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01 November 2011

Move to recognise madrasas finds few takers

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By Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay

Kolkata: Even after the state government ran advertisements in Hindi and Urdu newspapers published from Kolkata in June and July inviting khareji (unrecognised) madrasas to apply for government recognition, so far only 20 such madrasas have sent in their applications.

The advertisements came out following Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s announcement that she would give recognition to 10,000 khareji madrasas so that they can upgrade their standards.

“We have sent our inspectors to verify the claims of the madrasas made in their applications. The madrasas which have applied for recognition are located mostly in North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Nadia districts. Once we are satisfied, they will get recognition,’’ a senior official of the Madrasa and Minorities Affairs department working under the chief minister, told The Indian Express.

The CPM has its own explanation for this low turn-out. Said former minister for Land and Land Reforms Abdur Rezaq Mollah, who also handled madrasa department earlier: “The scheme for recognising khareji madrasas is nothing but a farce. If you look at the application proforma, you will find that they want things like document showing ownership of land, building, equipment, number of teachers, etc which should be specified. Most of the khareji madrasas are run by charitable organisations and they are in poor financial health. Where will they get all these things from?’’ Mollah asked.

The interesting thing about these madrasas is that despite getting recognition, these madrasas will remain private bodies and will follow the syllabus mandated by the Madrasa Board.

“Getting government recognition does not include them in the lot of those 600 government recognised madrasas which receive the government aid. However, these madrasas, after they get recognition, can apply for funds under various schemes,’’ the official further said.

Another interesting fact that has come to the fore is the Madrasa department has no idea that the intelligence branch of state police had made a survey of unrecognised madrasas in February 2002. The survey was done following the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s remark calling unregistered madrasas as hotbeds of anti-national activities. As the remark created a statewide furore, Bhattacharjee had backtracked and said his statement was distorted.

(Courtesy: Indian Express)

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