The Assam Kaziranga University

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday spoke out against madrassa education for children, saying that schools should provide only modern education so that pupils can pursue their dreams in the future.

Sarma argued that if children are told that they will not be able to become a doctor or engineer after attending a madrassa, they will refuse to attend one, and that admitting them to such religious schools is a violation of their human rights.

The chief minister added, “Madrassa, the word itself, should cease to exist. Till this madrassa will be in mind, children can never become a doctor or an engineer.”

“Teach Quran at home, for hours, if you want, but at the school, a child deserves to be taught science and maths. Every child shall be exposed to the knowledge of Science, Mathematics and other branches of modern education,” said CM Sarma.

Sarma made these comments in response to a question about how madrassas might improve their curriculum and produce more professionals.

When told that madrassa students are intelligent because they memorise the Quran, Sarma responded, “…if a madrassa going child is meritorious, it is because of his Hindu heritage…at one point of time all Muslims were Hindus.”

According to Sarma, Assam has “36 per cent Muslim population, which are divided in three categories: indigenous Muslims, whose culture is similar to us, converted Muslims – we called them desi Muslim, they still do have Tulsi plant in their courtyard and migrated Muslims who identify themselves as Miya Muslims.”

The Assam Kaziranga University