Uttar Pradesh govt treads cautiously after Darul Uloom Deoband refuses to seek recognition from madrasa board - Hindustan Times

Uttar Pradesh govt treads cautiously after Darul Uloom Deoband refuses to seek recognition from madrasa board

ByManish Chandra Pandey and S Raju, Lucknow/meerut
Oct 31, 2022 11:55 PM IST

The madrasa survey is merely aimed at collecting data, says the state’s junior minority welfare minister Danish Azad Ansari

The Uttar Pradesh government appeared to be treading cautiously, a day after the Darul Uloom Deoband, a renowned over 100-year-old Islamic seminary in Saharanpur, to which more than 4500 madrasas across the country are associated, refused to either seek recognition from the state-run madrasa board or alter its teaching methodology.

Darul Uloom Deoband does not want to alter its teaching methodology. (FILE PHOTO)
Darul Uloom Deoband does not want to alter its teaching methodology. (FILE PHOTO)

“The madrasa survey is merely aimed at collecting data. It isn’t connected to issues of affiliation or any of the issues that are being flagged. We want to better the quality of infrastructure, provide better facilities to students and staff. All this can’t be done without collecting details from all unrecognised madrasas,” U.P.’s junior minority welfare minister Danish Azad Ansari said.

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An ongoing madrasa survey, originally a 46-day exercise that started on September 10 and subsequently extended by a week, has now concluded with government officials gathering details on 12 points, including source of funding of the unaided madrasas, infrastructure, staff and facilities.

“We are yet to get the report from the districts. But, basically, the survey is just to collect details from unrecognised madrasas about the quality of teaching and infrastructure at these madrasas. The government’s intent is pure and I fail to understand what the brouhaha is all about,” the minister said.

Despite the junior minority minister’s clarification, the government’s move, once the madrasa survey report is studied at the government level, is still not clear.

Around 7189 unaffiliated madrasas (not affiliated to the state madrasa board) have been found during the survey, government officials said. However, what the government intended to do with such madrasas is still unclear.

There are 16, 513 recognised madrasas with about 20 lakh students, according to the state’s madrasa education board. Of these, 560 are receiving grants from the state government.

“I think the issue to be asked is how many of those affiliated to madrasa board have been getting aid, how many teachers in such madrasas have got salaries and what has been the overall benefit of those affiliated madrasas,” Samajwadi Party spokesman Azeez Khan asked.

AIMIM spokesman Aseem Waqar also flagged a similar issue.

At its daylong conference of madrasa owners at Deoband, the officials of Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, set up in 1866, too, made it clear that they aren’t seeking any grants from the government and won’t be seeking recognition from the madrasa board or change its theology-based teaching syllabus.

Ashraf Usmani, Darul Uloom spokesperson, said madrasas provide ‘deeni taleem (religious education)’ and have been fulfilling the objectives for which they have been established.

“We give affiliation ourselves and hence we aren’t seeking any affiliation,” Usmani said while pointing at what he described as the “poor performance” of madrasa boards in UP, Bihar, Delhi and Assam.

“The state government should first work on upgrading affiliated madrasas, improve their infrastructure and quality of education instead of bringing more under the ambit of affiliation,” he added.

“Why should madrasas take affiliation when teachers appointed in board affiliated-madrasas have been deprived of honorarium for past five years as well as their due financial aid,” he asked.

Countering Usmani’s view, UP BJP spokesman Manish Shukla said: “What’s wrong if the government wants to ensure that along with deeni taleem (religious education), duniyavi taleem (modern education)’ is also provided to Muslim children?”

BSP’s Amroha MP Danish Ali said he had raised the issue of pending honorarium of teachers in UP madrasas in Parliament.

“However, I did not receive any reply,” he said and claimed funds allocated to state’s minority department have been slashed to 50 per cent in the past few years.

“Last year, only 9 per cent of the allocated funds were utilized,” Ali said and alleged that many teachers even committed suicide after being deprived of their honorarium for years. The BSP MP claimed that due to these reasons, the madrasa owners now appear more interested in running madrasas through community funding than rely on government aid.

Congress’ district chief in Saharanpur, Muzaffar Ali Gurjar, felt that while there was no harm in seeking affiliation from government if those madrasas affiliated to the government board were better treated.

Former BJP lawmaker from Deoband Shashibala Pundeer felt madrasa affiliation with the board will help its students widen their knowledge base.

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