Need schools, colleges in Assam not madrassas: Himanta Biswa Sarma
Day after he gave out a “ratio” of Hindu vs Muslim arrest during last month’s crackdown on child marriages in Assam, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Friday, made another comment which could spark a controversy saying that his state and India on the whole doesn’t need madrassas, instead requires more colleges, schools and universities.
Sarma, while speaking at a rally meant for ‘Shiva Charithe’, at Belgavi’s Shivaji Maharaj Garden in poll-bound Karnataka, said that his government has shut down 600 madrassas and intends to close them all down in Assam.
The BJP chief minister claimed that Bangladeshi migrants who come to Assam for work are a “threat to our civilization and culture”, adding that that India needs engineers and doctors, not madrassas.
Asked to elaborate, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that “new India needs schools, colleges, and universities, not madrassas.”
The Assam chief minister has in the past spoke out about his intentions to shutter madrassas and closely monitor the education imparted at these institutions. Sarma in 2020 enacted a law for facilitating the conversion of state-run madrassas into “regular schools.”
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At the time Sarma had said that Assam police was working with Bengali Muslims who have “a positive attitude towards education, to create a good environment’ in the madrassas, adding that science and mathematics will also be taught in the madrassas, and the right to education respected and a database of teachers maintained.
At present, there are nearly 3,000 registered and unregistered madrassas operating in Assam.
On Wednesday, Sarma claimed that his regime ensured that almost an equal number of Hindus and Muslims were arrested in last month’s clampdown to allay fears that the action was not deemed communal in nature.
Speaking during his reply to a discussion on Vote of Thanks on the Governor’s speech in Assam Assembly’s Budget session, Sarma fired shots at the Opposition saying “I got some of our people pickup up too because you all feel bad”, while also revealing that the ratio of arrests of Muslims to Hindus since the February 3 crackdown is 55:45.
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