The Uttar Pradesh government will conduct a survey of unrecognized madrassas in the state to collect information about the number of teachers, syllabus and infrastructure available there.
The Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to conduct a survey of madrassas has raised serious concerns over the future of Muslim identity. Like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand has also said that it will conduct a survey of madrassas. The ideology of the recent survey will be clear only after the survey is completed and various political parties will react on its results.
In the period following the Sepoy Mutiny, madrassas emerged primarily to help preserve Muslim identity in the face of increasing colonial interventions. Madrasas, especially Deobands, did not seek state support because they doubted that the colonial state, among others, would eventually expect them to teach “subjects loyal to the British Crown”. So they demanded autonomy.
Two arguments are often given about madrasas in India-
(1) The first is that Muslims are economically backward because most of them are educated in madrassas.
(2) The second is that madrasas are nurseries of radical Islam.
Sachar Committee Report
This report made a distinction between madrasas and maqtabs.
According to this report, no more than 6.3 percent of Muslims attend madrassas and maktabs nationally. Only 3% of Muslim children of school-going age attend madrassas.
The report stated that Muslim parents are eager to see their children enrolled in modern educational institutions, but often fail to do so due to their poor financial condition. Therefore, the report recommended that scholarships be given to Muslim students. so that they do not have to leave the school.
impact of the survey
The Sachar Committee report deliberately chose to avoid discussing the issues of party politics or secularism or communalism and its implications for the welfare of Muslims. The authors pretend that no causal relationship exists between ideology and development. The expected responses after the madrasa survey will highlight the importance of this relationship. There are issues related to madrassas and modernity, especially those related to patriarchy and child rights, some of which were taken up by the Sachar Committee. State intervention through such surveys will only help deepen majoritarianism.