Uttar Pradesh, 15 August(Wishav Warta): Many madrasas across Uttar Pradesh defied on Tuesday a controversial state government diktat that asked staff and students at the Islamic educational institutions to sing the national anthem and videograph Independence Day celebrations. In Kanpur, Meerut and Bareilly, three of the biggest madrasa centres in the state, students sang Saare Jahan Se Achha, a 20th century patriotic song penned by the poet Mohammad Iqbal and didn’t record proceedings, saying they didn’t want to give proof of their patriotism. (Live updates)
“Students hoisted the flag and celebrated the occasion with traditional fervour. The government order is an attempt to test our patriotism which is wrong,” said Haji Mohd Saleeh, convener of the Sunni Ulema Council. The controversy was sparked by a circular passed by the Yogi Adityanath government last week that asked the Islamic schools to hoist the Tricolour and sing the national anthem at 8 am. The order, which made photography and videography of the event mandatory, argued that visual proof would help the board in encouraging participants to better their performance in the future. But many of the state’s 16,000 madrasas didn’t take the order well and many prominent clerics publicly opposed the order.