Inflammatory language is being investigated, not Faiz's poem: IIT-K

NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, has not set up a committee to investigate whether a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz is communal, said the director of the institute, Abhay Karandikar, emphasizing that the issue has been wrongly reported in the media.

The lines of the poem Hum Dekhenge, which is at the center of the controversy, were recited in a protest by some 300 students at IIT-Kanpur showing solidarity with the students of Jamia Milia Islamia on December 17. A complaint was filed on December 20 by a temporary faculty member and another 16, including teachers and students, who declared that some words hurt the feelings of Hindus. A committee was formed on December 21.

“We have received several complaints about the protest on December 17. But the committee was never asked to find out if Faiz's poem is anti-Hindu. This was reported without talking to the administration. The committee's mandate was never to investigate the poem, but to investigate allegations of use of inflammatory language by a student section during a meeting, ”said Karandikar.

IIT-Kanpur Deputy Director Manindra Agarwal, who heads the five-member investigation committee, said the institute is not judging whether Faiz's poem is communal.

Asking the media not to sensationalize the issue, Agarwal said: “A committee has been set up to address several complaints received from multiple groups of students, as well as a member of the faculty regarding the protest march held on September 17. December at the institute's facilities and subsequent publications on social networks.

He said the committee's mandate is to investigate complaints of the use of inflammatory, abusive and intimidating language by a section of students during a meeting, as well as in some publications, articles and blogs on social networks. The terms of reference of the committee do not include investigating the question of whether said poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz is communal.