Poetry to protest: Hyderabadis take to ‘shayari’ against CAA

Hyderabad: On the eve of Republic Day, Hyderabad witnessed a strange spectacle. The protests against CAA/NRC spilled into celebrations. And for a change poetry dominated speeches. There were no slogans or banners – only verses to mark the ‘Youm-e-Jamhuria’ programme convened by the Alliance Against CAA and NRC, of which the Asaduddin Owaisi led AIMIM is a part. People in their hundreds assembled at the Khilwat ground to register their protest and also to celebrate RD.

Following the High Court directive, the programme venue was shifted from the historic Charminar to the nearby Khilwat ground. The court also curtailed the time given to the organizers by asking them to wind up the programme by 9.15 p.m. Soon after the Maghrib namaz, the programme started around 6.30 p.m. In view of the large number of leaders present on the dais, Mr. Owaisi urged them to limit their address to just 5 to 7 minutes so that the poets invited for the programme could be heard.

Whatever the occasion, Hyderabadis turn to shayeri for both pleasure and inspiration. It was no different this time. A good number of people dropped in just to listen to Rahat Indori, who is making waves with his verse ‘Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai’. Other big names like Manzar Bhopali, Sampat Saral, Shabeena Adeeb, Nabia Khan, Hashim Ferozabadi, Aamir Aziz, Husain Hyderi and Iqra Khan graced the occasion.

Protest Poetry meeting republic day hyderabad nrc caa

The programme commenced with the famous poem ‘Kab tak mere Moula’ written by Hyderabad poet, Shaz Tamkanat. Warasi brothers cast a mesmerising spell with this soul-stirring qawwali:

Main ek harfe tamanna hoon

Badi der se chup hoon

Kab tak mere Maula

The audience was moved when this verse was rendered:

Aye kashife israre nihani tere sadqe

Ab Shaz ko de hukum tere sadqe

Tehra huva darya hoon badi der se chup hun

In the backdrop of the magnificent Khilwat palace, the poets set the evening afire with their searing verses. Women also turned up in large numbers. When protest poetry is on can the revolutionary nazm of Faiz Ahmed Faiz be far behind. The moving poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ reverberated in the Khilwat ground as the Warsi brother sang:

Hum dekhenge

Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge

Wo din ke jis ka wada hai

Jo lauh-e-azl mein likha hai

In view of the paucity of time, the organisers interspersed the programme with poetry and speeches. The crowed lustily cheered when it was announced that the Telangana Chief Minister, K. Chandrashkar Rao, had tweeted that a resolution against implementation of CAA and NRC would be passed in the ensuing session of state Assembly. Many in the crowed were seen waving the tricolour as the mushaira was on.

Local poet, Sardar Saleem, regaled the audience with his ghazal:

Khabar rakhna bhi mushkil

Nazr rakhna bhi mushkil

Bharosa ab to Chowkidar pe bhi mushkil

Hussain Haidary of Delhi received lot of applause when he highlighted the diversity of class, caste, region and philosophy through his poem ‘Hindustani Musalman’.

Main kaisa Musalman Hoon Bhai

Main Shia hoon ya Sunni hoon

Main Khoja hoon ya Bhori hoon

Main gaaon se hoon ya shehri hoon

Main Baagi hoon ya Sufi hoon

Main quomi hoon ya dhongi hoon

Main kaisa Musalman hoon bhai?

Protest Poetry meeting republic day hyderabad nrc caa

A Jamia product, Aamir Aziz, created quite a stir with his powerful poem written in the wake of recent attack on JNU students.

Sab yaad rakha jayega

Sab kutch yaad rakha jayega

Tumahari lathion se golion se jo khatl huye hain

Mere yaar sab

Unki yaad mein dilon ko barbad rakha jayega

Sab kutch yaad rakha jayega

Young woman poet, Nabia Khan, was a big hit with the audience when she pointed out how the present revolution is being carried out by women wearing bindi and burqa. Her poem “Ayega inqilab’ seemed to strike a chord in the listeners as it made veiled references to the Shaheen Bagh protest.

Ayega inqilab

Pehan ke bindi, chudiyan, burqa, hijab

Kabhi Shaheen Bagh ban ke

Kabhi Jamia ki shaan ban ke

Lene tumhare zulm ka hisab

Ayega inqilab

Iqra Khan, who introduced herself as the daughter from the land of Modi and Amit Shah won over the audience with her nazm which focussed on the role of women:

Kisi ke dum se nahin tu roshan

Ke tu auje noor hilal hai

Tu ab kisi ki amaan mein nahin

Ke tu ab khud alambardar hai

Popular poetess, Shabeena Adeeb, fired up the atmosphere with her poem ‘Hindustan hamara hai’. In her characteristic style she went hammer and tongs thus:

Hindustan hamara hai

Yehin jiyenge, yehin marenge

Ye armaan hamara hai

Another well known poet, Manzar Bhopali, left his mark with his sarcastic verses.

Maut se jo dar jaaon zindgi nahin milti

Jung jeetna chaho kashtiyan jaladena

Ghairat-e-jihad apni, zakhm kha ke jaagegi

Pahla waar tum karlo, doosra hamara hai

Many hung on to listen to Rahat Indori. And of course he lived up to his reputation. He recited the hugely popular ghazal which has the recurring words ‘thodi hai’ much to the delight of the crowd.

Main jaanta hoon dushman bhi kam nahin

Laikin hamari tarha jaan hateli pe thodi hai

Sabhi ka khoon shamil hai yehan ki mitti mein

Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai

Rahat Indori came up with a new verse which ridicules the insistence on producing documents to establish identity.

Main jab mar jaaonga to meri alag pehchaan likh dena

Lahu se meri peshani pe Hindustan likh dena

 

Protest Poetry meeting republic day hyderabad nrc caa Image credits: Dheeshma Puzhakkal

J.S. Ifthekhar

J.S. Ifthekhar is a senior journalist with nearly four decades of experience. Ifthekhar cut his teeth in journalism at the Indian Express before he moved to The Hindu. He was also associated with the Siasat Daily, Telangana Today, Deccan Chronicle, Onlooker magazine, Newstrack, Detective Digest and a few news agencies. He has written on different subjects and aspects of Hyderabadi life. However, his passion remains literature in general and Urdu poetry in particular. He is equally concerned with culture, heritage, civic affairs and problems confronting the man in the street. As a journalist he has taken up cudgels on behalf of the underprivileged and many of his stories in The Hindu saw the government promptly taking corrective measures. Ifthekhar has authored two books - Hyderabad - The Nawabi City on The Move and Haj - The Spirit Behind it. He has also translated two books from Urdu to English. Currently he is working on his third book - Poets and Writers of Deccan.

Loves to write and writes to live. Can't imagine doing anything else.

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