Kashmiri Muslim Students Forced to Sing Hindu Devotional Songs

Srinagar, MINA – Muslim students at a government school in Indian-administered Kashmir were forced to sing along to a Hindu devotional song.

The incident sparked controversy, and prompted Indian Muslim clerics who strongly objected to calling the act intolerable. The Muslim News reported on Tuesday.

Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema, an umbrella organization representing dozens of Islamic organizations in Kashmir, said in a statement it would not tolerate interference by the central government in the religious affairs of the Muslim community in the restive region.

Pro-freedom leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who has been under house arrest since August 5, 2019, is the organization’s founder.

Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema reacts to a viral video clip in which teachers from a public school in Kulgam district in the Kashmir Valley are seen singing Hindu devotional songs in a classroom. This includes Muslim students singing the devotional song.

The devotional song, a favorite of India’s independence struggle leader, Mahatma Gandhi, is dedicated to the Hindu god Rama.

The Ministry of Education has asked all public schools to sing this devotional song as part of a calendar of events commemorating Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

The celebrations will end on October 2, Gandhi’s birthday.

“Majlis-e-Ulema makes it clear that the protection of our religion and Islamic identity, as Muslims, is a fundamental responsibility of our religion, and intentional interference in this matter by the government, education department or other institutions will not be accepted or tolerated,” the Assembly statement said.

“It is becoming clear that there seems to be a deliberate plan to push our young generation through state-run educational institutions towards apostasy, to erode them from their Islamic faith and identity, to accelerate the so-called integration with Hindutva ideas from India. This is a very serious matter,” the statement continued.

“There is an attempt to suppress Muslim clerics and scholars and weaken their influence, as demonstrated by the recent detentions of several Muslim clerics,” he continued.

Three prominent Muslim clerics, Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri, Ghulam Rasool Dawoodi, and Sarjan Barkati, are being held under the Public Safety Act, which allows authorities to detain a person for three to 12 months without trial.

Vijay Kumar, Inspector General of Kashmir, told media the clerics were suspected of inciting youth. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)