Can Madrasas in India Provide Modern Education to Muslims?

Can Madrasas in India Provide Modern Education to Muslims?

Muslims need to fully understand the meaning of contemporary education that must develop an ability of progressive thinking among them.

By Rakesh Raman

Rakesh Raman

Rakesh Raman

The Government of India has decided to connect Madrasas (schools for Islamic religious studies for Muslims) with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan or the Education for All Movement of the government.

According to a government statement, Madrasas or Makatabs which are affiliated to the State Boards of Secondary Education or State Madrasa Boards and are desirous of introducing the State curriculum, are eligible for grant for textbooks, in-service teacher training, school grant and teacher grant under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

The idea is to modernize the education paradigm in the dedicated Muslim schools. However, the scheme is unlikely to work because the entire education system in India is rotten and obsolete.

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Muslim schools might get some funds from the government, but they are not going to benefit from the scheme largely because the overall education services in the country have failed to educate the students. Result: Severe unemployment in the entire country.

Muslims in India

The government announcement to connect Madrasas with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is another attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP (a Hindu political outfit) government to woo the Muslim voters.

Muslims have always lived in an atmosphere of neglect and fear in India under all Indian governments after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. As compared to other religions, most Muslims are living in extreme poverty and a perpetual state of deprivation.

They do not understand the meaning of education and are mostly dependent on Madrasas that provide traditional religious studies in Arabic which are not helpful to survive and progress in the modern world.

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The Rajinder Sachar Committee, appointed in 2005 by the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was asked to prepare a report on the social, economic and educational condition of Muslims in India. The report revealed the backwardness of Indian Muslims.

Among its findings, the Sachar Committee report stated that the status of Indian Muslims is below the conditions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, which are downtrodden communities in India. Plus, it said that the overall percentage of Muslims in bureaucracy in India is just 2.5% whereas Muslims constitute above 14% of Indian population (now 1.30 billion).

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BJP is particularly averse to Muslims. This was also evident in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. The party had fielded only seven Muslims among its 482 candidates (1.45 per cent) and all of its Muslim candidates were defeated. It is the first time that a ruling party has no Muslims in the Lok Sabha.

Hindu Rashtra

As BJP is an extreme Hindu political outfit that is hell-bent to make India a Hindu Rashtra (a nation only for people belonging to Hindu religion), it expects every person living in India to be a Hindu.

With the new scheme for Madrasas, the BJP government wants to subtly introduce the Hindu religion-centric curriculum along with Sanskrit (a traditional language to study Hinduism) among Muslims to eventually prod them to adopt Hinduism.

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In the year 2013-14, according to the government, Rs. 200 crore were allocated for Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM), out of which Rs. 182.73 crore were released.

From 2014-15 onwards, grants-in-aid in respect of both SPQEM and Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions (IDMI) Schemes is being released under the Head – Scheme for Providing Education to Madrasas and Minorities (SPEMM).

The information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smriti Irani in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.

An amount of Rs. 375 crore (including Rs. 100 crore for modernization of Madrasas) was allocated for both the schemes, (SPQEM and IDMI) during 2014-15. Out of this, an amount of Rs. 107.83 crore was released for 11,654 Madrasas.

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According to the government, another preliminary meeting to discuss the proposals received from the States relating to SPQEM scheme before the Central Grants-in-aid Committee meeting has been scheduled in the last week of December, 2015.

All such schemes are aimed to hoodwink the Indian Muslims, who have been facing varying degrees of persecution under all political parties in India.

If Muslims want to live with dignity in India, they must reject all government largesses thrown at them. Instead, Muslims need to fully understand the meaning of contemporary education that must develop an ability of progressive thinking among them. Only then they can hope to join the mainstream of India.

By Rakesh Raman, who is the managing editor of RMN Company and runs free schools for poor children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

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