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Allahabad school ‘bans’ National Anthem, manager claims ‘Bharat bhagya vidhata’ is “un-Islamic”

The convent school in Allahabad has 200 Hindu students while the remaining 130 are Muslims

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Indian Independence Day in 2015 celebrated by the community in Belize (from FB page of Belize Indian Community)
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  • With the Independence Day approaching, M A Convent School, a private school in Allahabad has barred students from singing the national anthem
  • The argument is that ‘Bharat bhagya vidhata’, which can be interpreted as ‘Bharat has made our destiny’, is against Islam 
  • Allahabad District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar said that M A Convent School, that admits children up to Class VIII, is not registered under any board

With the Independence Day approaching, M A Convent School, a private school in Allahabad has barred students from singing the national anthem. Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq, the manager of the school says that he got complaints from Muslim parents saying that the phrase ‘Bharat bhagya vidhata’ from the national anthem is “un-Islamic.“Protesting against this, the principal of the school and seven other teachers resigned on Friday, August 5.

M A Convent School is in Sadiyabad locality of Allahabad district. A report by indianexpress.com, states that the school has 200 Hindu students while the remaining 130 are Muslims.

The argument that cropped up was that, ‘Bharat bhagya vidhata’, interpreted as ‘Bharat has made our destiny’,  is against Islam as Allah is their bhagya vidhata. Every line in the anthem has a meaning which has a possible connotation in praise of “our motherland” and the community says, that they can’t accept that the country is more important than religion (mazhab) and God (Allah), Haq added.

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Image Source: ndtv.com
Image Source: ndtv.com

Allahabad District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar said, M A Convent School, which admits children up to Class VIII, is not registered with any board. It has been decided that the students will be shifted to another school. “I am going to take strict action against the school management. We will give them an opportunity to be heard. I am meeting the manager in the evening and will decide the next course of action,” said Kumar to the Indian Express.

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After the incident, Zia-Ul-Haq was arrested and a probe is under way to find out how the school was allowed to run for so long without proper affiliation. The ban on National Anthem at this school in Allahabad has started a major controversy resulting in various sections of society criticizing the school management for its decision.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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For Plea Against Polygamy Supreme Court Takes Centre’s Response

personal laws must meet the test of constitutional validity and constitutional morality

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India. Flickr

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud issued the notice to the Centre and tagged the plea with similar petitions pending before it.

The fresh plea filed by Women Resistance Committee Chairperson Nazia Ilahi Khan, a practicing advocate at the Calcutta High Court, has challenged the practice of polygamy, ‘nikah halala’, ‘nikah mutah’ (temporary marriage among Shias) and ‘nikah misyar’ (short-term marriage among Sunnis) on the grounds that these were violative of the Constitution’s Articles 14, 15 and 21.

Under ‘nikah halala’, if a Muslim woman after divorce by her husband three times on different instances, wants to go back to him, she has to marry another person and then divorce the second husband to get re-married to her first husband.

“Declare the dissolution of the Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution in so far as it fails to secure for the Indian Muslim women the protection from bigamy which has been statutorily secured for Indian women from other religions,” said her plea filed through advocate V.K. Biju.

The apex court has been hearing pleas filed by Sameena Begum, Nafisa Khan, Moullium Mohsin and BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay on the issue.

Article 14 guarantees equality before law, Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and Article 21 guarantees protection of life and personal liberty.

Telling the court that though different religious communities are governed by different personal laws, Upadhyay had contended that “personal laws must meet the test of constitutional validity and constitutional morality in as much as they cannot be violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21”.

Pointing to the “appalling” affect of polygamy and other such practices on the Muslim women, senior counsel Mohan Parasaran had earlier told the apex court that the 2017 judgment holding instant ‘triple talaq’ as unconstitutional had left these two issues open and did not address them.

Polygamy, Man along with his 5 wives
Polygamy, Man along with his 5 wives. Flickr

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by then Chief Justice J.S. Khehar (since retired), by a majority judgment in 2017, had said: “Keeping in view the factual aspect in the present case, as also the complicated questions that arise for consideration in this case (and, in the other connected cases), at the very outset, it was decided to limit the instant consideration to ‘talaq-e-biddat’ or triple talaq.

Also read: Goa Common Civil Code forbids neither Oral Divorce nor Polygamy among Muslims: Governor

“Other questions raised in the connected writ petitions, such as polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ (and other allied matters), would be dealt with separately. The determination of the present controversy may, however, coincidentally render an answer even to the connected issues.” (IANS)