The district administration of Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh has suspended a headmaster of a government-run primary school for making students sing an iconic poem penned by famous Urdu poet Mohammad Iqbal, popular known as Allama Iqbal. The poem in question is lab pe aati hai dua ban ki tamanna meri.
The administration suspended Furqan Ali after the militant Hindutva organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad accused him of forcing students to sing the poem written by Iqbal. The VHP said that the poem in question was a religious prayer, often recited in madrasas, during morning assembly.
Iqbal, who famously wrote Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara, had written this poem in 1902.
Pilibhit DM Vaibhav Srivastava, according to the Indian Express, said that the 45-year-old government school headmaster in Bilaspur was suspended because he ‘was not getting the national anthem sung, and was making students sing a religious prayer.’ However, Bisalpur’s Block Education Officer (BEO) Upendra Kumar, who carried out the inquiry, said that national anthem was regularly sung in the school and Ali was suspended for making students sing Iqbal’s poem. The complaint by the VHP, according to Kumar, was regarding a prayer sung at madrasas, ‘and not about the national anthem.’
The suspended headmaster said that the poem in question was an integral part of the Urdu syllabus for classes I to VIII.
Uttar Pradesh is government by BJP with Yogi Adityanath as its chief minister.
Here’s the English translation of Lab Pe Aati Hai poem:
Lab pe aati hai dua ban kay tamanna meri
Zindagi sham’a ki surat ho khudaya meri
My longing comes to my lips as supplication of mine
May my life be like the flame O Lord!
Door dunya ka mere dam say andhera ho jaye
Har jagah meray chamakne say ujala ho jaye
May I be the reason for the world’s darkness to disappear
May every place light up with my sparkling light
Ho mere dam say yunhi mere watan ki zeenat
Jis tarah phool say hoti hai chaman ki zeenat
May I be the reason for my country to become beautiful
The same way a garden attains beauty because of its flowers
Zindgi ho mere parwane key surat Yaa Rab
Ilm ki sham’a say ho mujko mohabbat Ya Rab
May my life be like that of the moth, O Lord
May I love the lamp of knowledge, O Lord
Ho mera kaam ghareeboon ki himayat kerna
Dard mandoon say za’ieefoon say mohabbat karna
May the mission of my life be to help the poor
To love people in suffering and the elderly
Mere Allah! burayi se bachana mujhko
Naik jo raah ho us rah pay chalana mujh ko
O Allah! Protect me from the evil ways
Make me always walk the pious path