Granting UGC recognition will not help the state of madrasas which need overall modernisation, feels BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is also the Minister of State for Minority Affairs. Reacting to the proposal of scholars at Darul Uloom Waqf, Deoband, that madrasa education be given UGC accreditation, Naqvi said, “Even if madrasa education is recognised by the UGC, it will not help achieve the purpose. The system needs to change.”
The minister added that it is necessary to acquire modern education in order to survive the economic competition. “I understand that the purpose of madrasas is to spread the knowledge of ‘deen’ and not the education of ‘duniya’, but change is inevitable,” Naqvi said.
He further said that there should be no conflict between the education granted by madrasas and modern curriculum. “There is no conflict here. We are not asking anyone to make a compromise or trying to bring any changes in the basics of a madrasa. At the same time, however, the scholars of a madrasa should not take a rigid stance. Madrasas in states like West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra are not willing to modify, whereas those in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka have modified their systems. Education is a big challenge. The literacy rate is low. The demand of the current age is that ‘deeni and duniyayi (worldly) taleem’ should walk hand in hand,” he said.
But Darul Uloom Deoband, India’s renowned Islamic school, does not want the government to regulate the madrasas in any way. However, Naqvi retorted: “Our intention is to develop the madrasas across the nation. We want to introduce better education norms that will prepare the students at various madrasas to face the cut throat competition and get the best employment opportunities. The cynicism, if any, is misplaced,” Naqvi said.
His remarks come in the backdrop of Mohammad Naushad Qasmi, a scholar at Darul Uloom Waqf, who told The Sunday Guardian last week that “the students here are equipped with the highest knowledge of ‘deen’. They study English, Hindi and computers as subjects too. These young men are not uneducated, but still they are branded as ‘jahils’ or uneducated. This is unjust.”
Under “Mission Empowerment”, which aims at the socio-economic-educational empowerment of the minorities, Naqvi has visited 19 states across the country including Kerala, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Delhi and Rajasthan.
He said, “A persistent problem among the minorities across India remains the lack of education and employment opportunities. Even if there is education, there is no employment. It is true that on the employment front, innocent Muslims are becoming victims of the ‘wave of terror’ against Islam. But Muslims in India are against radicalism and terrorism. The likes of Al-Qaeda and ISIS have not been able to grow their roots in India because the temperament of Indian Muslims is different.”
“The ministry has introduced various schemes like ‘Padho Pardesh’, ‘Seekho aur Kamao’, ‘Jiyo Parsi’ and ‘Nai Roshni’ to bring changes in the current social scenario. The Centre has granted ample funds too. We have also established monitoring committees to keep the process transparent and efficient. We have faith that the results will be positive. A significant change can be seen in the next two years,” said Naqvi.