Prominent Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband on Sunday said it has no objections to the Uttar Pradesh government’s survey of private madrassas but the whole system of such institutions should not be denigrated if a few don’t follow rules.
At a conference of representatives from various madrassas held at Deoband to discuss the survey issue, the seminary’s principal Maulana Arshad Madani asserted that the madrassas operate under the country’s Constitution.
During the conference, a 12-member steering committee was constituted and its objectives include helping the madrassa managements during the survey and placing their grievances, if any, before the government.
Madani, who is also the president of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind and Vice President All India Muslim Personal Law Board, had been earlier critical of the government survey of Islamic religious schools.
Talking to reporters after the conference, Madani said he has urged all the madrassa managements to cooperate in the survey as they have nothing to hide.
He asked the managements to provide accurate information to the officials and also keep documents such as land papers and audit reports ready, besides ensuring cleanliness on their premises.
He said that if a madrassa has been built illegally on government land and the court has declared it illegal, the Muslims should themselves remove it as Shariyat does not allow this.
At the same time, he urged the government not to disregard the entire madrassa system if one or two institutions failed to abide by the rules.
Madni also said that the sacrifices made by the madrassas in the freedom movement cannot be forgotten.
Heavy security arrangements were made for the conference and the media was kept away.
On August 31, the Uttar Pradesh government ordered the survey of all unrecognised private madrassas operating in the state and teams were formed accordingly.
According to the order, the teams have been asked to complete the survey by October 15 and submit the report to the government in 10 days thereafter.
At present, about 16,000 private madrassas are operating in the state, including the world-famous Nadwatul Ulama and Darul Uloom Deoband.
After the government’s decision, several madrassa operators expressed apprehensions about the survey.
Earlier, Madani had questioned why only a survey of madrassas was being done.
“If the survey of madrassas is necessary, then why not of other educational institutions? Religious education is given in madrassas and this right has been given to us by the Constitution of the country.
“‘There is no place for terrorism here. The existence of madrassas is for the development of the country. The doors of madrassas are always open to all,” he had tweeted on Tuesday.
At a meeting of Jamiat-Ulama-e-Hind, a prominent outfit of Muslim scholars and clerics, in Delhi on September 6, it decided to support the government in the survey but demanded zero interference in their internal affairs.
With inputs from NDTV