Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind lashes out at ‘saffronisation of education system’

NEW DELHI — The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has hit out at “the attempt to saffronise the education system”. A resolution was passed at the Jamiat’s governing council’s two-day meeting that concluded here today.

“The Jamiat strongly condemns the attempt by the Central and State Governments to saffronise the education system and compel students to engage in practices that contradict their religious beliefs,” the resolution said.

The Jamiat questioned the imposition of Surya Namaskar in schools. It also called the attitude towards madrasas “hostile” resulting in “a significant loss for the community and the country”.

“The Constitution of our country grants all citizens the freedom to adhere to their religious beliefs and practices. Therefore, the government’s imposition of compulsory orders for school students to perform Surya Namaskar, Saraswati Puja, shlokas, or sport a tilak is an interference in religious freedom and a violation of the Constitution. Such mandates are unacceptable to Muslims and any fair-minded Indian,” a spokesman of the Jamiat said.

Jamiat, which is the oldest Muslim body with roots in the freedom struggle, appealed to the government to “refrain from such provocative actions”. “Islam is founded on the belief in monotheism, and no Muslim, under any circumstances, can participate in any act emblematic of other religions,” the spokesman said.

The Jamiat’s governing council condemned the outlook of some Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders towards Islamic seminaries in the country.

“The madrasas are a crucial source of education for underprivileged and marginalised Indian Muslims. These institutions are indispensable for the educational and moral development of the community, playing a vital role in preserving cultural heritage and promoting religious education. Their contribution to the integrity and security of the country, as well as in fostering patriotism among the youth, is invaluable. It is a grave irony that, despite these fundamental services to the country and the community, a significant segment of society engages in slandering and criticising madrasas. The recent negative actions and misleading statements by some BJP Chief Ministers and the NCPCR Chairman against madrasas and Islamic scholars are unacceptable,” the Jamiat resolution concluded.

The resolution came close on the heels of remarks made by the Chief Ministers of Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. While the Assam Chief Minister had vowed to “erase the name of madrasas”, his counterparts called into question their reason for existence.

The Uttar Pradesh government completed a survey of unregistered madrasas about a year ago and had ordered some of them to close down in western Uttar Pradesh.

The Jamiat appealed to madrasas to focus on internal reforms and ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Standing Committee for the Protection of Madrasas. It called upon the government to take necessary measures to halt the propaganda against Islamic seminaries. — (The Hindu)