'Poetry is the antidote': in fight against Hindu nationalism, India turns to verse

'Poetry is the antidote': in fight against Hindu nationalism, India turns to verse

Buoyed by social media, Urdu poetry is enjoying new popularity in the face of divisive sectarian politics

In a Delhi hockey stadium in December, about 100,000 people of various ages, genders, and classes flooded in for two days of poetry, debates, food and calligraphy sessions. It was Jashn-e-Rekhta, a three-day Urdu cultural festival, and its popularity reflects a wider appreciation for Urdu poetry. Shayari, historically associated with the politics of resistance, is experiencing a revival in the face of rising Hindu nationalism in Delhi.

At the festival, as people take selfies in front of an “I love Urdu” cutout, Shweta, a 20-year-old college student, says she believes shayari poetry could unite people.

If you are feeling oppressed by the government, you need a medium

I literally love you all,every single of you who stood up against hate & bigotry. It was never my movement,I asked nobody to change name,Not one . But this is an befitting answer to hate. I want to apologise to all Muslims ,I am sorry we didn’t do better but we will #MyNameInUrdu

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