Waziruddin, a teacher in an elementary government school in Bareilly, was fired last December when some Hindutva fanatics opposed students singing the well-known prayer song ‘Lab Pe Aati Hai’
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — Former chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, Zafarul Islam Khan, has launched a fervent appeal to help a Muslim teacher find a job after he was arrested and fired following Hindutva outcry against him over the recitation of the famous Urdu poem ‘Lab Pe Aati Hai’ by students in his school.
Waziruddin, a teacher in an elementary government school in Bareilly, was fired last December when some Hindutva fanatics opposed students singing the well-known prayer song. They accused him of converting students to Islam by letting them sing the iconic poem penned by renowned poet Allama Iqbal.
Waziruddin was not just fired but also arrested. He was in jail for 10 days, accused of hurting the religious sentiments of a group of people with intent to cause a riot. Since then the teacher is jobless. He even worked as a manual labourer to earn a living. Waziruddin is now making it do by giving tuition to students in his town Faridpur.
Khan has appealed to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to help Waziruddin.
“Please come forward to help this wronged teacher!… He is now jobless. Kindly see if any of you can offer him a teaching job in the primary section of a school,” reads Khan’s email sent to a Google group called “NRI Indians.”
Talking to Clarion India, Khan said that the appeal was only “a humanitarian gesture”.
“I believe we, the whole society or at least the Muslim society, must stand with such victims of hate. It is doubly important to do something if one loses his job,” he said.
Some people have shown interest in helping out the victim. Some others have promised or forwarded the message to others, Khan added. “But, he is still to get a decent offer”.
It’s not just Waziruddin who fell victim to the Islamophobic campaign. In Uttar Pradesh, three such incidents have been reported where teachers have been targeted over recitation of the prayer.
Three teachers were suspended last month from BLS International School in Hathras because they had asked students to sing ‘Lab Pe Aati Hai’ during the celebration of World Heritage Day. Some Hindutva goons protested in front of the school accusing its administration of forcing students to offer namaz, a charge school officials vehemently deny.
In 2019, Furqan Ali, the headmaster of a primary school in the Gayaspur area in Pilibhit, was suspended because students sang ‘Lab Pe Aati Hai’ in his school. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) complained that the teacher made students sing a madrassa song. However, the headmaster was reinstated after his students protested and media reports put the administration in the dock. But, Ali has to pay a heavy price as he was transferred from the school where he had taught for about eight years.
Ali feels that he was targeted because of his religious identity. “I’m a Muslim and I wear a skull cap and I have a beard. They do not like it,” media reports quoted him as saying.