Muslim community is unhappy with the Fadnavis government’s decision to de-recognise those Madarsas which don’t teach primary subjects. According to them the government should not be interfering in the functioning of Madarsas. The government after coming to power had said that it will take steps to modernise Madarsas and provide them financial assistance. But now the government has directed all the district administrations to declare those Madarsas which don’t teach primary subjects like English, Maths and Science as “non-schools” and children studying in them as “out of school” students. The BJP government is already facing the ire of the Muslim community due to beef ban and ghar wapsi incidents and this decision will only complicate matters further. The Congress too attacked the BJP for indulging in communal politics and is planning to raise this issue in the forthcoming assembly session.
When AV spoke to Advocate Waris Pathan, AIMIM MLA from Byculla he said, “We strongly object the decision taken by the government. Muslim students study there and become qualified to get employment. The government has a legal right to check the authenticity of a school and grant it certification. Articles 25, 29 and 30 of the Indian constitution states that any religion can be practiced and education can be taught in any religion as well. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced last month that the government has allocated Rs 100 crore for modernisation of Madarsas. This is nothing but double standards of the government.”
Maulana Zaheer Abbas, General Secretary of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee said, “They should not shut Madarsas. Thousands of Madarsas are imparting education to poor Muslim children. They provide them books, free lodging and boarding facilities. If there is any evidence to prove that children are being radicalised towards jihad in any Madarsa then such institutions should be shut down.”
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi criticised the Devendra Fadnavis Government for derecognising madrassas as ‘faculties’. According to him the government has failed to fulfil its promise of modernising Madarsas.
“The step taken by the Maharashtra Government utterly contradicts Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution which is the elemental proper,” Owaisi said.
“The BJP in their election manifesto stated that they’ll modernise madarsas. The Modi-led Government in Delhi is giving one hundred crores yearly for madrassa modernisation. Thereby they’re accepting that college students going to madarsas are faculty going youngsters. This is a deliberate contradiction,” he added.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind General Secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani said, “Whatever happened is unacceptable. The Maharashtra government already faces a trust deficit as far as Muslims are concerned.”
Congress spokesperson Sanjay Nirupam said, “No child should be discriminated along religious lines. We are going to take the issue in the state Assembly.”
“Madarsas which do not teach primary subjects such as English, Maths and Science would be considered as “non-schools” and children studying in them as “out of school” students, state Minorities Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse said.
Khadse added that as of now, madarsas only impart religious education.
“Madarsas are giving students education on religion and not giving them formal education. Our Constitution says every child has the right to take formal education, which madarsas do not provide,” he added.
“If a Hindu or Christian child wants to study in a madrasa, they will not be allowed to study there. Thus, madarsa is not a school but a source of religious education. Thus, we have asked them to teach students other subjects as well. Otherwise these madarsas will be considered as non-schools,” Khadse said.
As per the Maharashtra government’s decision, funds will be provided to madarsas only if they follow formal school curriculum.
According to the minister, there are a total of 1,890 registered madarsas in the state and 550 out of them have agreed to teach the four subjects to students. The state government gave a Rs 5.50 lakh grant to each madarsa every year for development of infrastructure and educational facilities.
Maharashtra Education Minister, Vinod Tawde said, “The Madarsas has failed to comply with the guidelines issued by the government of teaching primary subjects. Those madarsas which violate the norms will be derecognised. We want to bring the students taught in these institutions into mainstream society and separate teachers will be appointed to teach them. This decision has not been taken to hurt the religious sentiments of Muslim community.”