Factcheck for Vivek Agnihotri: You got the poet wrong

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Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, a movie director and Hindu right-wing activist, has got the most famous couplet on Kashmir wrong.

Agnihotri received backlash for a video that he posted on Twitter in which he is seen joyriding on Dal lake on a bitterly cold day.

He had captioned the video as “my thoughts on why it’s every Indian’s duty to make Kashmir successful.”

Agnihotri was in Kashmir along with his team for the shoot of his upcoming movie, The Kashmir Files”, a movie which he claims is based on the “unreported story of the most tragic and gut-wrenching genocide of Kashmiri Hindus”.

In the video, Agnihotri is heard praising the beauty of Kashmir while narrating a Persian couplet: “Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast; Hameen asto, hameen asto, hameen ast”. He then attributes the couplet to Firdaus, narrating that it was Firdaus who said it, not knowing that firdaus is a Persian word for paradise.

The couplet was read and made famous by Mughal emperor Jehangir when he first visited Kashmir and translates as: “If there is a paradise on earth; It is this, it is this, it is this”.

The Persian couplet is believed to have been written by Amir Khusrau, a 13th century mystic and poet.

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