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Madrasas in MP told to hold Tiranga rally on Independence Day, send videos as proof

The circular issued by the MP government’s general administration department also asks the schools to take out “morning processions” and does not make it mandatory on them to send photos or videos.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2018 22:56 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Madrasas,Madhya Pradesh,Tiranga rally
A similar Independence Day order issued by the state government for the madrasas last year had drawn flak from members of the Muslim community.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has asked its madrasas to hold a Tiranga rally on August 15 as part of the Independence Day celebrations, and send videos as “proof” to the Madhya Pradesh Madarsa Board.

The circular issued by the MP government’s general administration department asks the schools, on the other hand, to take out “morning processions” and does not make it mandatory on them to send photos or videos.

The circular, dated August 7, has titled the ‘Tiranga rally’ for madrasas under a theme, Paigham-e-Mohabbat (message of love), with a competition of sorts whereby the best rally, decided by the board based on the videos received, would be rewarded.

A similar Independence Day order issued by the state government for the madrasas last year had drawn flak from members of the Muslim community who had raised concerns over the directive, which appeared to suggest that the government “doubted the community’s patriotism”.

“Every madrasa has to hoist the national flag on Independence Day and take out a rally to spread the message of love and brotherhood among people of different communities. This year, we have asked the madrasas to invite people from all communities to take part in the rally,” board chairman Syed Imad Uddin said.

He said the order to shoot videos “has nothing to do with any evidence to prove our patriotism”. “It is (being asked) so that the best rally could be judged.”

“On the (board’s) Foundation Day (September 22), the best of the rallies will be felicitated by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” he added.

Activist Upasana Behar, who works in the field of education, said such “discriminatory” orders — one for the schools and another for the madrasas — “will only drive a wedge between children of the two communities”.

“It is bound to raise suspicion in the minds of students from the minority community if their patriotism is under doubt. Independence Day and Republic Day have always been celebrated in madrasas and schools but now the government wants a proof. It’s really unfortunate,” she said.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 22:56 IST