Certain individuals or organisations try to project themselves as the Messiah of the entire community. But contrary to their projections in public, they do injustice to the people they claim to represent. The same seems to have happened in Uttar Pradesh and adjoining areas. The so-called representatives of the poor Muslim community have cheated them and kept them in the dark for more than a century.
The UP government concludes Madrassa survey
In the past, madrassas have been accused of carrying out religious radicalisation and indoctrination in the name of religious preaching and teaching. This necessitated the Yogi government to distinguish between the genuine education-instructing Madrassas from those once again creating nuisance and maligning the community.
For this, on the 13th of September, the Yogi government started the process of conducting a survey of unrecognised and self-financed madrassas. Back then, he also constituted investigation teams at the district level to conduct this survey.
The survey teams had to gather information on 12 points, including financial sources and basic facilities in these madrassas. By October 20th, all the authorised officials submitted the district-wise reports to the state government.
Grave revelations made by the Madrassa survey
The state government’s survey found out that there are around 7,500 unrecognised madrassas in the state. As per the official government data, the Moradabad region has the highest number of unrecognised madrassas with 585, followed by Saharanpur with around 360 unrecognised madrasas. But the most glaring fact that emerged out of the survey is that the most notorious and controversial Darul Uloom Madrassa had been operating without proper recognition for around 156 years.
Reportedly, around 4,500 madrassas across the nation are affiliated with Darul Uloom. Only 2,100 of these are located within UP.
District Minorities Welfare Officer, Bharat Lal Gond, informed that most of these ‘self-financed’ unrecognised madrassas claim that they run on money received from believers, that is, ‘Zakat’.
He said, “Darul Uloom is operating without recognition. The most important thing is that all these unrecognised madrassas have declared their source of income as “Zakat”.
However, the officials associated with Darul Uloom Deoband claimed that the Darul Uloom was registered under the Society Act-1866. It has never taken any donations or funds from the state or central government.
The controversial Madrassa of Darul Uloom
Darul Uloom, which is operating without recognition, has enrolled around 5 thousand students. It is a 156-year-old religious education school. During colonial times, the emphasis was on the English language. It was established on September 30, 1866, with the aim of keeping Urdu alive. In just a short span of 17 years, this madrassa alone has issued more than 1 lakh fatwas (Islamic decrees).
Interestingly, in 2005, it established an online department for Fatwa only. It has issued around 9000 fatwas in English, which it displays on its website in full glory. It has been issuing Fatwas to preach the dress code for women, denouncing photography, terming it non-Islamic and even banning women from working outside the home.
It had issued a fatwa saying that adopted children could not be legal heirs in property matters. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) called out this blatantly illegal decree. On February 8, 2022, the NCPCR and DM of Saharanpur suspended the website of Darul Uloom Deoband till further orders.
Contrary to popular belief, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has rescued young minds from the clutches of hardline radicals and exposed the fox among the sheep. It is past time for the state government to hold Darul Uloom and other such unrecognised madrassas accountable for misleading and duping the community, in addition to scientifically rationalising and mainstreaming madrassa education.