The Assam cabinet on 13 December approved a proposal to shut down all government-run madrassas and Sanskrit tols (Sanskrit-learning centres) in the state. The Assam government would table a bill, to this effect, in the winter session of the assembly.
The Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal-chaired cabinet approved the provisions of forbidding madrassa and Sanskrit tols in the state.
Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said a bill will be tabled in the next winter session of the Assam Legislative Assembly, scheduled to begin from 28 December.
“The Assam cabinet has approved the repeal of provisions of Madrassa and Sanskrit Tolls in the state. An act will be introduced for this and a bill will be tabled in the next assembly session. A secular education system will be started in the state,” Patowary said.
Earlier, Assam Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said there were 610 state-run madrassas in the state and the state government had spent Rs 260 crore annually for it.
Himanta Biswa Sarma said the Assam government was going to ban madrassa education where complete education is primarily based on religion and these are governed under the director of madrassa education.
According to Sarma, the Sanskrit tols would be handed over to Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University.
The infrastructure of Sanskrit tols would be used to convert them to centres of learning and research where Indian culture, civilisation and nationalism would be studied, he had said.
Senior BJP leader and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Aminul Haque Laskar had said madrassas run by private parties would not be shut down.
“These (private) madrassas will not be shut down as these have kept Muslims alive,” Laskar had said while laying the foundation stone for a madrassa in Cachar district in November.
The state cabinet also approved a separate proposal to ensure that the authorities of private educational institutes take permission from the government before making them operational, Patowary said.
“Many educational institutes are being set up by private parties without any permission. They seek approval from the government after running these institutes for several months. This will not be allowed from now,” the minister said.