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Ready to install PM portrait in madrasas if govt gives us monetary aid: Uttarakhand madarsa board

The Board alleged that the schools and colleges for Islamic instruction were denied monetary aid in brazen violation of the constitutional provisions, a charge strongly denied by the chief minister’s office

dehradun Updated: Jan 09, 2018 21:25 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Madrasa,Uttarakhand madrasa board,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
A madrasa in Dehradun. (Vinay S Kumar/HT Photo)

The madrasas in the mountain state of Uttarakhand have no objection to installing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s portraits on their premises, the state Madrasa Board has said, taking a U-turn from its earlier stand.

The Board, however, put a rider. They’ll do so provided the BJP government in the state doesn’t keep the minority educational institutes bereft of the monetary aid.

The Board alleged that the schools and colleges for Islamic instruction were denied monetary aid in brazen violation of the constitutional provisions, a charge strongly denied by the chief minister’s office.

This comes days after chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said madarsas should “give up their conservatism” and install PM’s portrait on their premises.

Rawat said that there “has been an established system, under which portraits of the PM is placed” in all state-run and government-aided institutions. “In that connection, madarsas should give up their conservatism. Their opposition to PM’s portraits inside their premises can’t be called justified,” he said.

The statement though drew a sharp reaction from the Board, which claimed installing of PM’s portraits was a non-issue. “We are not objecting to that. But let the government provide madarsas the monetary aid. “They too are constitutionally entitled to the aid, which is provided to the other state-run schools and colleges,” said Maulana Zahid Raza Rizvi, the acting chairman of the Board.

Rizvi said out of the 297 madrasas recognised by the Board, only one (Rehmania madarsa in Roorkee) was getting financial aid from the government. “The remaining madrasas have been left to their fate since the hill state’s bifurcation from Uttar Pradesh in 2000,” he said blaming both the Congress and the BJP, the two parties that have alternately ruled the state.

On that issue, “Muslims are more upset” with the Congress than the BJP, he said. “Congress continued to use us as its vote bank without bothering to provide funds for madrasas,” Rizvi alleged, adding that the schools and colleges for Islamic instruction were “somehow surviving” on donations. “I kept urging all (Congress) chief ministers to release monetary aid but to no avail,” he further said.

“Our condition is worse than the Dalits and the way we, and our children are being discriminated against…that will further alienate us,” Rizvi said.

Citing PM’s slogan of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ that promises an inclusive society, he said, “On one hand you give such lofty slogans and, on the other hand, you keep our educational institutions deprived of the monetary aid.”

He also accused the BJP government of ignoring various other issues pertaining to madrasas and claimed that some 700 science teachers appointed by the Centre in some of the state madarsas have not been paid salaries for long.

“The families of those 700 science teachers are having a tough time as they have gone without salaries for over two years. Their salaries have not been released because the state government had not submitted the related utilisation certificates.” Rizvi alleged.

He also alleged that thousands of students who “graduate from madrasas every year fail to get jobs as the state government is not giving their certificates and degrees equivalence” to those awarded by the other state-run schools and colleges to their students.

Darshan Singh Rawat, the CM’s media coordinator, denied all the allegations. “All recognised madarsas are provided monetary aid and most issues facing them have been resolved,” he said.

State officials, however, admitted that out of 297 madarsas only one was being provided an annual monetary aid of Rs 50 lakh as it “falls in the category” of an aided school. “The rest (296 madarsas) are recognised by the Madarsa Board but are yet to be legally categorised as aided schools as a related policy is yet to be formulated”, said Rais Ahmad, deputy director of the Directorate of Minority Welfare.

“It (policy) couldn’t be formulated because the law itself (Madarsa Board Act) was introduced at the fag-end of 2016 and soon after that the assembly elections were announced,” he added.

On the issue of the science teachers having gone without salaries for the past two years, Ahmad said a demand for a fund of Rs 20 crore had been submitted to the Centre. “A proposal recommending equivalence of certificates and degrees awarded to madarasa students to those awarded to students of other state-run schools and colleges is pending with the (state) government,” Ahmad said.

Contacted, Congress leader Surendra Kumar claimed that kind of work the (Congress) government did for madrasas “is simply unprecedented.”

First Published: Jan 09, 2018 21:24 IST