Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh), May 20 (IANS): 'Ulemas' (body of Muslim scholars) at Deoband, which is home to one of the largest Islamic seminaries in the country, have questioned Uttar Pradesh government's recent decision of not giving grants to new madrasas in the state.
Maulana Qari Ishaq Gora, patron of Jamiat Dewat-ul Muslameen, an organisation involved in religious teachings, said, "The government must make it clear why it has taken this decision."
Gora asked if the government did not have the budget or if such a decision only applied to madrasas.
Another Deoband-based cleric, Maulana Asad Qasmi, said, "Now, the government has decided that new madrasas will not get grants, but the reason for this decision has not been given."
He added that the government should build schools and colleges in Muslim-dominated areas.
He also said nearly 75 per cent of Muslim children study in schools and 25 per cent in madrasas for which Muslim community gives donations.
"We don't need government grants but this decision reflects their thinking," Qasmi added.
According to government data, of the 16,461 madrasas in the state, only 558 received the grants.
On May 18, Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Minority Welfare, Danish Azad Ansari had said the madrasas currently receiving government grants will continue to get it, but no new beneficiary will be included in the list.