All India United Democratic Front president Maulana Bardar Uddin Ajmal has said that if his party comes to power, all madrassas that have been shut down by Himanta Biswa Sarma will be reopened in the first cabinet meeting.
“If we come to power and InshAllah we shall, then all the madrassas that Himanta Biswa Sarma is closing in Assam we shall reopen them at one cabinet meeting. Woes and deprivation of the tribes and communities of Assam including the tea community, we shall clear them in one cabinet meeting by the grace of the Almighty,” Ajmal assured the public at a rally at Hatsingmari in South Salmara district.
Visibly in a counter attack mood at the recent decision of the BJP-led government to close all the state funded madrassa of the state, the Member of Parliament from Dhubri asked the state education minister, “Ab tera kya hoga, Kalia?” (What will happen to you now, Kalia?) — a popular dialogue from the Bollywood movie Sholay.
“Save yourself if you can leave aside the party. We are fighting against parties, leave that to us. Challenge us if you can. Question us on what we can do. We say that we shall reopen all the madrassas when we come to power,” Ajmal said, taking the political discourse on the existence of madrassa in Assam to Sarma’s court in particular and the BJP-led government of the state in general.
In a recent decision, the state education minister had announced that all state-run madrassas shall be converted into regular schools and in some cases, the teachers shall be transferred and the madrassas shall be closed down.
The education minister had justified the decision saying that teaching Quran cannot happen at the cost of government money and if the government does so then it cannot be biased towards one religion.
The secondary education department of the state had sent a letter to the director of secondary education stating that 148 madrassa contractual teachers would be shifted to schools under general secondary education.
Assam has 614 government-run madrassas, including 57 for girls, three for boys and 554 co-educational, while 17 are Urdu-medium.
The AIUDF president is on a two-day political trip to South Salmara district of Assam that has a strong minority vote base. The AIUDF unofficially is believed to have struck an alliance deal with the Congress and is expected to contest the ensuing 2021 assembly election on the platform of a grand alliance.