Setting out the programme of the meeting on the importance of Madarsas in the education of Muslim children: difficulties and solutions in context of 9-11, held at Paradkar Bhavan, Varanasi, Mr. Asif Javed Khan, district coordinator- PVCHR initiative of “Reducing Police Torture against Muslims at the Gross-root level by Engaging and Strengthening Human Rights Institutions” clarified the objectives of the meeting and after that he called on Dr. Lenin, Executive Director of Peoples Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) for conducting the meeting.
At first, Dr. Lenin informed of the new initiatives which had to be taken from January 1, 2011 with the joint support of PVCHR and European Union against the police atrocities on Muslims. Further he called for taking into consideration the present conditions of Muslims and reiterated that it was necessary for the people associated with Madarsas and other intellectuals from Muslim community to think of their difficulties and to take steps to improve the situation. He said that they all had gathered in the programme organised by PVCHR initiative of “Reducing Police Torture against Muslims at the Gross-root level by Engaging and Strengthening Human Rights Institutions” with support of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust to find ways how to reduce stereotype prejudices of majority communities as well as police and other sections of state administrative authorities.
Dr. Lenin expressed his deep concern regarding recent unfortunate developments to link persons belonging to Muslim minority or their institutions for any acts of extremism owing to the majority community stereotype prejudices without any evidence. He cited his experience in this context. He warned the state administration through the meeting to deal with such incidents carefully in such a sensitive and delicate matters and not to harm the sentiments of Muslim minority. He reminded about the recent revelation of facts that has brought out the involvement of Hindu fascist in so many acts of terrorism.
Further, Dr.Lenin invited Maulana Riyazuddin to put forward his ideas regarding the role of Madarsas in the education of Muslim children. Maulana Riyazuddin started his talk on the issue with a couplet of Allama Iqbal, which as follows: “Who would share his pain and with whom”. Talking about the importance of education in Islam, he said that in Islam every religion has been given equal importance, and education has been given highest importance as being the supreme wealth of an individual.
He put thrust to talk to the government how to improve the situation of Madarsas and how to alleviate educational condition of the Muslim children. Dr. Lenin reiterated that there had been planted wrong perception among the masses about Madarsas as being centres of terrorism and it has caused much confusion in the society.
Mohd. Anwar, who is associated with Azad Movement, expressed his concern about the problem of non-payment of salaries of the teachers in Madarsas or delayed payment of their salaries. He lamented that Madarsas were viewed as suspicious institutions. It was assured on the part of the government to provide dresses for the children studying in Madarsas but it has not yet been materialised. In the meeting Prime Minister’s 15 points formulas was also discussed and demand was put forward to declare Varanasi city as a city of Muslim minority. Mufti of Khanam Jan Madarsa asked the committee of the meeting to put forward the necessities of Madarsas before the government. He praised the role of PVCHR to organise the meeting on the situation of Madarsas and its effort to bring about change into its present outlook so that it could be developed as a centre of knowledge production and doctors, engineers and other professionals could be trained and produced from these Madarsas.
Dr. Nabijan also hailed the effort of Dr. Lenin and PVCHR for calling the meeting on the situation of Madarsas. He said that it was unfortunate to blame Madarsas as the centres of terrorism. He also expressed his concern regarding negligence of this Madarsas on the part of the government.
Dr. Lenin with due respect invited Mufti-e-city Mr. Maulana Batin sahib to address the at the meeting. Batin sahib said that initially he had idea about the objective of the meeting but having come to know the gathering and about the issue, he realised the importance of the meeting. He opined that the meeting on the situation of Madarsas and education of Muslim children was an importance issue and this type of meetings and discussions should be organised time and again. He reiterated that everybody knew the role of Madarsas in the national freedom struggle. Further he said that it was totally wrong to target the Madarsas and view it as the centre of terrorism. He asked to give full support to Madarsas in its objective to educate the children and demanded for cooperation of the government to give salaries of the teachers in Madarsas and other facilities to the students available under government schemes like Mid Day Meal.
Dr. Mohd Arif, ACHA peace star awardee said that Madarsas had been solely responsible for imparting education. He also said that Madarsas had taken part in National Freedom Movement enthusiastically and had been opposed to partition of the country. He expressed his grief that the present regime was trying to harm the prestige of the Madarsas but on the other hand it had been failed to take any action against those fundamentalist forces who were involved in inciting communal feeling and violence.
He also talked about the recommendations of Justice Sachchar Committee, Justice Rangnath Mishra committee and demanded to implement the recommendations of the Committee so that the situation of Muslim minority could be improved.
In the end Dr. Lenin invited Mr. Diwan Jama sahib; state Secretary General of teachers association of madarasa Arabia in UP to delivers his presidential address. Mr. Jama sahib started his talk by enumerating vulnerable situation of Madarsas in present time. According to him Madarsas do not receive any facilities from the government. He demanded to treat the Madarsas in the same manner as the government primary schools other higher educational institutions. He requested Dr. Lenin to put forward the genuine demands of Madarsas before the government authorities to draw their attention towards the hapless condition of Madarsas. He said that Muslims are citizens of this country and they tax like others and thus Muslims are entitled to receive the same facilities from the government.
Mr. Diwan Jama sahib
Dr. Lenin said that it was just a beginning and further he would be working on the issue with the representatives of Muslim minority. Again he reiterated the need of government support to develop these Madarsas as the advanced educational centres so that it could be able to prove its relevance in the fast changing scenario of the society.
In the end Mrs. Shruti addressed the meeting and said that meeting had provided her opportunity to understand the problems regarding functioning of Madarsas. She also conveyed her vote of thanks for the participants and wished to work further on the issue of improvement of Madarsas.