The UP Madrassa Board has, through this directive, put all Madrassas on a Patriotism Test, all Independence Day Celebrations will be selectively Videographed
All Madrassas in UP will be compelled under this directive to have all August 15,Independence Day celebrations monitored through video graph. The aim is claimed to be to determine a Madrassas Ideology but given the selective intrusion by government, it is nothing but a major Italian slur on minority institutions.
Stiff opposition to this move by the Madrassa Board is already mounting. It all began with a letter dated August 3 from the Madrassa Parishad Board to the minority officer in the district administration. This communication stated at in every Madrassa in the state, at 8 am on August 15, Flag hoisting ceremony must be held and between 8 and 10 am martyrs should be paid respects to.
Rahul Gupta, registrar of the UP Madrasa Education Board, defended the government's decision. “The directions are unnecessarily being misread by a section. Photography and videography are to record novel ideas, if any , adopted by madrassas during celebrations. Those things can be repeated in other madrassas next year,“ Gupta said. Rahul Gupta, registrar of the UP Madrasa Education Bo ard, defended the order to madrassas to film Independence Day events, saying, “We have very noble and clear intentions regarding this. It is wrong to say that madrassas are being targeted through these directions.“
PTI quoted Maulana Khalid Rashid Mahali, member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, lodging a protest. Questioning the need for the directive and asking why madrassas had been singled out, the cleric said, “If it is only to madrassas, does it mean our patriotism is being suspected?“ CPM's Brinda Karat said, “I believe these coercive steps in the name of nationalism are shameful. It is ridiculous that it comes from people who have never been part of the freedom struggle and are imposing fake nationalism.“ Defending the decision, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao, said, “At a time when the spectre of radical Islam is a threat to the community , Muslims should welcome the move rather than place religion over nation. Respect for national symbols is non-negotiable.“
Narsimha said mindless minority appeasement for decades has degenerated to an extent that even celebrating I-Day is seen through a communal prism by rabid elements in the Muslim community and the political class. “It is the same divisive mindset that led to the partition,“ said Narsimha.
The controversial circular of UP Madrassa Education Board, which comes under the minority welfare department of the UP go vernment, has been sent to around 8,500 government-aided madrasas, including 507, whose teachers are on government payroll. The rest get assistance under the state government's madrassa modernisation scheme, said RP Singh, joint director, minority welfare. The board has said the idea behind the decision was to make sure “that the best functions can be repeated in future“. While such circulars have been issued in the past too, this one differs in demanding that the celebrations be videographed, ostensibly to replicate the betterorganized functions in future.
Muslim teachers accused the government of subjecting them to a patriotism test. Ajaz Ahmed, national president of the Islamic Madrasa Modernisation Teachers Association of India said, “We are being asked to submit proof of these events. It is like asking us to prove our nationalism and patriotism. “We hoist the tri-colour on I-Day and R-Day and sing our national anthem in all madrasas since long and will do so this time too,“ he added. Similar sentiments were aired by Maulana Saif Abbas, who runs Madrasa Abu Talib in Lucknow.“Rashtragaan is a regular feature at our madrassas on I-Day and RDay . By asking us to submit video proof, the government has declared that they doubt our patriotism,“ the Shia cleric said.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed said, “The community has been an integral part of the freedom movement. Why has the government not issued similar directives to all government-aided schools and singled out madrassas?“ he asked.
Sanjay Sinha, secretary of the Basic Education Council, said, “It's a routine exercise to issue a letter ahead of importance days like Independence Day . This year, too, a letter asking schools to carry out tree plantation, reciting of national anthem, hoisting of national flag has been drafted. The letter will reach schools on August12.Students should be told the significance of I-Day. But no provision of videography has been written in the letter.“
Maulana Arshad Madani, national president of the Deobandbased Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, said, “The directions have been issued by people of a particular mindset who can never accept the fact that Muslims can also be loyal Indians.They never realise our forefathers have also shed blood for the nation's independence and that we too love this land like others. They always look for excuses to malign our reputation, often by labelling us terrorists. This photography or videography is also part of the campaign to instil fear in the minds of Muslim students that big brother is watching you always.“