Closed 600 madrassas in Assam, will shut all: BJP's Himanta
Addressing the Vijay Sankalp Yatra in Belgavi district of poll-bound Karnataka, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he has closed 600 madrassas and intends to shut all because he wants schools, colleges, and universities. He also alleged that Bangladeshi immigrants entering Assam pose a threat to "civilization and culture" and referred to Congress as "sons of Mughals."
Why does this story matter?
- With the Karnataka Assembly polls inching closer, the BJP has amplified its communal rhetoric to sway public support in its favor.
- In 2020, Sarma introduced a controversial law in Assam, under which all state-run madrassas were to be converted to "regular schools" for "general education."
- Notably, he was instrumental in the BJP's recent electoral wins in the northeastern states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura.
In Modi's new India, we talk about building temples: Sarma
In his speech, Sarma stated that India requires a leader who can proudly declare themselves as Hindu. He stated that once upon a time, Delhi's rulers discussed demolishing temples, but now, under Modi's new India, he can discuss building temples. Dubbing the Congress the "new Mughals," he said the party was working to weaken India and had distorted India's history with a pro-Mughal narrative.
New India can enter Pakistan and bomb it: Sarma
Assam has 3,000 madrassas as of January 2023
Notably, Madrassa education was introduced into Assam's education curriculum with the formation of the State Madrassa Board under the Muslim League government in 1934. In 2020, the state government decided to convert 740 state-run madrassas to general educational institutions while 98 provincialized Sanskrit Tolls were to be turned into study centers. There were 3,000 registered and unregistered madrassas in Assam until January 2023.
Assam becoming hotbed of 'jihadi activities,' Sarma said last year
Last year, Sarma claimed that Assam was becoming a hotbed of "jihadi activities," adding that five terror modules linked to al Qaeda-affiliated outfits from Bangladesh were busted. As per intelligence reports, six members of the terrorist organization Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) entered India illegally between 2016 and 2017 to set up terror modules and sleeper cells by indoctrinating local youths.