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Mushroom growth of private madrassas evokes concern in Assam

There are around 3,000 private madrassas in the state at present, the major portion of which have been set up willy-nilly for personal interest without adhering to any rules


Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 Aug 2022 3:14 AM GMT


GUWAHATI: There are around 3,000 private madrassas in the state at present, the major portion of which have been set up willy-nilly for personal interest without adhering to any rules and it is causing concern even among conscious members of the minority community.

These conscious citizens want that such private madrassas should be regulated by the local people concerned.

Talking to The Sentinel, the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (Special Branch), Hiren Chandra Nath, said that there are almost 3,000 private madrassas functioning in the state at present and awareness regarding the need to regulate them must come from within the Muslim community itself.

Talking to The Sentinel, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal also said that there is a need to control the haphazardly-opened private madrassas in the state. He further said that his party supports Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's appeal for alerting the police if any suspicious Imam or madrassa teacher is spotted by local people.

Ajmal added that the AIUDF will support the government even if a hundred jihadis are arrested by the police because they too desire peace in Assam.

It may be mentioned that around 747 three different types of madrassas – Hafizia madrassa, Banat madrassa and Arabia madrassa – are presently functioning in the state under the aegis of the All Assam Tanzim Madaris Quwmiya, which is headed by Badruddin Ajmal. The organization has its headquarters at Nilbagan in the Hojai district and was set up in 1955. The All Assam Tanzim Madaris Quwmiya also runs madrassas in Dimapur, West Garo Hills, Cooch Behar and New Jalpaiguri.

In Assam, the All Assam Tanzim Madaris Quwmiya runs 38 madrassas of various types in the South Salmara district, 109 madrassas in Dhubri, 21 madrassas in Kokrajhar, 42 in Goalpara, 29 in Bongaigaon, four in Chirang, 46 in Barpeta, four in Baksa, eight in Nalbari, 33 in Kamrup, 50 in Darrang, seven in Udalguri, 25 in Sonitpur, six in Biswanath Chariali, 16 in Lakhimpur, 12 in Golaghat, three in Karbi Anglong, 100 in Hojai, 135 in Nagaon, 57 in Morigaon, 15 in Cachar, 18 in Hailakandi, 60 in Karimganj, two in Dibrugarh, three in Sivasagar and one in Tinsukia.

Ajmal said that their organization does not provide any financial assistance to these madrassas and these receive funds from nationwide Muslim donors on the basis of examination results of their students.

Talking to The Sentinel, educationist and chairman of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Education for Indigenous Muslims, Ahmed Hussain said that a bad trend has developed of people opening madrassa at will without considering factors like requirement and rules. He said that many students who pass out from such private madrassas find no gainful employment and consequently they, too, open new madrassas and become teachers.

A Mangaldai-based advocate of the minority community, who requested anonymity, said that he had studied in a madrassa in the initial stage. "I secured admission in a general school later on after much hardship and today I have successfully become an advocate while many of my former classmates of that madrassa have become moulanas, qazis and the like," he said. These people are exploiting the religious sentiments of the poorer section and inducing them to send their children to private madrassas, the advocate said.

Zulhas Ali Ahmed, a resident of Morigaon, expressed concern at the mushroom growth of private madrassas in Assam and said the people opening them have no regard for rules and regulations. The sole concern is to benefit from the donations that are made to the madrassas by religious folk. He pointed out that those who send their children to such madrassas should think about the kind of education that could be provided by teachers who themselves are semi-literate.

Officials of the Minority Area Development Department said that the number of madrassas is increasing at a pace which is in keeping with the increase of the minority population. In such a scenario, the locations of madrassas are spreading to the inter-state border areas as a result of migration of members of the minority community.

The officials said that it will be impossible to control the proliferation of madrassas so long as the qazis, moulanas, hazis, matambars continue to exert influence over the minority community. The officials conceded that there are some madrassas which are doing good work. They, however, asserted that religious education can be obtained at home and there is no need to open numerous madrassas for that purpose.

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