Kolkata: Madrassa teacher pays price for urging pupils to sing National Anthem

It’s been nine months since Kazi Masum Akhtar, the headmaster of Talpukur Aara High Madrasa was thrashed brutally for training students to sing the national anthem in the state and the once-teacher is still waiting for justice from the state government.

On 26th March 2015, Akhtar was brutally attacked in his school by some hardliners from the neighbouring area over allegations that he was hurting religious intentions of the Muslim community.

“I’m paying the price of being a progressive patriotic and a forward thinking citizen of our country. All I did was try to introduce the national anthem in my school and attempted to stop the early marriage of girl students in my school,” Akhtar told ANI.

The teacher, who was attacked for not being a ‘proper’ Muslim and for not confirming to the tradition Islamic ways, added that he was faithful to his religion but had wanted to protect the children in his school against radical thinking.

A fatwa has reportedly been issued against him which prevents him from entering the school unless he wore the traditional Muslim attire.

“There are allegations against me that I don’t follow proper rituals or wear the skull cap, but I am a devoted Muslim and I believe in Islam and Prophet Mohammad. There are some people, who with the help of the management committee have vested interests from the school and I want to protect my school from these black hands,” Akhtar said.

The teacher was brutally injured and had his head fractured in the assault, following which he was banned from the precincts of the school.

“Since the attack I have been unable to attend school. I made several requests to the Police to provide me protection so that I can teach again but the Commissioner told me that I will be assaulted again even with proper protection,” Akhtar said.

So far, Akhtar has appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Governor and the chairman of State Minorities Commission six times, but to no avail.

“I am restless and frustrated. I have told the government to help me return to my school because I want to teach. If I am given any office work then I ll be sitting idle which is not right,” he said.

Akhar added that he had met a local MLA in a bid for help but had to face disappointment after she told him that her ‘political career’ will be in jeopardy if she intervened.