"Islam is not so weak that we will be dismissed from it just for reciting Bhagwad Gita or wearing a particular kind of costume," said 15-year-old student, Alia Khan, on 4 January, after she was issued a fatwa (religious decree) by Dar-ul-uloom of Deoband.
The Islamic seminary issued the fatwa to Khan on 2 January for reciting the verses of the Hindu holy book at an event in her school recently. Speaking to ANI, she said: "I dressed up as Krishna and recited Gita as a part of a competition. They issued the fatwa."
The Class 10 student won the second prize for her performance and was also given a cash prize of Rs. 25,000. However, she was later issued the decree by the Ulemas or Islamic scholars, who termed her action unIslamic.
The function was organised by the Uttar Pradesh government to mark the 101 years of the historic Lucknow Pact of Freedom Struggle. The event was based on famous freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak's interpretation of Bhagwad Gita. The programme was attended by state Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis, as well as some kin of Tilak.
More than 150 students from 11 different regions participated in the competition.