Free Press Journal

UP: Madrassas told to record Independence Day celebration


Indian schoolchildren wave national flags wait to perform during Independence Day celebrations at a school in Kolkata on August 15, 2015. India celebrates its anniversary of independence from Britain on August 15, with great pomp, with the Indian tricolour hoisted atop schools, government offices prominent buildings and homes.AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu Sarkar

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has directed all madrassas (Islamic schools) to hold celebrations on Independence Day and videograph the event, according to minority welfare minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary. Chaudhary’s junior minister Baldev Aulakh even warned of action against madrassas which do not follow the order.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahli, however, questioned the need for the directive and whether it was only for madrassas or for all schools. “If it is only in madrassas, does it mean that our patriotism is being suspected?” he said.

The event to be held on August 15 should include hoisting the tri-colour, singing the national anthem and paying tributes to freedom fighters, an official circular said. Defending the move, Chaudhary told PTI that the celebration will inspire students and they will learn more about the contribution of the freedom fighters.

He said the children can treasure the memories of the Independence Day celebrations through the photographs and videos which will also act as a source of inspiration for others. Aulakh, who is Minister of State for minority welfare, said, “We have asked for videography of all programmes. We can check at random as to which madrassa has celebrated it or not”.

“If any madrassa does not celebrate it, action will be taken against it,” he said, without elaborating. Madrassas get financial assistance from the state government. At present, around 8,000 madrasas in UP are recognised by the government body UP Madrassa Shiksha Parishad. Among these, 560 are fully aided by the state.