itni zor se bolenge

Andhe b padh le, itna saaf likhenge

Tm kaala kamal likho, hum laal gulaab likhenge

Tm zameen pe zulm likho, aasmaan pe inqilaab likha jayega

Sab yaad rkha jayega

Sab kuch yaad rkha jayega






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