The Yogi Adityanath government has asked madrasas affiliated to the Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Shiksha Parishad to pay tribute to freedom fighters and organise cultural programmes on August 15. While in the past, madrasas were directed to hoist the National Flag and recite the National Anthem, this is reportedly the first time that they have been asked to hold cultural programmes on Independence Day.
Moreover, the circular issued by UP Madarsa Shiksha Parishad to district minority welfare officers has also stated that along with photographs, videos be shot of the programmes. The officers would have to get the videos shot at all madrasas and keep with them.
At present, around 8,000 madrasas in UP are recognised by the Parishad. Among these, 560 are fully aided by the state.
According to the circular, on Independence Day, flag hoisting and recitation of the National Anthem will be take place at 8 am. Following this, tribute will be paid to the martyrs of the freedom struggle. Also, students will sing songs on nationalism and be told about the history of August 15 and the freedom fighters. Further, cultural programmes will be organised on the theme of national unity, along with sports activities. Sweets will be distributed at the end of the session.
The circular asks minority welfare officers to direct all madrasas to ensure that Independence Day is celebrated with zeal and that all the programmes mentioned above are organised.
The Parishad, in the circular, has also sent the text of the National Anthem in both Hindi and Urdu. Sources said that in the past, some madrasas had argued that their students know only Urdu and were not fluent in Hindi.
Sources in minority welfare department said that events would have to be videographed, as there had been allegations in the past that some madrasas had not hoisted the National Flag on Independence Day.
A district minority officer said: “Directives for hoisting the National Flag and reciting the National Anthem had been issued to madrasas earlier as well. But this is the first time when madrasas have been directed to pay tribute to freedom fighters and organise cultural programmes on the theme of national unity. Only photography had been done in the past, videography will be done for the first time this Independence Day. These videos will be kept as an evidence to prove that all programmes were organised in madrasas as per the directives of the state government.”
When contacted, Minority Welfare Minister Laxmi Narain Chaudhary said: “The directives have been issued because recognised madrasas, which get grants from the state government, are supposed to celebrate all national festivals, including Independence Day. Through cultural programmes, students of the modern generation will be made aware about the history of freedom movement and its martyrs.”
“Videography will be done so that videos of the best programmes could be played in madrasas and students could take inspiration from them… The best cultural programmes will be replicated in other madrasas in the future,” he added.