The madrassa debate has once again breathed fresh air, thanks to Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Assam chief minister, on Sunday, while speaking at an event, said that the word “madrassa must cease to exist”.

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that “normal education” must be imparted to children instead of religious teachings in schools.

“Till the time this word (madrasa) exists, children will not be able to think about becoming doctors and engineers,” Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

“Teach the Quran to your children, but at home,” he added.

Also read: Teach Quran, but at home: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma as he argues against madrassas

However, this statement by the Assam chief minister has not gone down well among many, including the Muslim clerics, in the country.

Slamming Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Islamic scholar Maulana Masood Hassan Qasmi, who hails from Assam, said that the word ‘madrassa’ itself means school.

Maulana Masood Hassan Qasmi said that prevention of opening or closing down of private madrassas is in violation of the Constitution of India.

He said: “We welcome the move of converting government-aided madrassas into general schools. But closing down of private madrassas would be in violation of the Constitution.”

“Article 30 of the Constitution of India states minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institutions,” Maulana Qasmi told News 18.

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Notably, Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India states: “All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.”

Many also asked the Assam chief minister to clarify on whether he intends to shut only government-funded madrassas or also those run by the minority community.

“He (Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma) must make it clear on what he intends to do. If he is mulling to close government-aided madrassas, it’s ok. We are fine with it. We welcome it. But if he is trying to go for the private madrassas that would be against the Constitution,” said another Muslim cleric.

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