Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Saffron politics with education in Assam

BJP is on a roll and has won many of the Indian states' legislative assemblies including Assam, next to Bangladesh, showing its ugly fascist Hindutvadi face. The state has a significant population of minority Muslims many of whom sent their children to madrasas for education.
It is worth noting here that the Madrassa Education Board was established as long back as 1934 and has been regulated since. There are more than 700 schools under this board.
Assam's current deputy chief minister is Himanta Biswa Sarma, a die-hard Hindutvadi, of the BJP government wants to stop madrasas in Assam. He has no moral qualm to grant Rs 10 crore to the schools run by Vidya Bharati, a sister organization of RSS, the Hindutvadi fascist organization.
The minister’s fixation with government-run madrassas is an example of his recent fondness for promoting Hindutva than a real intent to reform education. A few months ago, Sarma announced that state-run Madrassa schools would be closed only on Sunday and not on Friday, a day which is considered holy in the Islamic calendar and which has been general practice in Assam. He went on to point out that it was only madrassas in Pakistan and Bangladesh that remained closed on Friday.
A few days ago, Sarma tweeted that separate directorate for Madrassa education would be abolished and its functions supervised by the Board of Secondary Education.
As noted by Uddipan Dutta it is too early to comment on the modalities of this proposed change. However, one needs to be watchful of the manner in which Sarma is surreptitiously pushing a saffron agenda. This certainly doesn’t augur well for Assam which is rightfully proud of its long cherished secular tradition in education.

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