Out of 1,880 madrassas in Maharashtra, only 100 have applied for the Rs2.5-lakh aid under the Dr Zakir Hussain Madrassa modernisation scheme launched by state’s Minority Affairs Department. November 30 was the last date for application.
Under this scheme, madrassas would have to teach maths, science, languages and social sciences.
Ainul Attar, joint secretary of the minority affairs department, said, “Over 100 applications have been received so far. The department has now extended the deadline for application to December 15.” The district-wise breakup was not available.
When asked about the poor turn-out, Attar said, “Madrassas are apprehensive because the think through this scheme, the government will keep an eye on and control these institutions, or stop religious studies altogether in the future.”
Islamic Scholar and ex-MLA Suhail Lokhandwala said, “Sharia law prohibits madrassas from accepting financial aid from non-Islamic organisations.” He claims that there are enough rich Muslims and Islamic organizations to help madrassas.
However, Maulana Mustaqim, Maharashtra President of Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind, said there is no rule that says madrassas can’t accept aid from non-Islamic institutions.