Amid the ongoing controversy over madrasas in Uttar Pradesh, the State government started the process of conducting a survey of the Islamic education institutions from Saturday.
The much-discussed survey of “unrecognised” madrasas will be conducted over the next 25-day period by the District Minority Welfare Officers and their teams across the 78 districts of the State along with the officials of the Education Department.
“Survey of madrasas to start today. We will analyse whether survey teams have been formed in all districts. Our aim is to bring these institutions into the mainstream and produce IAS and IPS [officers], engineers and doctors; hence the teaching of Mathematics, English, Hindi and Social Sciences are also necessary,” said Dharmpal Singh, the State’s Minister for Minority Welfare, Waqf and the Haj Department.
On September 7, Mr. Singh chaired a high-level meeting at Vidhan Bhavan and has issued directions to form survey teams by September 10 and set a 25-day limit to conduct the whole exercise. The teams formed in the districts have to submit the report to the District Magistrates within 25 days. The report will then be sent to the State government by October 25.
Mr. Singh on Saturday also took potshots at Opposition parties who have been criticising the survey. “The Opposition parties consider minorities as a vote bank but the BJP government believes in providing rights to the minority community,” added Mr. Singh. The survey aims to gather information about the details of teachers and students, curriculum, and affiliation of unrecognised madrasas with non-government organisations. Uttar Pradesh has more than 16,000 madrasas.
Since the announcement of the survey, a war of words is raging in the State with all the major Opposition parties,, including the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), targeting the State government.
Evil intent, says BSP
BSP supremo Mayawati said that the ruling dispensation was terrorising the Muslim community with such acts. Ms. Mayawati said, “The BJP government has an evil intent on madrasas in Uttar Pradesh. The attempts to interfere in the private madrasas, which are run on donations by the Muslim community, in the name of a survey is inappropriate. The government should focus on improving the condition of the government and government-aided madrasas.”
Leading Muslim organisations, including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind called the survey a “malicious move” to disparage the madrasa system and asked why the same rules do not apply for Hindu religious institutions such as mutts and dharmshalas.
The Minority Welfare Department survey has argued that the exercise would be conducted as per the requirements of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which wanted to check whether basic facilities were being provided to students in madrasas. During the survey, details such as the name of the madrasa and the institution operating it, number of students studying there, and information regarding facilities available will be collected.