Monday, 30th October 2017

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Tribute in verse to protesting women

Jamia alumnus sings paeans to Jamia ki ladkiyan, Jadavpur ki ladkiyan

  • Published 28.01.20, 2:04 AM
  • Updated 28.01.20, 2:04 AM
  • 3 mins read
Aamir Aziz, former Jamia Millia Islamia student, recites his poem at JU on Monday. Pictures by Sanat Kr Sinha

A former student of Jamia Millia Islamia who has been reading his poems of protest against the amended citizenship regime across campuses paid tribute through a poem to the women who have come out and challenged patriarchy.

Aamir Aziz, who read out the poem at Jadavpur University on Monday, told Metro the sight of women protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens at Park Circus “is the most beautiful visual”.

The 29-year-old, a BTech in civil engineering from Jamia, read out his poem “Jamia ki ladkiyan (The girls of Jamia)” to describe how the women have come out and are spearheading the protest, be it at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi or Park Circus.

Before Aziz took the mic, Khalid Saifulla sang rap numbers to protest CAA and NRC, which he called are “divisive in nature”.

Standing on the ground floor of Subarna Jayanti Bhavan of JU, Aziz recited from the poem: “Shaho ko benaqaab karti hain, Ishaaro se inquilab karti hain, Jamia ki ladkiyan, Aur pitrisatta ke kapde phat jati hain, Sab log raahon se hat jate hain, Jab rasto pe dat jati hain, Jamia ki ladkiyan. (The king is being exposed, they proclaim revolution through gesture, the girls of Jamia, then the clothes of patriarchy is torn apart, when people vacate the streets, then the Jamia girls are out there, more firm).”

He went beyond the text and recited, addressing the women of JU: “Jab insaniyaat ke tute tukde sadko pe girne lagte hain, Bhinj ke mutthi sadko se naare uthane lagti hain, Jadavpur ki ladkiyan, Bhinj ke mutthi se naare uthane lagti hain Jamia ki ladkiyan, Tab gire hue mard aur gir jaate hain. (When the broken pieces of humanity fall on the road, the students of Jadavpur University clench their fists to raise slogans from the streets, the students of Jamia clench their fists to raise slogans from the streets, then the men who are low become all the more low).”

Singer Mousumi Bhowmik, who has been part of many protests herself, said rap and poetry were new tools of protest which were conveying the message to the masses effectively.

“The use of rhythm in rap songs or poems attracts even those who might not have taken the protest seriously. So, as a tool of protest, it is no less effective than a rally. In this age of social network, these new tools of protest become viral immediately. These create a trance,” said Bhowmik, who was present on the campus.

Hundreds of students, who were sitting on stairs, erupted in applause when Aziz mentioned Jadavpur.

Referring to the strong presence of women in protests, author Arundhati Roy had said in the city on Thursday that “obsessed with stigmatising the Muslim man, the propaganda machine does not know how to handle thousands of women from the community”, who are protesting against the new citizenship matrix.

Aziz read out another of his poems, “Main inkaar karta hoon (I refuse to accept)”, which was written on a train ride to Delhi on December 14, the day after Jamia students marched to Parliament to protest the NRC and the CAA.

Now that he is touring the country and joining protests, what is the biggest takeaway for him?

“I have been to Park Circus. This is one the most beautiful visuals, women sitting at a place through the nights. This gives hope,” he said.

Teeti Jowardar
Teeti Jowardar

Teeti Jowardar, an undergraduate student of international relations

"We could visualise the struggle of the women of Jamia through the words of Aamir Aziz as he read out the poem “Jamia ki ladkiya”. His message will only embolden the voice of protest"

Soumita Ganguly
Soumita Ganguly

Soumita Ganguly, a postgraduate student of economics

"I was so mesmerised by Aziz’s poetry that after his session, I took lines of one of his poems written in Urdu and had them translated into Hindi by him. The translation reads: “Tum zameen pe zulm likh do, Aasmaan pe inquilab likha jayega. (You write injustice on the earth, inquilab will be written in the sky)”