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UP madrassas unfurl tricolour, sing national anthem on Independence Day

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-08-2017 PTI

Lucknow: Madrassas in Lucknow on Tuesday celebrated the 71st Independence Day by unfurling the tricolour and reciting the national anthem, even as the Uttar Pradesh government’s recent order of videography of the celebrations created “confusions” among the Islamic schools.

Though many madrassas paid heed to the order, many other claimed that they never received any official word on the celebrations. Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahli, head of Darul Uloom Firangimahal, said, “The Independence Day was celebrated in the madrassas traditionally with unfurling of national flag, recital of national anthem and distribution of sweets among students.” On being asked about the state directives on videography of the celebrations, the cleric said some of the Muslim religious schools have been doing it for their records, while some other madrassas chose to avoid the order.

According to the government circular, flag hoisting and recitation of the national anthem should take place at 8am on Independence Day in all madrassas. Apart from this, the Islamic schools were also directed to videograph the events organized to mark the day. Firangimahli, who is also a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said an “unnecessary hype” has been created with regard to the government order as the madrassas have always been celebrating Independence Day with fervour and gaiety.

To a question on madrassas of the Barelvi sect deciding against singing Jana Gana Mana on the occasion, the Maulana said the statement could be that of an individual as “the national anthem has been sung ever since Independence in madrassas”. He, however, noted that the BJP-led state government should not have issued the order specifically for madrassas, but for all schools, colleges and universities. Echoing similar views, Ashraf Usmani, spokesman of the Darul Uloom Deoband, said like in the past, the day was celebrated by unfurling of tricolour and singing of the national anthem.

“We have been celebrating the day in this manner earlier too,” he said. On the videography directive, Usmani said none of the madrassas he knew had received the government circular nor was there any need to give an “evidence” of the functions. “This is the function of our freedom, why will we not celebrate it?” he asked.

In Bareilly, a majority of madrassas celebrated the day by unfurling the national flag, but some of them desisted from singing the national anthem. Meanwhile, the Barelvi sect’s call on Monday for defying the government order evoked a mixed response from the madrassas under it. “There was a mixed response to the decision to defy the government order,” maulana Shahbuddin Rizvi, national general secretary of All India Jamat Raza Mustafa, said. Minority welfare officer of Bareilly, Jagmohan Singh, said a report on the recitation of national anthem and videography of Independence Day events in madrassas was being sent to the government.

District magistrate R. Vikram Singh had promulgated prohibitory orders in the district Monday night after a few Muslim organizations decided to defy the government order.

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