School bans recitation of National Anthem on Independence Day, says ‘Bharat Bhagya Vidhata’ against Islam
In a shocking incident, a school in Allahabad banned its students and staff members from reciting the National Anthem on Independence Day, claiming that its words violated the tenets of Muslims, following which the principal, along with eight teachers, have quit the job in protest against the diktat.
Authorities said that a probe has been launched against M A Convent School based in Baghara locality of the city in the matter and maintained that it was not recognised by the education department.
Meanwhile, BJP alleged that Samajwadi Party is pursuing vote bank politics and encouraging anti- national elements, and sought action against the school management for its decision. The party also claimed that the school has backing of a senior Uttar Pradesh minister.
"It is shameful that such a thing has been happening in the school for the last 12 years. A senior UP minister has ensured that no action is taken against the management. The SP government is giving protection not only to criminals and rapists but also to those who insult the nation and are anti-nationals," party's National Secretary Shrikant Sharma alleged.
Zia-ul Haq, the school manager, told the teachers that singing of the national anthem could not be allowed as the phrase Bharat Bhagya Vidhata in its first stanza went against the tenets of Islam, according to the teachers who resigned two days ago.
The manager, who has already banned national song Vande Mataram and Saraswati Vandana, said that if they were not in agreement with this "policy" of the school, they could leave.
"Most of us have been working here for not a very long time. We were shocked to learn from the management that the school has never allowed the singing of national anthem in the last 12 years.
"Since we had been asked to fall in line or leave, we chose a decision based on our conscience," Ritu Tripathi, who was the principal, said.
The school has around 300 students.
She said, "Seven of my colleagues have put in their papers in protest against this attitude of the school management".
Haq, on his part, stuck to his guns asserting "only Allah can be the Bhagya Vidhata, which means the one who decides our destiny. How can we call Bharat our Bhagya Vidhata?"
The Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Allahabad, Jaikaran Yadav, said, "We are surprised to learn that the school is still running.
"It is not duly recognized by the Basic Shiksha department and we had sent its management a notice to close the institution about a week ago."
He said a probe is on in the matter and action will be taken as per law.
"The reported refusal to allow singing of national anthem would amount to yet another offence on part of the schools management," he said.
"We have initiated a probe into the matter. If the allegations levelled against the management are found to be true, action will be taken in accordance with the law," Yadav said.
(With PTI inputs)