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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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Triple Talaq Now Banned In India

While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched.

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India’s government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to implement a top court ruling striking down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce.

The government decision came after it failed to get approval of Parliament a year after the court ruled that the practice of triple “talaq” violated the constitutional rights of Muslim women.

Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by the Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes. The laws include allowing men to divorce by simply uttering the Arabic word “talaq,” or divorce, three times — and not necessarily consecutively, but at any time, and by any medium, including telephone, text message or social media post.

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The government will have another six months to get Parliament’s approval for the ordinance to become law. But in the meantime, suspects can be prosecuted using the ordinance.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that nearly 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

India’s Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community. But several progressive Muslim activists decried the law board’s position.

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Muslim women hold placards during a protest against a bill passed by India’s lower house of Parliament last week that aims at prosecuting Muslim men who divorce their wives through the “triple talaq,” or instant divorce. VOA

After the Supreme Court verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government introduced a bill criminalizing the practice and it was approved in December by the lower house of Parliament, where his party commands a majority. But it couldn’t get the approval of the upper house, where the opposition controls the majority of seats.

The main opposition Congress party is opposing a three-year prison sentence for the offenders and wants a parliamentary committee to discuss the issue to reach a consensus. It favors a lesser sentence.

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In India, triple talaq has continued with the protection of laws that allow Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities to follow religious laws in matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. (VOA)