Not the Question of Maqtab or Madrassa,But of National Security

via H. Balakrishnan published on December 1, 2006

Seema Chisthi is being disingenuous in her article “Only 4% of school-going Muslim kids in madarsas:Sachar” (TNIE-04 DEC)


 


While 4% appears a ‘small figure’,actually, a bit of number crunching reveals something different!!


 


Census 2001,pegged the Indian population at 1,028,737thousand, of which the total Muslim population was pegged at 138,188thousand. Of this,the Muslim children,in the age group 0-6 years worked out to 2,58,96,431.Taking the Sachar Committee figure of 4% of this group attending Madarsas,it works out to 10,35,857!! Considering the fact that female literacy in the community is very low,is this a negligible figure, Sir?


 


The above assumes signficance in the light of the findings of the Task Forces on ‘Internal Security’ and ‘Border Management’.They had noted: ‘with concern the rapid spread of madrassas and mosques in the border areas on almost all borders.In several cases,considerable foreign funds have become avilable to these institutions.Efforts at ‘Arabization’ of Muslims and their education are a matter of concern which should not be dismissed light-heartedly’.


 


The report further alerts the Government:‘Talibanisation of Madrassas is taking place due to spread of fundamentalist ideology.Madrassas in some places are reported sheltering ISI and subversive agents.With the ‘increasing’ enrolment of children in Madrassas,maulvis are acquiring greater centrality in community life,increasing their vote delivering capacity and political clout.Indoctrination of young children and planting of fundamentalist strains in their minds would pose serious problems to our polity in future’.


 


The report also stated that the focus in the madrassas are on traditional religious teaching,and modern secular subjects like science, mathematics, social studies and modern languages are NOT TAUGHT.History,if at all,it is taught,is Islamic History. It is therefore NOT a question of ‘Madrassa’ or ‘Maqtab’.It is one of  NATIONAL SECURITY.

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