The patriotism controversy refuses to die down even as the nation is preparing to celebrate its 70th Independence Day. Now a school in the Sadiabad area of Allahabad has passed an order declaring a ban on the National Anthem and other patriotic songs such as Vande Mataram and Sarawati Vandana. The school will not be participating in singing these songs on the occasion of India’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on 15th August.
This bizarre order was passed by the manager of MA convert school, Mohammad Zia-ul Haq. He claimed that parents of Muslim children had said that they don’t wish their children to praise the country as it is un-Islamic.
The phrase “Bharat Bhagya Vidhata” is against the preaching of Islam. The phrase means ‘Bharat (India) is the destiny maker’, whereas Muslims believe that only their God, Allah, can be the destiny maker. They do not wish to praise anything else but their Gods.
Mohd Zialul Haq told a news daily: “National anthem has a line ‘Bharat bhagya vidhata’ which is against Islam as Allah is our Bhagya vidhata. How can we say Bharat has made our destiny,” he questioned, adding: “In the national anthem, the country has been described as being bigger and more important than ‘mazhab’ (religion) and ‘khuda’ (god) which would be unacceptable to any true Muslim.”
He added: “Even the Supreme Court says that you cannot force anyone to do anything which is against their religion.”
According to him, this is not the first time that a school has refused singing the national anthem, he says that it is a practice that has been continuing for many years now.
Soon after the order was passed, seven teachers, including the principal, immediately resigned from the school. Expressing her outrage, principal Ritu Shukla said: “The school has 200 Hindu students while remaining 130 are Muslims. How can the manager ban things like Vande Mataram and national anthem citing stupid religious reasons? I left the school as soon as I heard about this. Seven more teachers have also left their jobs as this is not acceptable at all”. The principal has also decided to take legal action against the school for passing this order.
District Magistrate of Allahabad Sanjay Kumar said strict actions would be taken against the school management which runs the institution till 8th grade.