Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while addressing a rally in poll-bound Karnataka claimed that he has closed 600 madrassas and intends to close all madrassas because he wants schools, colleges and universities instead.
"People from Bangladesh come to Assam & create a threat to our civilization & culture. I have closed 600 madrassas & I intend to close all madrassas because we do not want madrassas. We want schools, colleges and universities," he said.
Karnataka | People from Bangladesh come to Assam & create a threat to our civilization & culture. I have closed 600 madrassas & I intend to close all madrassas because we do not want madrassas. We want schools, colleges & universities: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, in Belagavi pic.twitter.com/aIqASZD2a0— ANI (@ANI) March 16, 2023
The chief minister had introduced a controversial law in Assam in 2020, which planned to convert all state-run madrassas into “regular schools” that impart “general education”.
Earlier, Sarma said that a checklist has been prepared for the madrassas, though the state is yet to "enter into an agreement with stakeholders, but things are moving in the right direction”. The Assam Police is working with Muslims in the state to “rationalise” madrassa education, he said.
Assam is not the first state making headlines for its bid to enhance a regulatory oversight over madrassa education. In December, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that alleged objectionable content being taught in some madrassas in the state will be scrutinised.
In the same vein, in August last year, Madhya Pradesh Culture Minister Usha Thakur had said illegally-run madrassas may be used for human trafficking and a probe must be carried out against such facilities.
Meanwhile, at the rally, Sarma also lashed out at the Congress and said that the party represents the "new Mughals today". "Once upon a time, the ruler of Delhi used to talk about demolishing temples but today under PM Modi's rule, I am talking about building temples. This is new India. Congress is working to weaken this new India. Congress is representing the new Mughals today," Sarma said.
#WATCH | Karnataka: There are many people in our country who proudly say they are Muslim, Christian and I have no problem with that but we need a person who can proudly say that I am a Hindu. India needs such a person today: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma in Belagavi pic.twitter.com/IJnCWbdqTP— ANI (@ANI) March 16, 2023
(With inputs from PTI)