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Madrassas told to remain closed on Hindu festivals

LUCKNOW: After making it mandatory for madrassas in UP to render the national anthem and videograph it on Independence Day, the Yogi government on Tuesday came up with an annual calendar that reduces discretionary holidays around Muslim festivals while making it compulsory for them to remain closed on festivals of other faiths.Hitherto, madrassas in UP were closed only during Muslim festivals with the exception of Holi and Ambedkar Jayanti. But, the new calendar marks Mahavir Jayanti, Buddh Purnima, Raksha Bandhan, Mahanavmi, Diwali, Dussehra and Christmas as holidays.While seven new holidays have been added, 10 discretionary holidays allowed to madrassas for festivals like Id-ul-Zuha and Muharram have been reduced to four days. Also, these cannot be taken as a cumulative, but one day at a time when clubbed with a festival.Registrar of the UP Madrassa Board Rahul Gupta, explaining the move, said, “The 10-day holiday used to be at madrassas’ discretion, but now this is predetermined and distributed round the birthdays of great leaders. It’s important for students to know who these people were.”A madrassa official TOI spoke to was unhappy with the proposal. Eijaz Ahmed, president, Islamic Madarsa Modernisation Teachers’ Association, said, “Madrassas are religious institutions that do require different kinds of leave around a number of minority events. There is no problem in addition of holidays of other faiths, but it is totally wrong to cut down the ten special leaves.”‘Actions show anti-minority mentality’As per 2017 calendar, the board that governs 19,213 madrasas across the state had a provision for minority education institutes to take 10 days’ special leave. Madrassas were entitled to use it during Muharram, Id-ul-Zuha or any other festival. Intimation on the decision taken on this provision had to be given to the board by the respective madrassa administration by April.The 2018 calendar now allows four such special leaves, two of which can be sanctioned by the manager and the principal of a madrassa to its students.
These will be taken one day at a time, to a maximum of four days in a year.

The same has to be informed to the respective district minority officer (DIO) by madrassas a week in advance. The calendar also states that on national festivals like Independence Day and Republic Day, while teaching will remain suspended, students, faculty, staff and madrassa administration will have to hold programmes scheduled for the day.

Maulana Saif Abbas said, “Actions by both the Central government and state government are showing their anti-minority mentality. This constant grip on the madrassas by the board is revealing their mal-intention which is minority harassment.”

Source: Bing News

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