All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) who has opposed the new bill to convert government-run Madrasas to regular schools under the state board, said it will challenge the legislation in court.
The new Act which is passed by Assam Assembly on Wednesday and will come into effect from 1 April, seeks to abolish the Assam Madrasa Education (Provincialization) Act, 1995 and the Assam Madrasa Education (Provincialization of Services of Employees and Re-Organisation of Madrasa Educational Institutions) Act, 2018.
The bill was passed amid protests from opposition parties.
“This law is brought to shut down Assamese government Madrasas which were in place with Provisonalisation act of 1995. These Madrasas are operating since even before independence,” Doctor Hafiz Rafiqul Islam MLA, general secretary of AIUDF told reporters.
“The government itself had provisonalised these institutions and now it is killing them. It is like killing its own child,” said the MLA.
“The ones in favour of the bill say that the government does not want to fund religious education. In Assam, there is Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University which provides courses on Vedas, Puaranas and Gita,” Islam adeed.
He also pointed that the Madarasas in Assam till class tenth have all the subjects along with Arabic literature and theology.
He said: “There are various religious activities funded by the government like Namami Brahmaputra and Namami Barak. Then what is the objection in funding the Madrasas when the government in place is for all the people belonging to all the religions.”
Around 1,40,000 students are enrolled in more than 600 government-run madrasas in Assam, according to AIUDF leader.