‘Kisi Ke Baap Ka Hindustan Thodi Hai’: Remembering Poet Rahat Indori and his Words on Inclusive India

A file photo of Rahat Indori.

A file photo of Rahat Indori.

Rahat Indori passed away on Tuesday afternoon, hours after he tested positive for coronavirus.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: August 11, 2020, 8:40 PM IST

“Sabhi ka khoon shaamil yahan ki mitti mai, kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai”. As the world bids adieu to noted Urdu poet Rahat Indori, these famous lines from his poem are resonating louder. The couplet from Dr Rahat Indori’s poem is a sentiment of belonging, secularism and pluralistic fabric of the country which tends to look beyond the communal divides.

As communal divides become more stark and people are attacked on the basis of religion, this couplet from Rahat Indori spells out the idea of an inclusive society in fewer words and with a lasting impact. In fact, when protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act were held across several cities in India, these lines, written over three decades ago, became a rallying cry. From social media posts to placards, Rahat’s couplet conveyed the sentiment of an entire community.

Rahat Indori passed away on Tuesday afternoon, hours after he tested positive for coronavirus. In the morning, he had broken the news about his health on Twitter and had urged people to pray for his speedy recovery. But, he left us all with his lines “Ye Hindustan kisi ke baap ka thodi hai” etched in public memory forever.

Agar khilaaf hai hone do jaan thodi hai

Ye sab dhuaan hai aasman thodi hai

Lagegi aag to aayenge ghar kai zad me

Yahan pe sirf humara makan thodi hai

Main jaanta hoon ke dushman bhi kam nahi

Lekin humari tarah hatheli pe jaan thodi hai

Humare muhn se jo nikale wahi sadaakat hai

Humare muhn me tumhari zuban thodi hai

Jo aaj saahibe masnad hain kal nahin honge

Kiraaydaar hain zaati makaan thodi hai

Sabhi ka khoon shaamil yahan ki mitti me

Kisi ke baap ka hindustan thodi hai

In an interview with the Indian Express in December 2019, soon after his poem became a rage at the anti-CAA protests, Indori had said he had written the poem some 35 years ago. “I don’t remember the exact year or the context in which it was written. I have recited this ghazal at many mushaiaras and had even forgotten about it, but I don’t know what’s happened in the last three to four years that like a crop rises again, these words have risen again,” he had said back then.

Before becoming the rallying cry at anti-CAA protests, the poem had resonated in the Parliament in Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra’s thunderous voice in June 2019. She gave a rousing speech on signs of rising fascism in India and had concluded her speech with Rahat Indori’s words.

As the news of Rahat Indori’s death broke on Tuesday, people remembered him with his famous lines. He had said that this poem wasn’t written as a Muslim. But, at a time when religious polarisation is growing deeper, the need for Rahat’s words only becomes more timely–“Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai.”

Rahat Indori will continue to live among us with his words that talk about democratic, secular values and an inclusive society.

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