Yogi directive to 'madarsas' on I-day celebrations triggers controversy

Yogi directive to 'madarsas' on I-day celebrations triggers controversy
Uttar Pradesh government's directive to the 'madrasas' (Islamic Schools) to celebrate Independence Day by unfurling the tricolour and recital of National Anthem and National Song has triggered a huge controversy with a section of the Muslim clergy taking umbrage to the directives saying that it was tantamount to calling their patriotism in question.
The state government, in a circular issued to all the 'madrasas', directed them to celebrate Independence Day as per the guidelines contained in it.
The 'madrasas' were directed to unfurl the tricolour at 8 in the morning to be followed by the recital of the national anthem and national song. It further directed them to explain to the students the significance of Independence Day followed by a recital of patriotic songs by the students.
The teachers were also directed to tell the students about the contribution of the freedom fighters.
What irked the Muslim clerics most was the directive to conduct videography of the entire program and submit the video, pictures to the concerned government official.
''The directive appears to question the patriotism of the madrasas.....the madrasas had also made a significant contribution to the freedom struggle....it is not proper to cast doubt on their patriotism,'' said the manager of a madrasa in the state capital.
Some school managers also voiced opposition to the singing of 'Vande Mataram'. ''No one should be compelled to sing Vande Mataram....besides we always celebrate Independence Day,'' the manager added.
''Why was such a circular not sent to all the schools?......why only to the madrasas?'' asked a senior Muslim cleric here on Friday.
According to the sources in the government, it was for the first time such a circular had been issued to the 'madrasas'.
UP minister Mohsin Raza, however, defended the circular and said that no one should have any objection to holding programs on the occasion of Independence Day.

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