Iqbal Poem Row: Students walk out in solidarity with their headmaster

At 9:10 am Friday, around 30 students stood in two crooked lines at the government primary school in Pilibhit district’s Ghayaspur area, raising slogans. “Desh ki Raksha kaun karega? Hum karenge (Who will protect the country? We will)”, they said, and “Kaise karenge? Tann se karenge, mann se karenge, dhan se karenge (We will do it with our mind, our and body and our wealth).”

The slogans ended 10 minutes later and several students, none in uniform, walked out of the school premises in Bisalpur block. Asked where they were headed, a Class 5 student, said, “We will come back the day our headmaster is allowed to return and teach us. No teacher can replace him and what is happening to him is wrong and unfair.”

On October 14, the Pilibhit district administration suspended school headmaster Furqan Ali (45) in the wake of a complaint by local VHP members that he made students recite a religious prayer at the morning assembly. They claimed the prayer is recited in madrasas.

But, earlier this week, an inquiry by Bisalpur’s Block Education Officer (BEO), Upendra Kumar, found that Ali had made students recite the poem ‘lab pe aati hai dua’, written in 1902 by the poet Muhammad Iqbal, who also wrote ‘Sare Jahan se Accha’.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)



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