Bengali Muslim poets booked for a poem on citizenship issues

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TCN News

Based on a complaint filed by Pranabjit Doloi in Guwhati over a poem that expresses the difficulties and emotions of the people who are facing citizenship issues in Assam state, the police have registered a FIR booking 10 prominent poets on Thursday.

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According to the complainant, the ‘Miya Poem’ shows the Assamese Government and Assamese society in a bad light at the International level. He also claimed that the poem is likely to spread hatred and could be a threat to the security of the state.

The police have booked the 10 persons under sections 120b, 153a, 295a and 188of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that talk of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste, community or any other group, insulting religion or religious beliefs.

The poem written by Kazi Sharowar Hussein, one of Bengal origin Muslim poets in a dialect called ‘ Miya dialect’ is as follows:

write Down
I am a Miya
My serial number in NRC is 200543
I have two children
Another is coming
In the next summer,
would you hate him
As you hate me?
I am a Miya
I turned waste, Marshy land,
To green paddy field,
To feed you,
I carry brick
To build your building,
Drive your car
For your comfort,
I clean your drain,
To keep you healthy.
I have always been
In your service
Even then
you are dissatisfied!

write Down
I am a Miya,
A citizen of a democratic, secular, Republic
Without any right,
My mother has been made a D voter,
Though her parents are Indian,
If you wish you can kill me, drive me away from my village,
Snatch away my green field,
The Roller of you

Can roll over me,
Your bullets
Can shatter my breast,
Without any punishment.

I am a Miya
living on the Brahamaputra
Tolerating your torture,
My body has turned black,
My eyes red with fire.

Be Aware!
I have nothing but anger in stock.
keep away!
Turn to Ashes.

The 10 poets are Kazi Sharowar Hussein, Hafiz Ahmed, Sultana, Abdur Rahim, Ashraful Hussain, Abdul Kalam Azad, Selim M. Hussain, Karishma Hazarika, Barnamalika Choudhury and Farhad Bhuyan.

However, many activists have come out to express solidarity and condemn this act as every citizen is entitled to the right to freedom of speech and expression. The poet has expressed the anguish of the people who have been listed as D voters and others who have been declared foreigners and sent to detention camps and those who have committed suicide to the NRC process.

One activist on his social media platform has said that ‘the complainant wants the xenophobic nature of the NRC process to be lied about and the victims should take all the shit given to them without a whimper’.

The police have made a FIR but no action has been taken so far.