The FIR against them was registered after a local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionary reportedly complained to the police about a prayer song sung by the children
BAREILLY — The principal and a teacher (shiksha mita) of a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district have been booked after a video of students reciting Allama Iqbal’s iconic poem “Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua” during the morning assembly went viral.
The FIR against them was registered at Fareedpur police station on a complaint lodged by a local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionary, Sompal Singh Rathore, who alleged that a “religious prayer” was recited at the government school in a bid to convert the students, reports The Indian Express.
The state’s Education department has also suspended school principal Nahid Siddiqui and ordered a probe against teacher Wazeeruddin.
The police have filed a case but no arrests have been made.
The police said they filed the case because the prayer is not part of the daily prayer schedule of government schools and has to do ‘with one religion’.
“The prayer was not part of the approved list and pertained to a community,” said a senior police officer of the area.
“A prayer was being recited which said something like, ‘Allah ibadat karna’. This is not the stipulated prayer, and hence school principal Nahid Siddiqui has been suspended. I have also ordered a probe against the shiksha mitra,” Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA), Bareilly, Vinay Kumar reportedly said.
However, 62-year-old Nahid Siddiqui clarified, according to reports said that she was not in the school when the alleged incident took place as she went on leave from December 12. She is on medical leave and waiting for her retirement on March 31.
The Education department said the principal has been suspended on the basis of initial information and they will conduct an inquiry into the matter.
The poem in question was penned in 1902 by well-known Urdu poet Allama Iqbal, who also wrote the famous lines “Sare jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara”.
The English translation of the poem is as follows:
My longing comes to my lips as a supplication of mine
Oh God! May my life be like a flickering flame
May the world’s darkness disappear through the life of mine
May every place light up with the sparkling light of mine
May my homeland through me attain elegance
As the garden through flowers attains elegance
May my life be like that of the moth be oh Lord
May I love the lamp of knowledge oh Lord
May my life’s work be to support the poor
And to love the suffering and the elderly
My God! Protect me from the evil ways
Show me the path of righteousness.
Earlier in 2019, a headmaster in the UP’s Pilibhit district was also suspended after the students were heard singing the song. Following a complaint by the local unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the authorities had taken action.
(With agency inputs)
File photo used for illustrative purposes only.