Our national song was composed by Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali language. It was a patriotic song and our Constituent Assembly accepted it as a National Song without any difficulty in 1950. Ever since it is very reverentially sung on important occasions.
To inculcate patriotic feelings in educational institutions it has been made mandatory that it should be recited before classes for instruction begin. There is no bar that any other patriotic song may not be sung before school begins its teaching programme.
Recently a very interesting situation developed in one of the Primary School in western Uttar Pradesh. The Head Master of the school allowed his students to sing a traditional Urdu prayer in their morning assembly after the national song. The Urdu song was in praise of God and a request to Him by children to make them a learned and pious entity. This song was composed by Sir Mohammad Iqbal who has composed “Sare Jahan Se achcha Hindustan Hamara”, in 1902 it is reproduced below:
Lab pe aati hai dua ban ke tamanna meri,/ zindagi shama kisurat ho khudaya meri/ Door duniya ka mere dam se andhera ho jaye,
har jagah meri chamakne se ujala ho jaye/ Ho mere dam se yun hi mere watan ki zinat,/ jis tarah phool se hoti hai chaman ki zinat/ Zindagi ho meri parwane ki surat yarab,/ ilm ki shama se ho mujhko mohabbat yarab/ Ho mera kam gharibon ki himayet karna,/ dardmandon se zaeifon se mohabbat karna/ Mere allah burai se bachana mujhko,/ nek jo ah ho usi rah pe chalana mujhko. (To the lips comes my wish turned into prayer, be my life O God like a candle. May the darkness of the world be eliminated by my efforts, be every place illuminated by my light? May I so adorn my homeland as flowers adorn a garden? Be my life like a moth, God, may I love the candle of learning? Let my mission be helping the poor, loving the sufferers and the elderly. Save me from evil, O God, lead me to the path that’s virtuous).
It is unfortunate that without understanding that it disseminates the pure and pious message someone reported to authorities that Head Master is forcing students to sing a religious song. The poor teacher is now in trouble. May God help him. n