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Kashmir madrasas have not produced a single terrorist

When madrasas are being falsely accused of breeding terrorism in the country, a report from Kashmir says that madrasas have played no role in the ongoing separatist movement in the troubled state. Kashmir is the only state in country where separatist movement is being waged by Muslims of the state, in other states including the North East areas such movements are being run by Hindus, Christians and leftist Hindus. 

The inquiry by various security agencies has given a clean chit to Kashmir’s madrasas. The report says that madrasas have not produced even a single terrorist in the state during the last 13 years of the insurgency. 

K Rajendra Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, says we have no objection to the madrasa functioning in the state and goes on to admit that, ‘ we have never caught any militant with a madrasa background.’ He goes on to says ‘they are unlike the madrasas in Pakistan which have become jehadi factories.’ Rajendra’s colleague and state DIG, SP Vaid echoes the same when he says that Kashmiri madrasas have not produced a terrorist. ‘Ninety percent militants in Kashmir are illiterate. Madrasas have played no role in militancy. They have never produced a terrorist’ admits Vaid. 

The Indian Army, Border Security Force, a paramilitary group and Kashmir Police investigated the madrasas in Kashmir after the government decided to ascertain the hidden agenda of the madrasas in the strife torn state. 

The Army had asked madrasa chiefs to fill a form that asked for madrasa name, motive, area, sect, political belief, means of funding and elaborate staff statement. No evidence was found by these security agencies that could point towards the involvement of madrasas in spreading militancy. From the time in late eighties when the militancy first reared its head in the Valley these institutions have distanced themselves from religious extremism solely focussing on the religious studies, the inquiry found out. It was revealed by the investigators that these religious institutions have never issued any fatwa for jehad in the state nor approved militancy. Though it was found out that they have not denounced the militancy either. 

Rajendra says, ‘these madrasas may turn out strong believers in religion, even a fundamentalist. But they have never produced a militant.’ The state government would have dismantled these madrasas long ago had they been supportive of militancy in the state. 

But this open admission will not prompt the government to desist from its anti-madrasa stance. The government led by the home minister LK Advani has been accusing that madrasas are involved in anti-national activities and have been collaborating with the ISI. It is notwithstanding the fact that several police chiefs in different states have admitted that no madrasa in their respective states is involved in any such activity. The government has also been putting question mark over the funding of these madrasas too.

Earlier this year too the BJP government at the centre found itself in a spot during question hour on 19 March when it could not give any firm reply on foreign funding of madrasas in border areas. Minister of state for home Vidyasagar Rao was forced to admit that the government had not conducted any survey to assess whether or how many madrasas were ISI inspired. But he asserted that there were madrasas in the border states that were being funded by the ISI. 

The Congress MP Santosh Mohan Dev pointed out that 40 percent of the population in his Parliamentary constituency, Silcher, in Assam was Muslim and that he had asked the home minister whether there was any ISI activity there and had been given a reply in negative. ‘So is this just propaganda and are you trying to create smoke-screen?’ he asked. On the same day K Yerrennaidu, TDP’s Parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha who had asked original question also quizzed the minister on the fact that most of the sub-questions he had asked on an alleged survey, its contents and on sponsors of these madrasas had all been answered in ‘no’.

The madrasa bashing has been a special pastime of the BJP, RSS and VHP leaders in the country. They have been making baseless allegations against Muslims’ religious institutions in the country and have been putting question marks over the funding of these institutions. 

The Home Minister LK Advani has always been in the forefront in making allegations against these madrasas. He was demanding a white paper on the functioning of these madrasas when he was in the Opposition. After coming to power he announced to publish a white paper, but he has now forgotten it as he is believed to have been told by secret agencies that no such allegation holds water. But he and his colleagues in the government and his party mince no words in condemning madrasas. 

Leaders of Sangh Parivar continue to spit venom against these institutions. Recently Parveen Togadia, VHP general secretary who has played havoc in Gujarat blamed that Darul Uloom Deoband is the main centre of terrorism in the country. He also claimed that one hundred thousand madrasas are teaching terrorism in the country. 

In another development Parliamentary Standing Committee for Home Affairs in its 88th report has claimed that madrasas being run by ISI in the country provide safe haven to ISI agents and produce Jehadis. The report tabled in Parliament on 16 April says that madrasas on the Indo-Nepal border are threat for the country and stern action should be taken against them. 

¯ MG correspondent

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