The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa Education has issued an advisory to all madrasas in the State to celebrate Independence Day with traditional fervour, but the missive has not gone down well with the representative teachers’ body. There are 16,461 madrasas in Uttar Pradesh. “You should direct all madrasas in your divisions and districts to celebrate Independence Day with traditional pomp and gaiety,” said a letter sent by the board’s registrar S.N. Pandey. ‘Pay tribute to martyrs’The letter, sent to all deputy directors of minority department and district minority welfare officers on Wednesday, also asked madrasas to pay tributes to martyrs and acquaint students with contribution of freedom fighters. The letter advised them to promote good quality programmes and also send their report to the board. U.P.’s lone Muslim Minister Mohsin Raza said, “Madrasas will have to send within a week a report of the programmes on whose basis the government will award madrasa students.” “We have to create awareness among people about patriotism. Madrasa students should have love for the country,” the Minister of State for Waqf and Haj said. The advisory, however, did not seem to have gone down well with the Teachers’ Association Madaris Arabia.‘We will object’ When asked about the move, its president Diwan Sahab Zaman said, “Such letters were not issued earlier by the board every year. If district minority welfare officers seek a report, they will be provided with it but if any proof of the Independence Day celebrations is sought, we will object to it.” After Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath assumed office in 2017, such advisories are issued every year to madrasas and this is the third year that such a letter has been issued. There is nothing new in it, Mr. Zaman said. He said since Independence, madrasas celebrated the day as it was a “matter of pride” for them. Besides flag hoisting and singing of the national anthem, the letter asked them to pay tributes to martyrs, highlight importance of Independence Day, presentation of national song by madrasa students, giving information about freedom struggle and its background and acquainting students with lives of freedom fighters. Tree plantation by students, cultural programmes on national integration and sport activities should also be held, it said.