"Remove 'Sindh' from national anthem, we'll sing it!! " says Lucknow madrassa
"It has been a tradition since 1947 to offer special prayers for the country after hoisting flag on the Independence day. It was followed this year as well," said Nadwa Maulana Khalid Ghazipuri Nadwi, a cleric. When asked why national anthem was not sung, he said that 'Jan Gan Man..." has the word 'Sindh' which is now in Pakistan. We cannot pray for Pakistan. If government removes the word, we will sing it proudly," he added.
Nadwa is not affiliated with the UP Madrassa Board which directed all madrassas to celebrate Independence Day and videograph it as an evidence. "Though we have not received any directions from the Board, we read in newspaper that government wants madrassas to keep evidence, hence we conducting photography and video recording of the events," said Maulana Dr Saeedur Rehman Azmi, principal of of the institution.
"We celebrate Independence every year but it is the first time that media has come to record the event, said Mohammad Saqib a student pursuing Aalim course. "We have a group song team which practiced for months to sing Sare Jahan Se Achcha," said Mohammad Intekhab a student.
On the other hand, students and teachers of Maulana Azad Memorial Madrassa in Balaganj, affiliated to UP Madrassa Board, also celebrated Independence day with flag hoisting and national anthem. Principal Qari Sabir Husain said the madrassa has been doing this for years. Had media paid attention earlier, the myth that madrassas don't celebrate national days would have been busted long ago."
At Nadwa, the three-hour program started at 8.30 am with hoisting of flag by the principal. Sweets were distributed as everyone greeted each other "Azaadi ka din mubaraq ho". Some students were also seen recording events in their mobile phone cameras.
In their address, clerics spoke on the history of independence struggle and contribution of Muslim freedom fighters in the movement. It was followed rendering of patriotic poetry in Urdu by Maulana Raeesus Shakri.
Ghazipuri told students that Nawab Sirajuddaula and Tipu Sultan were among first freedom fighters. Prominent freedom fighters associated with Nadwa include Maulana Shibli Nomani, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Allama Iqbal and Maulana Hasrat Mohani.