Assam CM’s Madrassa Policies ‘Anti-Minorities, Anti-Education’

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Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – The policies adopted by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma with regard to madrassas in the state are being as seen “anti-minorities” and “anti-education” after he recently asked the police to work with Muslims “to rationalise” religious institutions.  

”The police, under the directive of Director General of Police B.J. Mahanta, are working with the Muslim community to rationalise madrassa education. Instead of considering them as enemies, we are making them stakeholders,” he said on Sunday.

Madrassa teachers from outside the state will have to appear at the nearest police station and a database of teachers will be maintained. Science and mathematics will be taught in madrassas, he said.

Talking to Clarion India about Sarma’s policies, Burhanuddin Qasmi, a madrassa pass-out who runs a school, described them as “anti-education” and “anti-minorities”.

“His policies will take education in the state backward. The policies show his bias, prejudice and ignorance about the madrassas. Earlier, he had remarked that the madrassas don’t produce certain kinds of people. I had written a long article in response to it,” said Qasmi, who also edits ‘Eastern Crescent,’ a monthly magazine based in Mumbai. 

Qasmi hails from Assam’s Karimganj.

Qasmi pointed out that the people of Assam had elected a madrassa pass-out as an MLA who sat with Himanata in the assembly. He was referring to Rafiqul Islam Qasmi, a former MLA from All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). The former legislator studied at Darul Uloom Deoband and taught at Guwahati University.

“If somebody is providing religious education, why are you so troubled by that…. if you will harass those who run educational institutions, people will stop promoting education. That’s why I call the CM’s policies anti-education,” he said.

Others too have criticised Himanata Biswa Sarma’s remarks on madrassas. AIMMIM chief and Hyderabad MP, Asaduddin Owaisi, slammed the chief minister and questioned his intent.

“Assam is not a foreign country where Indians have to ask for your permission. Right to occupy, move and settle in any part of India is a fundamental right,” Owaisi said in a tweet.

“What about teachers in RSS-run schools? What if other states start putting the same requirement on people from Assam?” he asked.

According to Qasmi, Sarma’s controversial policies are meant to appease a section of his voters. “He wants to polarise and appease a section of voters. This is his only motive. He wants to show how he can harass a particular community,” Qasmi said.

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