A school headmaster in India was suspended after he was found making his students recite Allama Iqbal’s poem during morning prayer.
A school headmaster, Furqan Ali, in the Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh, became the victim in the latest instance of growing enmity against Muslims in India. A local right-wing Hindu leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, associate party of ruling BJP, filed a complaint against Ali, alleging that he asked his students to recite Allama Iqbal’s poem ‘Lab pe Ati Hai Dua’ during the morning assembly instead of national anthem, claiming that the poem is part of the Urdu syllabus.
The school headmaster was warned from doing such activities in school without permission from the authorities. The district manager of Pilibhit Vaibhav Srivastava justified the suspension of Furqan Ali, asserting that he forced students to recite a religious poem.
Adding that, “If the headmaster wanted to teach another poem also to the student, he should have sought permission,” Srivastava said. “If he makes students recite a poem and not the national anthem, then there is an offence against him.”
Ali in his statement denied the allegation and asserted that students regularly recited both the poem and national anthem in morning prayer. Adding that, “VHP and Hindu Yuva Vahini workers held protests outside the school and at the collectorate, demanding my removal. I only got a poem, which is part of the government school syllabus, sung.” Ali added that students also chant patriotic slogans like “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
Allama Iqbal had written the poem ‘Bache ki Dua’ in 1902. He included the poem in his book ‘Bang-e-Dara’ and added the word ‘derived’ with the poem, which means that the poem was derived or an extract. The first two parts of the poem were translated in Urdu from English by Allama Iqbal, which were derived from English poet Matilda Batham Edward’s poem “Hymn for a Little Child”.
Indian social media users had expressed bewilderment on the incidence, slamming the Hindu nationalist government for damaging secularism in India.
Headmaster suspended for making students sing Allama Iqbal’s poem in U.P. India https://t.co/YjPZLWuspN
— Adam Rizvi (@adamrizvi) October 18, 2019
Muslim school teacher in the Indian state of Patna read Allama Iqbal's poem "Lap pe ati hai dua" so suspended Hindus do not tolerate Allama Iqbal, but all over India, Allama Iqbal's poem (Sare Jahan Se acha) in Every movie used to be sung in every school
— Umar Farooq (@mepatriotic) October 17, 2019