The pitiable plight of Ministry of Minority Affairs in the Congress regime

MOMA_ImageIt’s all there in the name; Call it ‘madrasa’, ‘yes’, call it ‘seminary’, ‘no’

Darul Uloom Nadvatul Ulema is one of the leading Islamic seminaries in the country. The seminary has provided religious education of the highest order since much before India’s Independence. It draws students in pursuit of religious education from all across the world. It is a matter of common knowledge that the word ‘seminary’ when used for a religious Muslim institute is an English translation of ‘madrasa’. Internet describes Darul Uloom Nadvatul Ulema as a seminary at several places. Even Google dictionary translates ‘seminary’ as ‘madrasa’, both in Hindi and Urdu.

This said and done, there is every likelihood that if Maulana Syed Rabey Al Hasni Nadvi, the noted Islamic scholar and rector of the country’s leading Islamic seminary, Nadvatul Ulema would be applying for a Minority Status Certification of his madrasa with NCMEI (National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions), his application would be rejected because the name Darul Uloom Nadvatul Ulema does not contain the word ‘madrasa’. This is the sad plight of the Ministry that is responsible for Minority Affairs. And this is the reason why Congress, despite mouthing concern for minorities on every platform, is yet to gain their trust.

In a matter brought to light recently, NCMEI (National Commission for Minorities Educational Institutes), which is responsible for giving minority status certification to institutes belonging to the minority community, denied the minority certification to a seminary of 21 years by the name Unity Modern Seminary on grounds that it was named seminary (in English) and not Madrasa (in Urdu). It is essential to have the word ‘madrasa’ in the name, if you are applying for the certification for a madrasa, said an official. The matter was even brought to the knowledge of the Minister for Minorities Affairs, K. Rahman Khan, by RNI through his private secretary Badruddin, but the authorities higher up in the Ministry of Minorities Affairs proved to be as deaf as NCMEI.

Said a spokesperson of the seminary in contention: “We were told in explicit terms by a member of NCMEI Shri Zafar Agha that minority certification cannot be given to the institute because the name does not include the word ‘madrasa’. Earlier, giving the same argument, Justice MSA Siddiqui, Chairman of NCMEI gave us two choices, either to withdraw the application or he would reject it. He even said that if the application is rejected, the institution would not be able to apply again. We were left with no choice but to withdraw.”

RNI talked to Shri Zafar Agha later who reiterated that as per guidelines issued to NCMEI by Ministry of Minority Affairs, the institute has to include the word ‘madrasa’ in its name, if it is to get minority status certification. Shri Zafar Agha even criticized the people who runs madrasas and said that if he had his way, all the madrasas in the country should be closed. He further said that he has been expressing the same views time and again through his columns.

RNI talked to Dr. Husain of nearly 4-decade old non-profit organization Social Workers Association, which is spearheading the cause of meaningful education besides its other activities related to minority and social welfare. Said Dr. Husain: “There are several minority institutions that do not include the word ‘seminary’’. Dr. Kalbe Sadiq, an internationally renowned Islamic scholar, educationist and reformer initiated a modern concept of a madrasa sometime back in Aligarh under the name Madinatul Uloom Seminary. The same logic is not followed in other educational institutions as well. There are so many schools whose name does not depict that they are schools. MAF Academy or Shishu Vidya Niketan is an example. Likewise, there are universities whose name does not mention the word ‘University’. ‘Kashi Vidyapeeth’ and ‘Jamia Millia Islamia’ are just two cases in point. Yet, if a minority institute that is even accredited with Ministry of Human Resource Development’s NIOS as a madrasa is not given minority certificate, it speaks of the dual policies of the Ministry of Minority Affairs as well as the party that is in power.

Says a senior academician related to the Aligarh Muslim University, who doesn’t wish to be named: “Ministry of Minority Affairs has been created only to appease the minorities but with no real intention to work for them. This is the reason why the Ministry of Minority Affairs has withheld its five year report from bringing to public, despite the fact that it has already been published. It is the policy of the Congress government that it plants bottlenecks so as to unable the minority institutions from taking benefit. A great portion of budgets allocated to Ministry of Minority Affairs remain underutilized even after 5 years. If Ministry of Minority Affairs appoints a person, who has been open in his criticism of madrasas even through his columns, as the Member of an organization where madrasas too approach for minority status certification, this leaves no doubt that Congress is not serious about providing benefits on the ground level.”

Real News International News Bureau