In one of its landmark decisions, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a writ petition challenging an order of the government according to which singing of national anthem was made compulsory in all schools of Uttar Pradesh including madrassas. On the occasion of Independence Day this year, Yogi Adityanath government passed an order making it compulsory for all madrassas in the state to hoist the national flag and sing national anthem.
Following this, Alaul Mustafa had filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court seeking issuance of directions from the court to the government of Uttar Pradesh to not force the students of madrassas to sing national anthem or execute any such order.
In his petition, Mustafa, who claims to be the secretary of an institution running a madrassa in Mau district of the state, had challenged the government order which had made singing of national anthem in all schools, including madrassas mandatory.
The petition was, however, turned down by the division bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma on Wednesday who called it “thoroughly misconceived”.
As reported by the Times of India, the bench asserted:
The recitation of the national anthem is in essence the act of every citizen honoring the history and tradition of this great nation and ultimately subserves the promotion of a spirit of brotherhood amongst all without exception to the religious, lingual or regional affiliation of a particular individual. It is the view of the petitioner that singing of the national anthem is forced patriotism and cannot be enforced upon persons who do not want to sing or recite the national anthem in light of their belief and custom.
According to the court, the petitioner failed to cite or point up anything that could have established, even remotely, that singing of national anthem would cause violation in beliefs and customs of students attending madrassas in Uttar Pradesh. The court further said:
The writ petition also does not carry any evidence of students attending madrassas in the state objecting to the singing or recital of the national anthem.