Assam’s Sarbananda Sonowal government on Sunday approved a proposal to close all government madrassas and Sanskrit schools in the state. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on Sunday. A bill will be introduced in the next winter session of the Legislature.
Let me tell you that the winter session of the Assam Legislative Assembly is going to start from December 28. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and government spokesperson in the Assam government Chandra Mohan Patwari said the existing laws relating to madrassas and Sanskrit schools would be withdrawn. A bill for this will be brought in the next session of the state assembly.
It is learned that earlier Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the Assam government had said that madrassas and Sanskrit schools would soon be reorganized by the state government as regular schools. He said government funds could not be spent on religious education. In such a situation, the state Madrasa Education Board, Assam will be dissolved. Education Minister Sarma also said that there are 610 government madrassas in Assam and the government spends about Rs 260 crore on these institutions every year.
At the same time, Aminul Haque Lashkar, a senior BJP leader and deputy speaker of the Legislative Assembly, said that while madrassas were run by private parties, these (private) madrassas would not be closed. This means that private madrassas run by social organizations and other NGOs will continue. Significantly, there are two types of madrassas in Assam, one government-accredited and the other privately run.