Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI – Former President and chief adviser of the All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU), Azizur Rahman, said on Thursday that the organisation will move Supreme Court if the BJP-led Assam government shut down the government-aided madarsas in the state. He said the government move in this respect is “unconstitutional.”
Assam’s education minister and firebrand BJP leader Himanta Biswa had told the media that all government-aided madarsas would be shut down and these would be converted into ordinary schools. He said the state government will lay down the rules and regulations for running of private madarsas in the state.
Reacting to Biswa’s statements, the AAMSU president said this seemed to be another attempt at polarizing the society. “My assessment is that this is no more than a political statement. The BJP lost elections in Delhi and the people are raising their voice against the party and its governments in various states. In Assam, the protest against the CAA is going on. Being on the defensive, the party has been looking for the ways to divide Hindus and Muslims. This is a part of their plan. As far as we are concerned, we will watch the scene for now. If required, we will approach the judiciary and even go up to the Supreme Court,” said Rahman.
The AAMSU chief said the government plan was completely unconstitutional as Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution gave the minorities the right to run their own religious institutions. Madarsa education existed in the state even before Independence.
Rahman also pointed out that it was not only Muslims who studied in madarsas. “Even non-Muslims are there. For instance, prominent scholar Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar was student at a madarsa. It is a mis-conception that madarsas give only religious education. All subjects are taught there.”
Countering Biswa’s argument that religious education cannot be imparted with government fund, he said there was no such bar in the law. He said the government helped many religious activities. “For example, they have now formed a trust to build a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
SIO TO TAKE ACTION
The chief of Student Islamic Organization (SIO) in Assam, Shabbir Ansari, also said the government’s plan to shut down state-aided madarsas was completely wrong. “The government is needlessly targeting Muslims every now and then.” He said the SIO will decide on its course of action if the government went ahead with this move.
Chairman of the state Madarsa Education Board Imran Hussain said he did not receive any official intimation regarding this announcement. There are 706 madarsas under the madarsa board across Assam, he said.