Rajya Sabha rejects resolution seeking funds for madrasas in the name of modernisation

On Friday, 24th March 2023, Rajya Sabha struck down a resolution seeking funds for madrasas in the name of modernisation. The resolution sought funds for modernising madrasas in view of the social and educational backwardness of Muslims, particularly women. Abdul Wahab, an MP of the Indian Union Muslim League, presented the motion in the Upper House of Parliament on February 10.

Demands raised in the resolution

The resolution intended to put into practice the Sachar Committee’s and other reports’ recommendations on the socio-economic and educational underachievement of Muslims. It intended to boost the involvement of Muslims in higher education by reinstating and enhancing all those scholarship and educational upliftment programs. Through a dedicated infrastructure fund, it sought to support madrasas in modernising. It also aimed to create and put into practice certain affirmative actions for Muslim women in order to increase their engagement at work and presence in important national institutions and central universities.

Additionally, it demanded the establishment of a commission to investigate the representation of Muslims in universities and in private and public employment, as well as the creation of laws to prohibit atrocities against the nation’s minorities in order to give more confidence to Muslims who, according to the resolution, are vulnerable.

This resolution was rejected by the house

Presenting her view on the resolution, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Irani said, “For me, this resolution which casts aspersions of inequality, in fact, reduces it to a slur on the basis of religion. I hope that this house unanimously rejects it.” In the midst of a walkout by Congress and other opposition parties, the motion was dismissed by voice vote.

Smriti Irani asserted, “A new India cannot be broken down on the basis of religion. That is why I would request the entire house to unanimously reject this resolution so that we, who are building the new India under the prime minister’s leadership with the support of citizens, can build it on issues of inclusion, equity, and equality.”

Smriti Irani underlined that the resolution claims that Muslim women are not allowed equal access to education. On the resolution’s suggested infrastructure fund for gender inclusion, Irani stated that the new education policy addresses the needs of both children and women in terms of education. “India now has a new education policy after thirty years. The requirement for skill development for a new India is met by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship”, she said.

Smriti Irani further said, “The resolution seeks to cast aspersions on citizens and the Constitution alike. Through this resolution, aspersions have been cast on one of the holiest of books that our nation at large seeks to divide people on the basis of religion and deny access to a better life in the present and in the future to those who belong to minority communities.”

Ajay Pratap Singh, a BJP lawmaker, opposed the motion and claimed that the Sachar Committee’s very formation was being questioned in the Supreme Court. He said that it is not justifiable to put into practice the recommendations of a committee whose legitimacy is seriously questioned.

Source: OpIndia

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