In a major boost for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday upheld the state government’s order making it mandatory for all madrasas to recite the national anthem.
The bench comprising chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma, while dismissing the writ petition filed by Alaul Mustafa, said that petition is thoroughly misconceived. The petitioner, claiming to be a secretary of an institution which runs a madarsa in Mau district, had challenged the government order of August 3, 2017 as also a circular dated September 6, 2017 making singing of national anthem mandatory in schools and madarsas.
The high court rejected the petition that sought exemption from singing the national anthem across the 19,000 madrasas in Uttar Pradesh by saying that every citizen was bound by the Constitution to respect the national flag and anthem.There can be no exceptions on the basis of religion, language or caste.
On the occasion of Independence Day, the Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Shiksha Parishad had passed an order that made it compulsory for students at madrasas to sing the national anthem and hoist the flag.
However many madrasas had vehemently disagreed with the government’s order and did not sing the national anthem.
They even refused to videograph the Independence Day celebrations, one among the several orders passed by the state government. Many felt that the government’s order was an attempt to test their ‘patriotism’ and found it offensive.
“Petitioner was unable to refer to or draw our attention to any material which may have even remotely established that the singing of the national anthem would violate the beliefs and customs of students attending madarsas in UP. The writ petition also does not carry any evidence of students attending madarsas in the state objecting to the singing or recital of the national anthem”, added the bench.
The court while dismissing the petition observed, “this court is constrained to record its anguish at the stand which is taken by the petitioner who quite far from espousing the interest of any body or persons appears to have made various averments in the writ petition ignorant of the duty of every citizen of this nation to respect the national anthem irrespective of his or her religious or political beliefs.”
The court also observed, “The recitation of the national anthem is in essence the act of every citizen honouring the history and tradition of this great nation and ultimately subserves the spirit of brotherhood amongst all without exception to the religious, lingual or regional affiliation of a particular individual. The singing of the national anthem is therefore not just a constitutional duty but also fosters the spread of the spirit of democracy, secularism and the integrity of the nation.”