Guwahati: Reiterating his stand on madrasas, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asserted that the word “madrasa” should cease to exist and instead there should be “modern education” in all schools.

The Assam Chief Minister was speaking at an event organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Delhi on May 22.

“The word ‘madrasa’ should disappear. Teach the Quran at home, but children should be taught science and math in school. When the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, we felt that the state’s money should not be spent on imparting religious education of a particular religion,” Sarma said.

Admitting children to madrasas is nothing short of violation of their human rights and therefore it should cease to exist, the chief minister said.

“I always advocate for non-existence of madrasas where religious inculcation is given priority over formal education. Every child shall be exposed to the knowledge of Science, Mathematics and other branches of modern education,” he added.

Sarma said children would not be willing to go to a madrasa if they are told that they won’t be able to become a doctor or an engineer after studying in such institutions.

He further added, “The education system in madrasas should be such that they should be able to give students the choice to do anything in future. And every child has the right to get formal education.”

Sarma also said that, according to him, a Muslim is originally a Hindu, adding that ‘ghar wapsi’, or a process of “reconversion”, where one converts back to one’s religion of origin will be possible only in a particular environment and through proper education.

“But that doesn’t mean one has to go to the temple or worship a deity. The person should put India first and think about India’s interests,” he said.

On the recent eviction drives in Assam, Sarma said, “Because of the bulldozer drives in Assam, the state has successfully freed 5,000-6,000 hectares from encroachment.”

According to Sarma, the state’s 36 per cent Muslim population can be divided into three categories. “The indigenous Muslims, who share a similar culture and language; converted or desi Muslims; and those who have migrated from outside India and follow a different culture. They sometimes say their language is Miyan,” he said.

Praising the historical Assamese heroes like Lachit Borphukon, the chief minister said, “Assam did not let Islamic invaders enter the region because of the bravery of heroes like Lachit Borphukon. If the southeast Asia region has remained untouched by Islamic civilisations, Assam should be credited for that.”

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