The High Court yesterday cleared the way for the government to implement its decision to arrange national anthem singing competition at all educational institutions, including madrasas.
The court rejected a writ petition filed earlier challenging the legality of a part of the government circular to hold the competition at the madrasas.
The bench of Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Ataur Rahman Khan passed the order, saying that the national anthem singing competition would be held at all educational institutions, including madrasas, as a madrasa is not an isolated institution, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star.
There is no legal bar for the government to implement its decision to hold the competition at schools, colleges and madrasas.
Writ petitioners' lawyer Taimur Alam Khondaker told this newspaper that following the HC order, madrasa students must take part in the competition like those of schools and colleges.
On January 18, the Cabinet Division issued a circular asking madrasas and other educational institutions to hold the competition to encourage singing of the national anthem correctly and the practice of singing the national anthem at all educational institutions.
Nurul Islam Mian, a madrasa teacher in Kurigram, and Monir Hossain Shadhin Sheikh, a resident of the capital's Kadamtoli, last week jointly submitted the writ petition to the HC, saying that madrasas are running under the Islamic law (Sharia). The law does not permit “competition of any type of singing”.
The writ petitioners challenged the legality of the part of the circular, saying that the part relating to the madrasa is “erroneous and misleading” as section 5(2) of the National Anthem Rules-1978 mentions that “in all the schools, day's work shall begin with singing the national anthem”.
So, the anthem rules are only applicable for the schools, not for madrasas, the petition said, adding that the part of the circular is against the spirit of traditional Islamic education.