Why tiranga yatra...just to show we celebrated? Madrasas in MP flout Shivraj govt’s I-Day diktat

Last week, madrasas were told to take out tiranga yatras, hoist the national flag, organise cultural programmes on Independence Day and email photographs of the event.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2017 17:09 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Independence Day,madrasas,Madhya Pradesh
Independence Day celebrations at Deeniyat Madarsa in Bhopal on Tuesday.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

Many madrasas in Madhya Pradesh flouted a state government order to organise a Tricolour march or ‘Tiranga Yatra’ during Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday.

In the state capital, HT visited two Islamic schools, Deeniyat Madarasa, one of the largest in the city with nearly 500 students and another one in the old city with more than 100 students. At neither place was a tiranga yatra taken out. No such march was witnessed across Bhopal throughout the day.

Last week, the Madhya Pradesh Madarsa Board ordered all Islamic schools affiliated to it to take out tiranga yatras, hoist the national flag and organise cultural programmes on Independence Day, and email photographs of the event. The order came days after a similar diktat by BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.

The order angered the management of many of these schools, many of whom said they got to know of the order through the media.

“Such an order makes us wonder whether government trusts us or not. If it has been issued to keep a tab on whether we celebrate this day or not, we have strong objection to it. We have been celebrating this day for last 50 years, even before the madarsa board came into existence (in 1998)” , said Ashraf Hashmi, in-charge of Deeniyat madarasa.

Students of madarsa Darul Uloom Taj-ul-Masajid in Bhopal celebrate Independence day on Tuesday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

At Deeniyat Madarsa, independence celebrations saw boys wearing skull caps and girls head scarves, holding small tricolour flags in their hands. After the hoisting of national flag and singing the national anthem, students participated in a cultural programme. Pupils sang patriotic songs, read religious messages about harmony, peace and goodness and shared their ideas on the importance of Independence Day.

“Why tiranga yatra? Why should we change the way we have been celebrating this day for decades. Why? Just to show that we too celebrated on the roadside? We strongly object to this lingering doubt against us”, said Mohammad Suheib Qureshi, joint secretary of the Deeniyat Madarsa.

But the government appeared confident of having put up a good show. Syed Imad Uddin, chairman of the MP Madarsa Board, claimed celebrations were held in a large number of Islamic schools across the state, and that the affiliation of those madrasas that didn’t celebrate Independence day would be cancelled.

“Tiranga yatra was taken out in areas like Burhanpur district where I led it. As it was for the first time that madrasas were ordered to organise such yatras, I will say at least a good beginning has been made,” he said.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 17:09 IST