Allahabad school bans national anthem, teachers quit

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Allahabad (UP), Aug 7: A school here has refused to allow recital of the national anthem by students and staff members on Independence Day, claiming that its words violated the tenets of Islam, following which eight teachers, including the principal, have quit in protest against the diktat.

Authorities said that a probe has been launched against M A Convent School based in Baghara locality of the city in the matter and maintained that it was not recognised by the education department.

UP: School bans national anthem

Zia-ul Haq, the school manager, told the teachers that singing of the national anthem could not be allowed as the phrase 'Bharat Bhagya Vidhata' in its first stanza went against the tenets of Islam, according to the teachers who resigned two days ago.

The manager said that if they were not in agreement with this "policy" of the school, they could leave. "Most of us have been working here for not a very long time. We were shocked to learn from the management that the school has never allowed the singing of national anthem in the last 12 years.

"Since we had been asked to fall in line or leave, we chose a decision based on our conscience," Ritu Tripathi, who was the principal, said. The school has around 300 students. She said, "Seven of my colleagues have put in their papers in protest against this attitude of the school management".

Haq, on his part, stuck to his guns asserting "only Allah can be the Bhagya Vidhata, which means the one who decides our destiny. How can we call Bharat our Bhagya Vidhata?"

The Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Allahabad, Jaikaran Yadav, said, "We are surprised to learn that the school is still running.

"It is not duly recognized by the Basic Shiksha department and we had sent its management a notice to close the institution about a week ago." He said a probe is on in the matter and action will be taken as per law.

"The reported refusal to allow singing of national anthem would amount to yet another offence on part of the school's management," he said.     "We have initiated a probe into the matter. If the allegations levelled against the management are found to be true, action will be taken in accordance with the law," Yadav said.

PTI

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