All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday slammed Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over his remarks demanding that “the word Madrassa should cease to exist”.
Owaisi hit back at Sarma saying “unlike Shakhas, they teach self-respect and empathy” at Madrasas.
Earlier at an event in Delhi, Sarma argued that children won’t be able to think about becoming doctors and engineers as long as “madrassas” exist. He further stated that the word ‘madrassa’ should “vanish”, claiming that children are admitted to a madrassa “in violation of human rights”.
“Nobody is saying don’t teach the Quran (Islamic holy book). But more than that, a student should be taught science, math, biology, botany and zoology,” Sarma said. “Give religious teachings for 2-3 hours. But in schools, a student should be taught in a manner so that he can become an engineer or a doctor.”
Reacting to Sarma’s remark, the AIMIM president said that many madrassas teach science, math and social studies besides Islam and were at the forefront of India’s freedom movement when “Sanghis were acting as British agents”.
Taking to Twitter, Owaisi said, “While Sanghis were acting as British agents, Madrasas were at the forefront of the freedom movement. Many madrasas do teach science, math & social studies besides Islam. Illiterate Sanghis wouldn’t understand. Why did Hindu social reformer Raja Ram Mohun Roy study in a madrasa? Obsessing over Muslim ancestry shows your inferiority complex. Muslims have enriched India & will continue to do so.”
Himanta Biswa Sarma was Assam's education minister before becoming the chief minister this time. In 2020, he decided to abolish all madrasas aided by the government of Assam and convert them into general schools.
The then Education Minister and now Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had passed a law in the Assam Legislative Assembly to repeal the Madrasah Education Provincialization Act 1955 and the Assam Madrasah Education Act 2018 to reform education. The Guwahati High Court has upheld the act and the State Government's subsequent order on it.