UP begins madrasa survey drive, cautions against illegal activities

Updated on Sep 13, 2022 06:31 AM IST

Uttar Pradesh on Monday started its controversial madrasa survey exercise, with a three member government committee visiting the Islamic religious schools and seeking information on 12 aspects, including their source of funding.

The ruling party has decided to task its minority wing to reach out to madrasa owners and allay such concerns. (Pic for representation)
The ruling party has decided to task its minority wing to reach out to madrasa owners and allay such concerns. (Pic for representation)

Uttar Pradesh on Monday started its controversial madrasa survey exercise, with a three member government committee visiting the Islamic religious schools and seeking information on 12 aspects, including their source of funding.

“Why do they want to know the source of our funding? We generate funds from the people, don’t take anything from the government and yet, they want to know about funding,” said a madrasa teacher in Saharanpur, the district where prominent Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom Deoband is located. A conference of madrasa owners has been convened by Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind in Deoband on September 24 to decide on the next steps.

The survey seeks information on the organization that runs the madrasa; the year in which it was set up; whether it is operating from a privately owned or rented building; if the building is safe and has pure drinking water, furniture and other facilities; the number of teachers, students and staff; the curriculum ; and whether the students of these institutes were previously enrolled in some other institutes.

The government has said that while the aim of the exercise is to gather data to ensure that modern facilities can be provided to students, action will be taken against all those engaged in illegal activities.

“We want cooperation of all, welfare of all. But at the same time none involved in any illegal activity will be spared,” deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak said on Monday.

“There are two points which smack of some sort of bias, if not foul play. The surveyors want us to reveal our income source and if the madrasa was affiliated to any NGO? Why is the income source important and how does it matter to which NGO the madrasa is affiliated as long as the government doesn’t find any illegal activity,” asked another madrasa owner, requesting anonymity.

The ruling party has decided to task its minority wing to reach out to madrasa owners and allay such concerns. The first outreach initiative has already taken place in Bijnor and the second one is being planned in Lucknow.

By October 5 the survey teams are to submit reports to district administration officials who will then, by October 10-15, present them to district magistrates, who, in turn, will submit the reports to the state government by October 25, ending the 46-day exercise.

The surveyors say they will have security but do not foresee problems.

“Yes, we have security but the madrasa owners so far have been cooperative,” said Narendra Nath Pandey, the district minority welfare officer, Amethi.

Some madrasa teachers have welcomed the survey . We have nothing to hide. We want better facilities and hope we get that,” said Naved Nisar, a woman teacher at madrasa Taleem-Ul-Quran in Nagina, Bijnor.

“If this move is to measure quality of education of madrasas, then it’s a welcome move. Hopefully, in due course, other private schools and basic education government schools will also be subjected to such surveys and quality checks,” said Athar Siddiqui of the Centre for Objective Research and Development.

Maulana Wasif Hasan of Lucknow Teeley Wali mosque said the government must ensure that the survey doesn’t end up heightening mistrust among the community.

“The government is saying that its intentions are noble and we believe them. Their actions should also convey the same.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Manish Chandra Pandey is a Lucknow-based assistant editor with Hindustan Times’ political bureau in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Along with political reporting, he loves to write off beat/human interest stories that people connect with. Manish also covers departments. He feels he has a lot to learn not just from veterans but from the newcomers who make him realise that there is so much to unlearn

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