If Gita, Ramayan mandatory in Madrasas, make Quran mandatory in RSS schools, say clerics

While opposing teaching of Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana mandatory in 100 autonomous madrasas, clerics said by the same logic, it should be mandatory for the holy Quran to be taught in RSS schools

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Correspondent/Lucknow

Muslim clerics have opposed the government's decision to make teaching of Hindu epics like Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana mandatory in 100 autonomous madrasas. Maulana Khalid Rasheed, Chairman, Islamic Centre of India and chairman of Darul Uloom Farangi Mahal, said Madrasas were established with the sole aim of imparting Islamic education.

“Teaching other religious scriptures is against the tenets of Madrasas,” he told this reporter on Tuesday.

Under the New Education Policy (NEP), the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) has ordered teaching of Hindu epics like Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana mandatory in 100 autonomous Madrasas. This has been included as a part of the new curriculum on ancient Indian knowledge and heritage in the New Education Policy (NEP).

The NIOS has prepared 15 courses for elementary classes which include classes for 3, 5 and 8th standards. The courses include Bharatiya Jnana Parampara (ancient Indian knowledge) under which the teachings of Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Vedas, yoga, science, vocational skills, Sanskrit and Panini-propounded Maheshwara Sutras are covered.

The Muslim clerics have opposed the NIOS decision saying it has no jurisdiction to take decisions on Madarsa curriculum.

Maulana Khalid Rasheed pointed out that there are two types of madrasas in India, one governed by the Madrasa Board and others run by the community on its own.

“This NIOS decision is not bound on community- sponsored Madrasas while the Madrasas governed by the Board are bound to implement this decision,” he said.

Another Muslim cleric, Maulana Yasoob Abbas, says NIOS decision was anti-Islam and against the principles on which Madarsas were set up. “Madarsas were set up with an aim to propagate Quran. “If NIOS wants that students in Madrasas learn Gita and Ramayana, it should also introduce Quran in the curriculum of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-funded Saraswati Shishu Mandirs,” he said.

Maulana Yasoob Abbas, who is also an executive member of Madrasa Sultan Al Madaris, said if anyone tried to impose something which is un-Islamic on madrasas, we will stage a protest against it.

Prominent academician Nadeem Hasnain, Head of Anthropology department in Lucknow University, said such decisions should come voluntarily. There is no harm in Muslims learning scriptures of other religions. But the problem starts when the government makes it mandatory.

The NIOS has planned to introduce the new curriculum in 100 madrasas initially and extend it to 500 madrasas in future.

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