Singing national anthem to be mandatory in Bangladesh madrassas

June 3rd, 2009 - 12:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, June 3 (IANS) A parliamentary committee in Bangladesh has asked the government to make singing of the national anthem mandatory at madrassas, the Islamic seminaries that impart education to millions of children across the country.
An unanimous recommendation was made after some lawmakers complained that this was not being followed at many seminaries.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is currently revamping the education system followed by the seminaries, many of whom have come up during the last decade with the help of governments and charities in West Asia.

The government is seeking to control the seminaries’ management that are believed to owe allegiance to the Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamist party that lost the parliamentary poll in December.

The recommendation for the recitation of the national anthem came from the parliamentary standing committee on education.

“We have decided all the educational institutions, including madrassas, should sing the national anthem. The salary will, otherwise, be stopped. More than one committee member have came to know that there are some madrassas where the national anthem is not sung,” committee chairman Rashed Khan Menon told New Age newspaper.

“Aamar shonar Bangla”, written by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, became the national anthem after Bangladesh separated from Pakistan and became independent in 1971.

“The portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation, will also need to be hung in all educational institutions,” said Menon, a leftist leader with a trade union background.

Menon’s Workers’ Party is a constituent of the ruling alliance led by Hasina.

All the members on the committee, including Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, attended the meeting.

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