Meet Hussain Haidry, the chartered accountant who wrote Hindustani Musalmaan
Hussain Haidry’s poem, Hindustani Musalmaan, echoes the sentiments of an average Indian Muslim whose identity is not restricted by the fact that he/she is born in a Muslim family. In a candid chat with Hindustan Times, the 31-year-old poet talks about his poetry, the unexpected fame, his life and more.bollywood Updated: Feb 27, 2017 10:42 IST
Hussain Haidry is yet to come to terms with the fact that his “two-page-long” poem ‘Hindustani Musalmaan’ has gone viral, making him an overnight internet star in India. It was uploaded for ‘Kommune India’ YouTube channel and went viral this weekend. The poem talks about the various identities one imbibes owing to different kinds of lifestyles and emphasises on the fact that religion is just a coincidental factor, not one that shapes identities.
Given the new United States President Donald Trump’s openly anti-Muslim stand and the widespread Islamophobia around the world, there is a set of stereotypes that Muslims face - especially in a place like India which is diverse in the religions that populate the country but where politics is all about dividing people on basis of religion.
Hussain Haidry’s poem echoes the sentiments of an average Indian Muslim whose identity is not restricted by the fact that he/she is born in a Muslim family.
In a candid chat with Hindustan Times, 31-year-old Hussain talks about his poetry, the unexpected fame, his life and more.
The story behind the poem
I wrote the opening lines almost a year back when I was travelling from Kolkata to Bhutan. I wrote it on a small diary and later lost the diary. But somehow, the opening lines remained with me. Recently, when Kommune approached me for a video, I wrote the poem starting it with those opening lines.
It is about a personal journey and I had no idea so many people will identify with it. Frankly, there is nothing new in the poem. It is the question of identity that we often face. It is just a personal journey of seeking identity.
Have you personally faced discrimination or stereotyping?
I belong to a middle-class family and went to a good school, did my MBA from IIM. So I have always moved around in spheres where this does not come into picture very apparently. I was lucky enough in that aspect. I am also grateful to my teachers that they set the tone and never made me feel different during school. I know worse things happen to others and it would sound trivial if I talk about my experiences. The kind of things I read in news reports make me feel my experience is not even worth mentioning. I don’t have the right to say I have been discriminated.
On becoming an internet sensation
I am still learning how to write. I do not think I deserve to give interviews and be this famous. I am a very junior writer. I am not an expert who can speak in depth about socio-religious identities and the like. People suddenly want me to provide solutions for the religious crisis we face as a society. Academically, I am a CA who has also pursued MBA. I have nothing to do with politics. It is just a personal experience that found resonance with many people.
Watch the viral poem here: