Even as the debate on the recitation of Vande Matram being in accordance with the tenets of Islam continues,a madrasa in Satasipur village in Ambedkar Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh holds a special distinction: It begins each day reciting the National Song.
At Niyamatuloom,this has been the tradition for the past 33 years. My students and I sing the song every morning, says Mehrab Hashim,head of the madarsa set up in 1976.
Niyamatuloom showcases yet another distinct attribute: students here receive religious education not only in Islam,but also from Hindu scriptures,says Hashim.
Rais Ahmad,a Class VI student and school monitor,can recite Vande Matram and Gayatri Mantra just as well as he does the Holy Quran. I dont fully understand Vande Martram,but it is about the country and the motherland. I am proud to be an Indian,says Ahmad.
The area residents are unanimous in applauding the madrasa and its activities.
The madarsa authorities deserve praise and encouragement from the government as well as from the people of both communities. Its a perfect example of communal harmony, says Kishan Kumar,a resident of Satasipur village.
Recognised by the Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Board,Niyamatuloom has 200 students with 170 Muslim and 30 Hindu students. With a teachers strength of five,the madrasa offers education up to Class VIII in line with the curriculum of the UP Madarsa Board,which offers English and sanskrit are optional subjects.
Abdul Kalam,the sanskrit teacher,says: We teach English,urdu,sanskrit and Hindi. We teach them the tenets of religious books,including the Quran and the Gita.
The teaching of Hindu religious texts is an initiative taken up by Hashim. Asked on his views on the recent controversy surrounding Vande Matram,Hashim says he does not want to be part of any controversy.
I am teacher and run the madarsa without any government aid. I respect the sentiments of all communities. Our initiative is for the children of poor people. We receive small donations every month. There is no fee structure as students who cant pay fees are also enrolled, said Hashim.
Mohd Ismail,a villager whose son studies in the madrasa,steers clear of the ongoing controversy. Let the controversy rage elsewhere. Here we dont share any differences on the subject.