Faiz 5: A Tribute to Kanhaiya Kumar

By Anjum Altaf

(After Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Bol)

Now is the time to speak

Lips not sealed
Body unbroken
Blood coursing still
Through your veins

Now is the time to speak

The iron glows red
Like your blood
The chain lies open
Like your lips

Now is the time to speak

For the tide of life runs out

For truth and honor shall not wait

Say all that needs be said this day

Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem can be accessed in Urdu, Hindi and Roman here.

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  • Anil Kala
    Posted at 10:58h, 07 March Reply

    Kind of similarity between the episode of Kanahaiya getting thrashed by lawyers and Mumtaz Qadri garlanded by lawyers. The level of our lawyers.

    • Anjum Altaf
      Posted at 17:50h, 08 March

      Anil: It is an interesting question why so many lawyers are like this. They are supposed to learn how to reason but in their own conduct they are so unreasonable.

  • Anil Kala
    Posted at 05:52h, 13 March Reply

    Is shouting anti national slogans detrimental to a nation? I don’t think so, in fact it is the other way round; it only unites the country. If it was so, the US should be a weak country. It is easy to damn Kanahaiya after all it is risk free and all the argument you need is choicest abuse.

    These armchair nationalists themselves would not change one bit; avoid paying taxes, spit on roads and walls, jump queues, break traffic rules etc when real time for sacrifice comes will look for easy escape. In crunch situation the “junuuni” fellows like Kanhaiya are more likely to come forward put their head on the block.

    • Anjum Altaf
      Posted at 14:34h, 13 March

      Anil: I find the notion of anti-national very problematic. If you have the right to question other countries, why can’t you question your own? Is blind allegiance required for being considered national?

    • Kabir Altaf Mir
      Posted at 20:29h, 13 March

      I don’t think questioning per se makes someone “anti-national”. It is when the Constitution of a country is disrespected that someone’s opinions are considered beyond the pale. The Indian Constitution talks about the sovereignty of India over a certain territory. In that sense, calling for secession of any state is problematic. Similarly, in Pakistan calling for “azaadi” for Balochistan would be considered “anti-Pakistan” (our equivalent of “anti-national”). Of course, the boundaries of countries change all the time. For example, Bangladesh exists today. From the point of view of many Pakistanis, those who advocated for “liberation” from West Pakistan were certainly “anti-Pakistan”. From the perspective of Bangladeshis, they were freedom fighters. If there is a future independent Kashmir, those who fought and achieved it would be considered freedom fighters while for many Indians they would be secessionists.

      Many eminent Indian lawyers have pointed out that “anti-nationalism” is not a crime according to the Indian Penal Code. Certainly, calling for “Bharat ki barbaadi” is distasteful. However, it is not criminal unless accompanied by something else like incitement to violence.

      There’s a fine line between questioning the actions of a government (for example being anti-war) and calling for the destruction of a country. The question is where this line is legally enforceable.

    • Anil Kala
      Posted at 03:35h, 14 March

      Quite so, but this is not how common people view nationalism. Their logic is simple 2+2=4 and since they identify nation integral to their own personality therefore respond in reflex reaction. I was however trying to figure out why a routine thing happening every other day in J&K was blown out of proportion by the media.

      Consider this (and I am trying to take a perspective of scandalized Indian) a boy a few months short of 18 years, joins a gang of other criminals, rapes and murders a hapless but gutsy girl ,is now out free after three years in a correction home while others are facing hanging. This does disturbs the media but is tolerated and now a student (let us assume) indulges in anti national slogan shouting is slapped with sedition charges! For God sake he is a STUDENT, shouldn’t he be provided counselling rather than slapped with sedition charges, assuming anti national slogan shouting is a crime?

      Funny thing is the judge who granted bail to Kanhaiya, assumed anti-national slogan shouting is a disease and went on lecturing how disease is treated blah blah.

    • Kabir Altaf Mir
      Posted at 06:00h, 14 March

      You are right that slogans for “azaadi” are shouted every Friday in Kashmir. Should the entire valley then be put in jail for sedition? I suppose that it is a bigger deal when such slogans are shouted in Delhi, since one can argue that Kashmir is a conflict area. Also people have made a big deal about how JNU students are studying at taxpayer expense and thus they should not be political.

      The judge in Kanhaiya’s case made a lot of comments that really had nothing to do with the question at hand. She was supposed to decide whether to grant bail or not and she did so. Everything else can only be seen as her personal opinion.

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