NEW DELHI / BHOPAL: Muslim leaders are denouncing the specific orders to madrasas in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh asking them to hoist Tiranga, take out Tiranga rallies and send videos of these programs to the authorities. They say that singling out madrasas for such programs amounts to questioning of the patriotism of Muslims and asking them to prove that.
“It is another ploy under pretension of nationalism to send a signal to their hardcore Hindu vote bank that BJP is strong to deal with Muslim community. They all know that madrasas hoist the national flag. We don’t have any problem if the same circular had been sent to shishu mandirs and other institutions run by RSS affiliates,” said Navaid Hamid, National President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat.
He said that such moves are aimed at electoral dividends through polarization.
“We have every right to strongly object if it has been issued to polarize society to garner votes in the upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh,” said Hamid.
Masood Ahmed Khan, Madhya Pradesh state secretary, Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims, told Caravan Daily: “Such order amounts to challenging the patriotism of Muslims. They want to justify violence and lynching against Muslims.”
A circular titled ‘Tiranga Rally’, issued from the state-run Madrasa Board earlier this week, has asked madrasas to hoist Tiranga, take out a Tiranga rally competition under the theme ‘Paigham-e-Mohabbat (Message of Love) and send video recording of the events to the board as proof.
On video-recording of the Independence Day activities at madrasas, board chairman Syed Imad Uddin has said that 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 (22 September), the best of the rallies will be felicitated by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” he said.
However, the community does not seem to be agreed with him.
“Why are they singling out madrasas on this issue? Why no such instructions to all schools and institutions,” asked Javed Ahmed from Madhya Pradesh zonal office of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
“Last year, they (the board) had issued instruction to madrasas to start a lesson on patriotism. We asked madrasa board chairman as to why this only in madrasas, this should be in all schools. It means you see madrasas with suspicion,” said Ahmed
“Issuing such specific circular is wrong. Why are Muslims again and again being put to test of patriotism? Why are they asked to show proof of patriotism?”
Targeting Madrasa Board chairman, Masood Khan said: “The government has appointed some so-called Muslims as heads of different institutions. Alimuddin who is chairman of Madrasa Board is one of them. Sometimes they are given instructions and sometimes they themselves go to any extent to please their bosses. The current madrasa board instruction to madrasas is one such attempt.”
“One and half years ago, they had issued instructions to madrasas to run a syllabus on hubbul watani (patriotism). They said it was done after consultation with clerics. But when clerics came out against it, they took back the decision. And now they have issued this instruction. This means that they want to show that Muslims are not attached with the country. They want to say that if we follow their diktats we are nationalist otherwise not,” said Khan.
Renowned social activist in Bhopal, Haji Haroon reacted: “Muslims already do this (hoisting Tiranga), then why are they being asked to do this? Why don’t they ask RSS to do it? Singling out Muslims is wrong. This is our country and our religion teaches us to love our country. Such circular is like testing our patriotism. No one has right to test our patriotism. Who are they to do this? If they really want to test us, they should come with us on the borders. We are ready to go to borders to show our patriotism.”
Criticizing Madrasa board chief, Haji Haroon said: “They are slaves of the government. They are doing this just to keep themselves in the good book of the government. Government does not ask them to do this. Is taking out Tiranga yatra only way to show love for the country? One can go to hospital and help the poor people there. One can distribute essentials among the needy.”