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The politics of the madrasa survey

GS paper 1 & 2

Syllabus: Government policies and interventions


Source: The Hindu

Direction: This has been taken from the Editorial. You may go through it once.

Context: The Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to undertake a survey of unrecognized madrasas has raised serious concerns over the fate of these institutions .


The reason given for the survey: Check the availability of basic facilities for the students .

  • There are 16,513 recognised Madrassas in UP. The State government is providing financial assistance to 560 Islamic seminaries. However, so far, the UP government has no record of unrecognised Madrassas.


Views about madrasas in the general public:

  • Muslims are economically backward because most of them are educated in madrasas .
  • Sometimes, Madrasas are nurseries of radical Islam
    • War on Terror(after 9/11)was formulated based on this argument .


Sachar Committee Report (2006):

  • Only 3% of Muslim children of school-going age go to madrasas at the national level
  • Draw a distinction between madrasas and maktabs: Maktabs are neighbourhood schools, often attached to mosques.
  • Share of Muslims who attend madrasas and maktabs: It is not more than 6 .3 %, the report said.
  • Muslims are aspirational: Report’s most crucial observation.
  • Muslim parents are eager to see their children enrolled in modern education institutions but fail to do to their poor financial condition.


Recommendation by the report;

  • Scholarships should be given to Muslim students so that they don’t drop out of school.


Madrasas history:

  • They emerged mainly to save Muslim identity in the face of growing colonial interventions: which they suspected might impose Christian values on Muslims
  • Resisted partition: Deoband took a political stand and fiercely resisted Partition.


Way forward:

While there are issues concerning madrasas and modernity, concerning patriarchy and child rights(raised by the Sachar Committee). To have any state intervention inspired by Islamophobic views will only help deepen majoritarianism.


Constitutional Rights to Muslims:

Article 25 says “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health.”

Article 26 says that all denominations can manage their own affairs in matters of religion.

Madrassas are established under Article 30 of the Constitution, which gives minorities the right to establish and run their educational institutions.


Insta Links:

Review of the implementation of recommendations of Sachar committee report


Mains Links:

Q. What are the challenges to our cultural practices in the name of secularism? (UPSC 2019)