Uttar Pradesh government’s directive for madrasas to hoist the tricolour and sing the national anthem at 8 am on Independence Day and videograph the proceedings of the celebration received mix response.
Most madrasas in central and eastern UP celebrated I-Day by hoisting the tricolor and sang the national anthem, although there was uneasiness across the state over the government’s instructions to record the video.
In some madrasas in Bareilly and Western UP, Allama Iqbal’s `Sare Jahan Se Achchha Hindustan Hamara’, and not Rabindranath Tagore’s `Jana Gana Mana’, was sung. Bareilly shehr qazi Maulana Asjad Raza Khan had on Saturday said that singing of the national anthem was un-Islamic. “Tagore wrote the national anthem in praise of the then British King George V. According to Islam, our ‘adhinayak’ is god and not George. We do not disrespect national anthem but can’t sing it due to our religious sentiments. Even Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh had raised objection to the national anthem.”, TOI quoted him.
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Maulana Asjad Raza Khan runs madrasa Jamiat-ur-Raza, where approx. 1000 students celebrated Independence Day by hoisting of the national flag and sang `Sare Jahan Se Achchha Hindustan Hamara’.
Madrasas in Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Faizabad, Gorakhpur and Jhansi celebrated I-Day with full zeal, but there was resentment against the government order to videograph the event.
Renowned Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema celebrated the Independence Day by hoisting the tricolor and singing `Saare Jahan se Achchha Hindustan Hamara’, followed by special prayers for the safety and prosperity of the country. Maulana Khalid Ghazipuri Nadwi, a cleric in Nadwa said, “It has been a tradition since 1947 to offer special prayers for the country after hoisting the national flag on Independence Day. It was followed this year as well”. When media personnel asked why the national anthem was not sung, he said that it has the word `Sindh’ which is now in Pakistan. “We cannot pray for Pakistan. If the government removes the word, we will sing it proudly”, he added.
It should be noted that Nadwa is not affiliated with the UP Madrassa Board which directed all madrassas to celebrate Independence Day and videograph it as evidence.
India’s old and world reputed Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband also hoisted the National flag on its entrance. Hoisting National flag after many years led to some speculations and some people link and see it with UP government’s recent order.