One poem,10 accused: Writing poetry not a solution, says FIR against ‘Miyah Poetry’ in Assam
In a bizarre development, a police complaint in Guwahati accuses a group of poets and translators of committing contempt of court and defaming Assamese people as Xenophobic
In an FIR filed at Panbazar Police Station in Guwahati, a poem, translated into English, has been cited as an example of criminal activity designed to defame Assamese people and create communal disturbances. The poem, the FIR states, is written in the ‘Miyah’ dialect.
In Assam, the word Miyah is used as a pejorative against Muslims of Bengali origin. Through Miyah poetry, many are talking about their identity and about the discrimination faced by the community.
The poem mentioned in the FIR is the following:
I am a Miyah
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?
Write I am a Miyah
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 Miyah
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.
Write I am a Miyah
living on the Brahamaputra
Tolerating your torture,
My body has turned black,
My eyes red with fire.
I have nothing but anger in stock.
Turn to Ashes.
The FIR names 10 people and accuses them of various offences including Contempt of Court.
Acknowledging that Mia Poetry is going viral on social media, the FIR alleges that through national and international media, Miyah poetry is ‘hindering the process of NRC monitored by the Supreme Court of India’ and defaming Assamese people as Xenophobic.
Writing poetry is not a solution, says the FIR which seeks police action against the accused.
Published: 12 Jul 2019, 6:13 PM