Viral Video of Students Chanting ‘Faiz Ahmed Faiz’ Verses Has One Big Problem

Have you seen this video?

A woman’s rendition of a famous poem by late artist Faiz Ahmed Faiz has gone viral. Except that its  not written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, but rather Bismil Azimabadi’s verses.

During the Faiz Festival 2019 in Lahore, we were treated to this viral video of a woman reciting verses of ‘sarfaroshi kī tamanna ab humare dil mein hai‘ to a charged audience.

Except, the origin of these verses is ‘a patriotic ghazal written by Bismil Azamabadi’. That’s where they chorus lines come from;

“Sarfaroshi kī tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai
Dekhna hai zor kitnā baazu-e-qatil mein hai”

The slogan was used by Ram Prasad Bismil in his movement for a free India.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Bismil Azimabadi (right)



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While the crowd was clapping and cheering for the woman’s narration to the beat of the drum, it’s unfortunate they just chose the wrong poet to honor the festival which was held in the memory of Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

About the Faiz Festival

The Faiz Festival is organized each year to commemorate and highlight the works of the revolutionary poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. The celebrated poet used his art to voice dissent during Zia-ul-Haq’s reign, considered one of the darkest periods in Pakistani history.

These students were gathered for a similar cause. They were actually mobilizing at the Faiz Mela to encourage people to join their ‘Student Solidarity March’.

This performance generated some backlash, as all social media posts do. People argued that these students don’t understand the spirit of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry and what he stood for.

Not knowing where the verses originally came from doesn’t help their cause either. Does a free sub-continent mix well with ‘Red Asia’?




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Following this, some people actually assumed that these students were from elitist backgrounds. However, that wasnt the case:


Elitist or not, Faiz or not, we think these students did garner some much needed publicity about bringing back student unions in Pakistani educational institutions in a big way. Here’s to hoping this movement gets more traction.

Written by Ummara Sheraz

Entertainment & culture writer at ProPakistani/Lens. Occasionally dabbles in other news.


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