Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Mushrooming Madrasas A Menace to Nation

Mushrooming Madrasas A Menace to Nation

Author: Rajendra Chaddha
Publication: Organiser
Date: March 3, 2002

Introduction: The madrasas being run on ISI money and are nothing but breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism training should be ordered to be closed immediately. The students in these madrasas should be asked to join a nearby school and undergo a total psychological transformation. This would initiate the process of correcting the aberrations that have vitiated the atmosphere in the whole country.

The mushrooming of madrasas and their turning into hotbeds of extremist elements is creating tension in the society. The unrecognised madrasas which preach hatred against people professing other faiths are detrimental to social harmony. The recent reports from different parts of the country focus on their role in carrying out antinational activities. The recent attack on the American Center in Kolkata bears testimony to these facts. It was at this juncture the Chief Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharya remarked in an interview to a web daily that some madrasas in the State had become the base for anti-national elements. "What I mean to say is that these madrasas should be affiliated to the Madrasa Board. They should join the mainstream of the country. But some people are deliberately refusing to get affiliated to the Madrasa Board and are teaching Arabic and theology. Some anti-national elements are operating from these madrasas. This must be stopped." (Economic Times January 24, 2002)

In a discussion with the Union Home Minister Shri L.K. Advani the day after the Kolkata attack, the Chief Minister had expressed his 'concern over the illegal activities of madrasas.
In another interview after the Kolkata attack on the American Centre Bhattacharya had tried to attract the attention of his colleague of the need of POCO (Prevention of Organised Crime Ordinance) and offer extraordinary measures to combat terrorism. "What happened yesterday has proved that just normal policies are not enough to face terrorist attacks", he said.

Some sources say that the State Intelligence has categorised as many as 125 of the 208 madrasas in the border districts encouraging terrorism. The teachers here are either engaged in anti-national activities or in creating future religious extremists by injecting poison in the minds of their students. These madrasas are spread over the districts of Cooch Behar. Jajpaiguri, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas.

The petty-minded politicians, who only eye at the vote-bank of Muslims are making the situation worse. The influx of Bangladeshis especially ISI agents poses a serious threat to the country's security. Using the infiltrators as votebank investment has alarmingly changed the demographic profile of entire north-eastern region including Assam. Moreover, the country is paying a heavy price for the visionless actions of the self-seeking politicians.

There are disturbing reports that State Governments like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have donated huge sums from the Government exchequer for the maintenance and functioning of madrasas. The MP Government announced a grant of 2.47 crores on December 12, 2001 to madrasas in State (Panchjanya, January 20, 2002). The UP Government too is said to have announced a grant of about 38 crores for modernising mosques and madrasas. While details of this largesse is awaited, there can be little doubt that most of this fund would be sphioned off to madrasas and may be put to use other than legal.

It is clear as day light that ISI agents are operating on the border with the sole aim of distancing the Muslims from the mainstream. "This is dangerous. I urge my Muslim bhais not to listen to these divisive forces because this will lead to disaster", the Chief Minister forewarned on the CPM's Murshidabad district conference on January 28, this year.

However, after the January 22 attack Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has ordered a survey of the madrasas and asked for a data-base. At a meeting with senior officers of Murshidabad district recently, the Chief Minister said: "I would like to see the survey findings and database within the next fortnight". Murshidabad is the district having largest concentration of madrasas in West Bengal.

The CPM leadership and the allies obsessed with vote bank politics are upset with the Chief Minister's order. It is no secret that it is their vehement criticism that made Bhattacharya tone down his remarks on the sensitive issue later. He was being forced to clarify his remarks as. "What I meant to say was that these madrasas should be affiliated to the State Madrasa Board. They should join the mainstream of the country".

The central leadership of the CPI(M) is reportedly unhappy over Bhattacharya's open remarks on Muslims as they constitute 20 per cent of West Bengal's vote bank. They are turning a blind eye to the Intelligence report which shows an alarming growth in the number of mosques and their anti-national activities in the villages bordering Bangladesh. These madrasas that have sprung up at this border are financed by the those very Middle Eastern sources who also financed the chain of jehad academics in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They are part of a net-work and the exchange of teachers are rampant in these places.

Shri Bhattacharya has conceded recently in an interview that the ISI agents were infiltrating into West Bengal through the porous borders of the State. He had also remarked that the attack on the American Center could be a handiwork of the Pakistani ISI operatives in Bangladesh. "The fact is that ISI agents are at times operating from within Bangladesh. We have arrested more than eight ISI agents who are operating from Bangladesh and entered our State".

The State has been thoroughly infiltrated by the ISI which is active particularly in the Siliguri area in North Bengal. The ISI is concentrating on this place as it has proximity to both Nepal -and Bangladesh.

The Siliguri-Islamabad corridor is the only direct land link that north-eastern India has with the rest of the country. The area had witnessed a severe blast in a train carrying troops during Kargil war in 1999. Earlier it was to Siliguri that a Bangladeshi, Syed Abu Nasir, a hardened ISI agent, sent his three, Indian associates to blow up the US embassy in Delhi and consulate general in Chennai. Shri Syed Abu Nasir was arrested by Delhi Police in January, 1999.

In last one year alone over 10,000 Bangladeshis crossed over to West Bengal. Of these, roughly 4,000 were pushed back. But the rest managed to slip into the interiors and mixed themselves up with the locals.

It is interesting to note that the 1991 census shows that in the past few years the population in nine border districts of the State had increased by 30 per cent while in other areas, the increase has been on an average of 5 to 7 per cent.

It is easy for the infiltrators to get a ration card which costs them only Rs. 200 in West Bengal (that entails them to vote). Some village panchayats in the State are safe haven for them as they are being sheltered there for political gains. In some cases, the Muslim League, the Jamat-i-Islami and other communal forces are using these migrants for their communal politics.

Although the population of Muslims in Himachal Pradesh is very small, there are extremely disturbing reports about the activities of 29 madrasas operating in seven districts of the State. A district-wise break-up of the madrasas is shown below:

In the border areas, madrasas and muktabs are now more than 1000, which was less than 10 in 1980.

There can be no two opinions as to what the Government should do about the mushrooming madrasas. Sometime back a suggestion was put forth to introduce a legislation to control the working of madrasas. In Organiser issue dated 30-12-2001, it was suggested that "all madrasas being run on ISI money, which are nothing but breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism training should be ordered to be closed immediately. The students in these madrasas should be 'asked to join a nearby school and undergo a total psychological transformation. This would initiate the process of correcting the aberration that have vitiated the atmosphere in the whole country."

In a meeting held recently, Pakistan President Musharraf spoke candidly about the negative aspects of the madrasas. Many of them impart only religious education and such education only produces semiliterate religious schoalrs. They promote negative thinking and propagate hatred and violence in society. Musharraf conceded, "We must ask what direction are we being led in by these extremists? The writ of the government is being challenged". In his own view the supremacy of law is questioned by madrasas in Pakistan.

The General spoke about getting rid of sectarian hatred and terrorism and promoting mutual harmony "because it hurts to see where we have relegated ourselves now". He said mindsets cannot be changed through force and coercion. He also announced a new 'strategy for madrasas', underlining the need to develop a new syllabi.

He also remarked that it is necessary to bring madrasa students into the mainstream of society. If a child studying in a madrasa does not wish to be a prayer leader but to be a bank official or seek employment elsewhere, he should be appreciated. This conveys that the situation is not so now. The crux of his new madrasa strategy is "that the students of madras should be brought to the mainstream through a better system of education".

Musharraf clarified "We must check abuse of mosques and madrasas and they must not be used for spreading political and sectarian prejudices. If the Imams of mosques fail to display responsibility, curbs would have to be placed on them". The General announced that henceforth all mosques will be registered and no new mosques will be built without permission. The use of loudspeakers will be limited only to calls for prayers. If sermons are-misused, the permission will be cancelled, Musharraf warned.

After promulgation of the new madrasa ordinance in Pakistan, the functioning of these institutes will be regulated. They will be governed by the same rules and regulations applicable to other schools, colleges and universities. All madrasas will be registered by March 23, 2002 and no new madrasa will be opened without permission of the government, thundered the General. "If any madrasa is found indulging in extremism, subversion, militant activity or possessing any type of weapons, it will be closed. All madrasas will have to adopt the new syllabi by the end of this year. The Ministry of Education has been instructed to review courses of Islamic education in all schools and colleges".

The General also set rules for foreign students attending madrasas in Pakistan. Foreign students who do not have proper documents would be required to comply with the formalities by March 23, 2002, otherwise they can face deportation. A foreigner wanting to attend a madrasa in Pakistan will have to obtain the required documents from his/her native country and an. NOC (no objection certificate) from the Pakistan government. Only then will he or she be eligible to get admission. The same rules will apply to foreign teachers.

Madrasas in Indo-Nepal border, there has been a remarkable growth in the number of mosques and madrasas mushrooming along the Indo-Nepal border in the 10 km belt during the last decade. Studies conducted by Independent Organisations have shown that there are 343 mosques and 367 madrasas in the bordering districts on the Indian side and 291 mosques and 195 madrasas in corresponding Nepal side. Most of the mosques, however, also function as madrasas to some degree and impart religious education. In the last 5 years, there is growth of mosques and madrasas in 6 districts on Indian side viz., Siddarthnagar, Maharajganj, West Champaran, East Champaran, Sitaramarhi, Madhubani and Araria where 73 new mosques and 89 'new madrasas have come into existence. On the Nepal side, more than 45 new mosques and 41 new madrasas have sprung up in 10 districts viz., Rupendehi, Kapilvastu, Nawalparasi, Bardia, Banke Kailali, Mohattari, Sarlahi, Parsa, Sunsari and Morang.

Along the Indo-Bangladesh border, there are 955 mosques and 445 madrasas in 22 bordering districts of West Bengal. Whereas there are 976 mosques and 156 madrasas in 28 districts on Bangladesh side. During the last .5 years, 57 mosques and 88 madrasas have been constructed on the Indian side. Most of these have come up in West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Madrasas in Nepal with anti-India activities Madrasa Zia-ul-Uloom in Noorpur, Narsingh in Sunsari district, Nepal is run by Al-Hira Educational society since 1985. One Nizam Khan, Zonal Secretary of Islamic Yuvak Sangh of Nepal (IYSN), who is receiving funds from various Islamic countries has been conducting anti-India propaganda from the madrasa.

Madrasa Tehfizul Quran in Siraha district close to border Maulana Hamidur Rehman, a known ISI agent is associated with the running of this madrasa. He is also in touch with LeT cadres in Nepal.

Madrasa Siraj-ul-uloom in Jhandangar, Kapilvastu district. The late Maulana Abdul Usuf and Maulana Abdullah Madani, who are associated with this madrasa are prominent promoters of Pak Islamic activities. The premises of the madrasa is being used for providing shelter to ISI agents, gun runners, criminals and for other anti-India activities. One Abu Bakar Nadvi associated with this madrasa is recruiting Nepalese Muslim youth and sending them to Pakistan for training by the LeT group.

These madrasas are used

1) As hide-outs/shelters 'for Kashmiri extremists.

2) Transit camps for terrorists and ISI operatives coming to India via Nepal and Bangladesh.

3) For recruitment.

4) For propaganda and subversion of youth.

5) Safe house for conducting meetings between ISI operatives and extremists.

6) For funding channels

Indian side

A number of madrasas along the Indo-Nepal border on the Indian side, notably being Jia-ul-Uloom (PS-Itwa), Khair-ul-Uoom (Domeriaganj), Darul Huda (Shishania), Mis Bah-ul-Uloom (Chaukonia), Barda Madrasas (Tetri Bazar) (all in Distt. Siddharth Nagar, UP) are getting donation from the Saudi-based Rabita-e-Aalam committee regularly. Donations are being procured by Nazims of these madrasas.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements