Muslim leaders and clerics have launched a signature campaign against the Draft National Education Policy 2016, alleging the minorities will be further marginalized if the policy is implemented “forcibly”.
A letter addressed to the HRD minister demands the government to review and redraft the new policy keeping “the spirit of inclusiveness of all sections of the society and acknowledging varied heritage of the country”.
“It (draft policy) will be detrimental to the interest of not only minorities but also an effort to contravene in the Constitution, disturb secular fabric and federal structure of the country,” the one-page letter says.
“We would also like to bring to your notice that replacing Indian history with mythology and the Indian philosophy with the Hindu theology , Sanskritization by promoting Vedic culture and Gurkula traditions and making yoga mandatory in schools are totally unaccepted to minorities in general and Muslims in particular,” it adds.
The letter demands minority institutions remain outside the purview of the Right to Education Act which mandates 25% seats be reserved for poor students. One of the inputs for Draft National Education Policy says the issue of extension of Clause 12 (1) (c) of RTE Act to government-aided minority institutions will be examined in view of larger national commitments towards the economically weaker sections.
Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims Madhya Pradesh secretary Masood Ahmed Khan said the signature campaign was launched on September 17. “The letter will be sent to the Central government before September 30.”
On its website, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has sought views and suggestions about the education policy from public which should reach it by September 30. This is after nearly 30 years that a new education policy has been drafted. The national policy on education was framed earlier in 1986 and modified in 1992.