Why Central Madrasa Board should be opposed by Muslims

By Abdul Hannan Siwani Nadvi

The discussion on proposed Central Madrasa Board 2008 is going on in Muslim community. Urdu newspapers and some online English journals are giving its full attention by publishing articles, recommendations of Ulems, and blights of this board against independent Madrasas in India.

One million question that, why government is keen interest in interfering in Independent Madrasas, while a network of Madrasas are playing its role very smoothly in spreading the initial education and awareness to Muslim community. Is this one not a good step that a Minority community, instead to make noise and to wait reservation from government, is teaching its communities without government’s help?

Are Ulemas and Muslim’s efforts in providing a platform of education to their community by establishing their own schools and without the fund of government shouldn’t be exhilarated? Is this not strength hands of government in the fields of education?

Actually, During NDA government a committee headed by L.K. Advani, prepared a report, in which said that Madrasas are the nursery of terrorism and are a threat of internal security of the country. On the base of this report, Mr. Murly Manohar Joshi (an accused in demolition of Babri Masjid) appointed to prepare a plan under the label of Modernisation of Madrasas to check its movements and to change its syllabus according government’s needs. Defeating of NDA in Parliamentary election destroyed the dream of Hindutva ideology who was looking a golden opportunity to wipe out the Madrasas which always been an eye-sore for the forces who want to capture on India under Hindutva slogan.

It was hoped that UPA government will not touch this issue, but in the garb of secularism, Mr. Arjun Singh raised this issue again and open a way of anger in Muslim community. Now, Mr. Kapil Sibbal is trying to make a balance concerning on this Central Madrasa Board.

For this purpose a meeting called on 03-October 09 by Mr. Kapil Sibbal to discuss and to collect Muslim’s opinion on this Board. No doubt that, Muslim MPS, Ulemas and Muslim scholars, unanimously rejected UPA government’s proposal. Adverse objections and heat of angers of Muslims in this meeting, forced Mr. Sibbal to announce that Muslim community will be taken into full confidence before tabling this bill into parliament.

First, I discuss on some but most important articles of this proposed Central Madrasa Board, which after years would change the map of all Independent Madrasas in India.

1. This board will trigger the differences among various Muslim sects and religious schools in Muslim community. Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahl-i-Hadith, Shafai, Shia, Dawoodi Bohra all are given a seat. One scholar from traditional Madrasa system will be appointed as well. Is only one scholar of each sect is enough to check Madrasas syllabus, grants, administrations and quality of education? For example, in India majority of people are the followers of Deobandi sects. Is only one Deobandi scholar who will be the member of board and an employ of government will solve all issues related to Deobandi sects across India. Education systems in Deoband or in Darululoom Nadwatul Ulema or in other Madrasas are very different. How this board will maintain the balance between all religious schools and on subjects as well.

2. According proposed Madrasas Central Madrasa Board 08 syllabus and other text books will be revised after the recommendations of a syllabus committee appointed by Madrasa Board. Is here any guaranty could be given that Madrasas main syllabus after the recommendations of syllabus committee would not be touched and its theological status would be remained work under proposed Madrasa Board till long times.

3. In areas of work, these beautiful words are written in Proposed Central Madrasa Board draft. “Conceptualize and initiate programme for the consolidation of the inclusive society, marked by religious and cultural diversity, through proper interfaith understanding in society”. Will Mr. Sibbal himself explain that how it would be possible in multi-religious and in multi-cultural society and how it will be placed in the country by the Madrasas are running under government while the situation of Bihar, Bengal and UP Madrasa board is before us, where teachers are always found on strike to get their due salaries, on the other hand, students come only to get certificates for applying jobs.

4. According this bill, if any dispute be found between Central government and Madrasa board, Central government’s final decision will be acceptable to all. With existing of such sections and even when central government is being run by other party such as BJP, will this board remained to work according its direction? How Madrasa Board will keep itself away from the interference of governments in its syllabus or in administration or in the content of Madrasas in future?

These are some articles of Central Madrasa Board bill are acknowledged above just for an example. The content of these articles shows that in future Madrasa board administration and its syllabus gradually will turn into government’s hand, where it will do what it will want, and in finally Independent Madrasas will lose its religious identity. By this conspiracy and in the name of modernization of Madrasas Muslims will be deprived from their religious and historical education as they driven out from Modern education, politics and from the field of developments in modern India, although they governed on India for decades and fought against British to get back their country.

Recently, a group of Muslim scholars met Mr. Sibbal assuring their support in making Central Madrasa Board. I have one question to all Muslims who support Central government’s move on Madarsa Board that why we not express our disquiets on Madrasa Board while our modern Universities such as Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia are crying on its situation. If these universities get full support of government and get back their minority status, Muslim students will never be behind than any others in the fields of education. In today’s India, a plenty of small schools are being run under Muslim’s supervision and these are in need of computers and modern technologies, why government is not making any plan to help such schools.

Diversity of nations, distinctions of various kinds of languages and costumes of society enlighten this glob, where rich and poor, middle and corporate class, religious and political groups, doctors and engineers, historians and film makers, educated and illiterates, thieves and dacoits, winners and looser, police and ordinary men, dancers and magicians, Ulemas and Pundits, politicians and law makers strengthen it and bring their efforts to live a better life. Declaring them the production of only one institution would be a proof of mentally illness.

Those who have a bit of understanding capability will never allow to anybody to go Medical universities to get technical education. Why Mr. Kapil Sibbal is not trying to understand this simple logic? Why he doesn’t want to know that Madrasas are religious institutions alike other Medical and Law Universities? Madrsas is part and parcel of Muslim society which can’t survive without it.

There are objectives and aims before Madarsas also, its syllabus is being prepared according its objectives, Committee comprising on great Islamic scholars and Ulemas check the syllabus time to time. Qura’an, Hadieth, History, Tajweed (correct pronunciation of Qura’anic verses), Tafseer (interpretation of holy scriptures), Fiqah (Islamic Jurisprudence), Shariah (Islamic law), Ahadeath (life and decisions of the holy Prophet on various issues brought before him by the faithful), Riazi (mathematics) are the subjects being taught in these Madrsas.

In all modern institutions above subjects are not being taught, if these subjects will be prohibited in Madrasas, as government is planning so where Muslims get the education which tell them that how they can live honestly.

Muslims want that government first solve all other issues have become an obstacle in the way of their development, solve the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University, and Jamia Millia Islamia, implement 10% reservation to Muslims as Justice Ranga Nath Mishra commission has recommended, open schools in Muslim localities and order government machineries to give the attention on Muslim’s areas also in providing electricity, hospitals and roads.

After all, despite getting some support from Muslim scholars, Mr. Sibbal still in quest of successes and the sword of Central Madrasa Board is still hanging on Independent Madrasas.

This is the responsibility of all Muslims, MPS to oppose this bill whether they belong from any schools to save their own independent Madarsas with advising central government to look on other aspects if it insists on upgrading education systems of Muslim community.

(Abdul Hannan Siwani Nadvi could be contacted on abdul_hannan_hannan@yahoo.co.in)


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