With Maharashtra government's controversial decision on madrasas creating a political furore, union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday blamed the previous Congress led-government for bringing the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which does not consider madrasas as educational institutions.
Asserting that madrasas have done a lot of good work in the country and it was important that these are treated as educational institutions, he said his ministry will look into a possibility of including these Islamic-learning centres in the mainstream educational system under RTE.
Naqvi's comments come after the Maharashtra government asserted that madrasas not teaching subjects like Maths, English and Science would be considered as non-schools.
"I have spoken to the education minister of the state who told me that as far as RTE which was brought by the previous government, as per it madrasas are not included in the category of educational institutions. Because of it, this confusion has been created," Naqvi told PTI.
He, however, emphasised that despite of this, he believed madrasas should be brought in the category of educational institutions and those which are not able to impart mainstream education, should be encouraged to do so.
"There are lakhs and thousands of madrasas, they should be brought within the categorisation of educational institutions or else they will move further from the mainstream," he said.
He said the government was working in the direction of connecting the madrasas with the mainstream with the Prime Minister's vision being of people with a Quran in one hand and a computer in another.
"We are working in this direction. The role of madrasas has been good. We are not talking of any madrasas being run by people like bin Laden, but in India whether it is al Qaeda or ISIS have always been rejected by Indian Muslims," he said.
He has still assured that in spite of the provisions, the state government would still provide support to madrasas.
Naqvi said that many madrasas were in bad financial situation and therefore, they only impart religious education. "On the basis of religious education you cannot bring the Muslim society in to the mainstream of progress. They too need to impart progressive education," he said.