CAG raps Bahuguna Government
Scam in madrasa education
In spite of Uttarakhand Government’s best efforts to modernise traditional Muslim educational centres i.e., madrasas and to bring them on par with mainstream schools through funding them adequately, the obscurantist madrasa managers remain clung to their old ways of religious education, while rejecting the modern mainstream system of education. Recently the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) criticised the State Government for misusing an amount of Rs 70 lakh in the name of introducing e-learning programme of mathematics and science into the madrasas’ curriculam. During 2011-12 financial year, Ministry of Social Welfare has issued a sum of Rs70 lakh as advance to a Delhi-based contractor company S Chand & Co., which is also a major book publisher, for launching the e-learning programme in Urdu for madrasa teachers.
However, later on, it turned out that only two madrasas were being run by the Piran Kaliyar Trust in district Hardwar, out of total 339 madrasas registered with the Muslim Education Mission (MEM), could be persuaded to implement the ambitious modern education plan sponsored by the World Bank. Both these madrasas have a petty strength of 907 students.
Initially, the plan to modernise madrasas was conceived and started by a previous Congress Government headed by the then Chief Minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari in 2005 with a generous World Bank aid for 9 to 12 standard students. The programme’s aim was to translate mathematics and science text books in Urdu to facilitate the students in e-learning.
In 2006, Muslim Education Mission (MEM), under the Social Welfare Ministry, made a proposal to train teachers of about 100 madrasas in the multi-media e-learning programme; for the purpose,a contract worth Rs 2 crore was extended to Delhi-based S Chand & Co. with the provision that the project was to be completed in nine months since the date of signing the contract. Sources claim that the decision was taken in haste under political compulsions. Later on,the Social Welfare Ministry officials stopped the payment of the remnant amount of Rs 1.3 crore to the contractor company, because they very well knew that only two madrasas in entire Uttarakhand had agreed to implement the ambitious educational project. Earlier payment of advance installment was already made thanks to the political leverage, the contracting company S Chand & Co. had in the Congress Party. When quizzed by the CAG officials, the MEM officials could give no satisfactory answer to the ‘waste’ of Rs 70 lakh advance extended to the contracting firm.
This is a big joke that is making rounds in the political and bureaucratic circles in Dehradun. On the contrary, it is causing tremendous resentment among the Muslim clergymen, who are reneging on their earlier promise of modernising madrasas. In 2006, a total of 299 madrasas were registered with the MEM in 11 districts of Uttarakhand, which are otherwise multiplying at an amazing rate on the Indo-Nepal border, so much so that the MEM has lost count of them in 2013. As result of the government officials’ strenuous efforts, only 33 madrasas could be persuaded to modernise their education system in 2008. The department found tough to convince the clergymen teaching in these madrasas to introduce subjects like mathematics and science in their curriculam. In 2008, Social Welfare Department’s Additional Director RP Pant said, “To convince the clergymen to include these modern subjects is a very difficult task.” Most of them are semi-literate fundamentalists with closed minds who harbour a deep suspicion towards the modern subjects.
In spite of resistance, the MEM has already computerised more than 125 madrasas in the State at a whopping cost of Rs 2.64 crore. The MEM has also offered to extend a grant of Rs 7,000 to all the registered madrasas towards two teachers’ salary. Despite all these attractive sops, the clergymen running madrasas have reneged on the earlier promise of modernising their educational system;out of 33 madrasa managers in 2008, a vast majority of 31 madrasa managers have bowed out, with remaining only two in Piran Kaliyar in district Hardwar. On the other hand, the total number of madrasas in the State could be much higher than anticipated in absence of any survey conducted by the MEM.
A Muslim clergyman in Roorkie says on condition of anonymity that Muslim hard liners running their clandestine organisations exert heavy pressures on the madrasa managers, sometimes the hard liners also issue threats, when the madrasa managers accept the modern curriculam, because these madrasas are not the educational institutes per se, but merely a machine to breed Muslim fundamentalists in the generation-X.
Only the rank fundamentalist parents send their wards to the back-street and obscurantist madrasas being run almost in every mosque in the name of strengthening Islam; the childrens also studying in these madrasas do not aim at government jobs, or the life at par with the modern society. In fact, all the parties involved in madrasa education are under a vow to strengthen Islam, to sacrifice their lives for Islam—they aim at starting their own madrasas, or teaching in madrasas; they also tour across India as members of jamat to spread and strengthen Islam. A large number of Islamic terrorists have been products of these madrasas run by the Muslim fundamentalists.
The clergyman laugh and say that it is merely the State government’s foolishness that it is wasting its funds and efforts on these religious zealots and fundamentalists. In the madrasas, even the students refuse to accept the mathematics and science courses. That is why in the first place these students have not joined the mainstream schools and colleges imparting the secular education; on the other hand, they have willfully and deliberately opted for the Islamist education and nothing else.
Dr Shakti Kumar Pandey from Prayag
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindu organisations protested strongly against the ‘Changai Programme’ organised at the behest of Peter Youngren, an ardent Christian missionary and evangelist in Allahabad, which was obviously meant to motivate innocent and illiterate people from the suburbs of Allahabad to embrace Christian religion. They demanded cancellation of natural healer and Canadian national Peter Youngren’s much-publicised programme scheduled for Prayag. Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and a group of lawyers also staged a protest outside Allahabad High Court against the visit of the Canadian healer. Another group of lawyers staged a protest at SSP’s office and handed over a memorandum to SP, Crime.
Later a massive protest march led by BJP MLA, Keshav Prasad Maurya, former State minister NKS Gaur, former MLA Uday Bhan Karvariya, former MP Amrit Lal Bharti and VHP leaders Kushmuni Maharaj, Manoj Srivastava and Pawan Srivastava was taken out from Subhash Crossing in Civil Lines. The protesters displayed flags and banners slamming the Central and the State governments for granting permission to Youngren to hold programme that aimed at encouraging conversion in the country.
VHP’s city in-charge Pawan Srivastava said, “If the government can refuse permission to 84 Kosi Parikrama Yatra, Sankalp Diwas and Mahapanchayat of anti-reservationists, then why should it allow Youngren who is a foreign national and whose visit may create law and order problem in the city.” Srivastava added that in 1998, the then NDA government had denied Peter Youngren permission to visit the country.
SP Crime, A K Pandey said, “The programme would be held as per schedule and adequate police force would be deployed at the spot to avert any untoward incident.”
Youngren’s programme was scheduled to be held from October 22 to 23 at KP College grounds. Leading the protest against the event, Acharya Kushmuni and Shantanuji Maharaj alleged that the programme has been organised to convert the poor and oppressed to Christianity taking advantage of their plight.
City in-charge, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Pawan Srivastava said it appears that Congress president Sonia Gandhi is using her clout to allow propagation of conversion policy of the Church in the country. He added that Youngren has no right to organise such a programme in India in the backdrop of the fact that he is visiting the country on a tourist visa. In this connection, VHP workers also submitted a memorandum to the DM on October 15 and lodged an FIR against Youngren at George Town police station.
Misusing Anganwadi premises for evengelical meets
Anganwadi is the name of the centres supposed to tackle malnutrition and health problems in children below 6 years of age and their mothers. There are 500 ICDS centres (sponsored by Government of India) in 20 districts in the State. But the Anganwadi situated in Pulianthope area of north Chennai was in the news for wrong reasons. A women employee of the centre, against whom a series of complaints by locals are there, siphons off money and material intended for the centre for her personal use, says one such complaint. Now, a more serious complaint has been voiced by the locals, that she misuses the Anganwadi premises to conduct evangelical meets in spite of repeated protests. The locals also say that officials turn a blind eye to all this and that the protesting locals are threatened by unsocial elements close to the women. (Courtesy: Dinamalar)