I Am a Muslim Poet

On July 11, an FIR was filed with Assam Police against 10 people under various IPC sections pertaining to criminal conspiracy, promoting social enmity and insulting religion – for writing poetry. The author writes this poem in response to the appalling news, closely following the structure and borrowing verses from Hafiz Ahmed’s ‘I am Miya’.



Arrest me too

I am a Poet

And a Muslim.


I do not have a number yet

But, I will soon be a statistic.

My parents hope not

But they know it too,

That you hate me

As you hated Tabrez,

And you hated Lankesh

And some 96 other

Odd numbers.


I write verses

Provocative yet real.

But you’d rather

Live in the comfort,

Of ignorance

That promises

To keep you privileged.


I have always written

For the nation.

And yet,

You brand me anti-national!

Now, you write down

I am

A citizen of a democratic, secular, Republic

But, with lesser rights

Than you have,

Because I am a Muslim,

And a Poet

It doesn’t matter that I’m an Indian,


If you wish you can kill me,

Drive me away from my home,

Snatch away the pen and paper,

The weaker among you can gather a mob,

And you can tear at my flesh

Without any punishment.


Write, I am a Poet

Living in a Muslim ghetto

Chewing on the daily news,

Of violence

And more violence.

My mind is saturated,

My body has gone numb, but

My eyes red with fire.


Be Aware!

I have nothing but anger in stock.

Keep away!


Turn to Ashes.


Note: The verses in Italics have been borrowed from Ahmed’s poem. 

Featured image credit: PTI