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Assam Law To Shut Down Madrasas, Sanskrit Tolls

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The Assam government on Sunday approved a proposal to repeal provisions for madrasas and Sanskrit tolls (schools), a Cabinet note said. Legislation to this effect will be introduced in the coming session of the Assembly.

“Repeal of provisions of madrasa and Sanskrit tolls. Act will be introduced in the coming session,” the note said. The details of the move would be clearly known after the details of the legislation are out.

Assam’s Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told The Indian Express in an Idea Exchange session last month that the government intended to shut down around 600 madrasas in Assam.

“So, we have decided to convert these institutes into seats for general education. Now, 600 madrasas will be closed (down). In these madrasas, we are going to impart modern education. This (is not to) save any finance. We will keep spending Rs 300 crore because we are not going to take anybody out of service… The madrasa education is opposed by the students themselves,” the Education Minister had said.

According to Sarma, in the ‘high madrasas’ in Assam a student has the chance to score 200 marks studying a subject based on Islam and Quran.

“An opportunity was given only to a class of citizens to study their holy scripture and then score marks. So, my opposition is because you have to establish parity. Either you allow the Bhagavad Gita or Bible so that other students also score 200 marks, or remove the Quran,” Sarma said.

He added, “I think introducing the Bible or Bhagavad Gita will not be easy because Assam has a composite culture and there are many small religions. So the best way to establish parity is to remove the subject on the Quran.”

Sarma had earlier told reporters in Guwahati that the reins of the Sanskrit tolls will be handed over to Kumar Bhaskarvarma Sanskrit University and they would be turned into centres of academic learning and research on Indian culture.

Courtesy – IndianExpress

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