Thursday, October 20, 2011

Madrasa education confident to make society more unyielding in Bengal

There is an age-old saying – it’s futile to measure force of the blizzard before its first wind blows. The subject of minority education, especially Muslim education, that was lying dormant till the other day in Bengal has come to the surface out of the blue almost and is showing no sign to retire soon. On the contrary, it is gaining strength with each day it passes. And without doubt, vote-bank politics, sturdy enough to segregate a well-knit social unit even, is playing a great role here.

Islamic radicalism in Bengal is getting bigger once again; a representative body of private religious madrasas in the state has rejected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s offer of affiliation to 10,000 madrasas. West Bengal Rabeta Madaris-e-Islamia Arabia alleges presence of a conspiracy to bring religious madrasas in political fold.

It must be kept in mind an identical claim has been with Muslims in Bengal for decades, if not more. What leads to this sudden renunciation then? After all Islam has hardly any relation to the philosophy of renunciation.

Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, said, “Muslim should be aware of the government recognition offer for Islamic madrasas. Most of the Islamic madrasas in West Bengal are following the syllabus of Darul Uloom Deoband and Mazahir Uloom Saharanpur. Any madrasa run by Rabeta will never take Government recognition announced by the Chief Minister of West Bengal.” He has also said in glowing terms, “If Government wants to do something leave targeting Madrasa. Madrasa should have right to go their own way, destination Islamic Education.”

“Religious Madrasa should not take any Government Assistance. In Sachar Report we have seen only 4% Madrasa students. The rest are going to school or modern education centres. Government should take care of schools not Muslim-run Islamic Madarsa. Madrasas are teaching Islamic lesson. We have right to teach Islamic Education and build Islamic Educational Institution to our choice, which stated in Indian Constituency. We will abide Indian Constituency not State run Government Rule,’ Maulana Nomani also said.

If this happens to be the uncompromising posture of Islamic radicals in Bengal, dark days are ahead only. The aforesaid discourse speaks of bigotry merely, of a mindset that is always ready to exploit any situation to help Islam emerge victorious. This gets more confirmed when Darul Uloom Deoband and Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind madrasas were advised (in the conference of West Bengal Rabeta Madaris-e-Islamia Arabia) to keep safe distance from Government Financial help to run the madrasa. Madrasa, as it was heard in the conference, should follow common processes to collect donation from Muslim Community, society.

To cut a long story short, Islamic school of thought is not ready to mingle with other parts of the greater society and considers any such interaction nothing apart from a face-to-face encounter or vicious struggle. There is perhaps no room for peaceful co-existence in Islam and this makes it anxious all the time within itself. And its relation with others, accordingly, remains strained without respite. Society turns into the final casualty on the whole.

We can see writing on the wall already – the more madrasa education gets popular, intransigence rules the day.

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