Multiple FIRs have been filed against a college teacher in Assam for allegedly trying to defame Sahitya Akademi Award winning writer and former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Syed Abdul Malik by uploading excerpts from one of his popular poems on the social media.
Two FIRs were filed by the All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) in Bongaigaon and Golaghat districts and one by Sadou Asom Goriya Moriya Deshi Jatiya Parishad in Guwahati on Thursday against Rupa Rani Bhuyan, a teacher of English in Darrang College.
In its FIR, AAMSU said Bhuyan uploaded a portion of the poem to “defame” Malik and “lower his dignity in the public esteem as well as to promote enmity between different religious groups”.
The poem, Moi Oxomiya, narrates how the Mughals, full of self-esteem and proud of their military might, had entered Assam to conquer it.
But Assam’s beauty mesmerised them and its people’s abilities prompted them to stay back and embrace Assam as their motherland and Assamese as their mother tongue.
The poem, first published in 1941, is still celebrated for eulogizing Assam, its people, culture and the Assamese language. However, Bhuyan reportedly uploaded the first three stanzas and said that it was nothing but Moghal bondona (glorification of the Mughals) by Malik.
The post triggered uproar in social media. Many alleged that it was an attempt to defame Malik who had enriched Assamese literature with dozens of novels, short stories and poems.
Bhuyan later deleted the post. In a post on Thursday, she said no one, including Rabindranath Tagore and Malik, was above criticism and those who had criticised her were not aware of her opinion.
Sources said Hatigaon police in Guwahati lodged a case under Sections 153A, 500 and 501 of the IPC after the Guwahati unit of Sadou Asom Goriya Moriya Deshi Jatiya Parishad filed an FIR.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) demanded legal action against those making communal comments.
Asam Sahitya Sabha president Kula Saikia said the comment about Malik was “shameful”.
Sabha’s former president Paramananda Rajbongshi said Malik’s Moi Oxomiya was a patriotic and nice poem and requested all “not to create any controversy” over it.
Writer Nagen Saikia said he felt “sad” about the issue.
Additional reporting by a staff reporter