Muslims seemed to be divided over the state government’s grant proposed for madrassas. The government recently proposed a grant of Rs10 crore to over 3,000 madrassas in the state. While most Sunni groups welcomed the grant, there seems to be varied opinions in the Deobandi group.
“We’re against it as the state has taken this step keeping in mind the 2014 polls,” said Maulana Abdul Rahman Milli who runs a madrassa in Mumbra. He said that many others who identify themselves with the Deobandi group are objecting to the aid.
“Also, there’s no GR on this issue,” said Farid Batatawala from the Muslim community.
However, minority minister, Arif Naseem Khan, who met a section of Deobandi leaders, stated otherwise. “There was some apprehension that we made clear today. The Sunni group welcomed the decision and so has the Deobandi group. Those stating that the money is less or there is no GR about the same, I would say that the government moves in steps. After the cabinet decision, a GR will soon follow. Grant will go up with time depending on need,” said Khan.
Maulana Mustaqeem Azmi, president of Jamiat Ulama i Hind, (Arshad Madani group) said, “We had called the minister as there was some apprehension.”
However, Maulana Nadeem Siddiqui, president, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, Maharashtra (Mahmood Madani faction) criticised the government. “We will have to see the issue closely after the circular but right now it looks like a lollipop before elections,” said Siddiqui.