Isai Mahasangh welcomes S C order on rights of minority run schools *Madrasas in Manipur

April 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Church, India, New Delhi, newsletter-india

Madhya Pradesh, April 12, 2012: Supreme Court ordered on Thursday that Right to Education Act, 2009 will not be applied for the schools run by Minority Communities and for the schools which are not aided by government. Reacting on the order the Archbishop of Bhopal, Dr. Leo Cornelio said that those student who have already taken admission as per RTE Act will be continued. 

From the time of the Act come into existence Isai Mahasangh and Catholic Council of Bishops had objected its misuse by the State Government. The decision by the Supreme Court and the Archbishop has been welcomed by the Isai Mahasangh.    

Isai Mahasangh coordinator, Fr. Anand Muttungal said, “Christian community was never against the RTE Act, but we objected its misuse.  Church will continue to provide educational services to the poor and the marginalized. The case in this regard is pending in the High Court of Jabalpur since 2011 will also be withdrawn.”  

Supreme Court order strictly says that constitutional rights provided to minority run educational institutions will be protected. In the case of T.M A Pai Foundation vs. Karnataka Government and Inamdar vs. Maharashtra Government the SC had already ordered that there will no interference in Minority Institutions by the state Government.

State General Secretary of Isai Mahasang, Jerry Paul said that Madhya Pradesh government, to take advantage of RTE, had appointed its representative in the management committee of Minority Institutions. We ask the Government to withdraw its orders and leave the minority run institutions undisturbed. 

– fwd: john anthony

Madrasas in Manipur


Madrasa Alia, the oldest madrasa in Manipur

Manipur, April 11, 2012: There are at present 72 madrasas and 97 maktabs in Manipur registered to the Wakf Board, Manipur. The madrasas are spread in 4 districts of the state – 16 in Imphal East district, 19 in Imphal West district, 31 in Thoubal district, and 6 in Bishnupur district.

Muslims from the state started moving out for Islamic studies in the late 19th century. The first batch of alims (madrasa graduates) returned after the completion of their Islamic studies from the madrasas of Cachar and East Bengal, Meerut, Rampur, Lahore, Delhi, etc. in the early part of the 20th century. Maulana Obeidullah, a native of Irong Chesaba Mayai Leikei in Thoubal district was the first Muslim from Manipur who graduated from a madrasa. Obeidullah, born in 1844, had his Islamic studies at Madrasa Phulbara in East Bengal (now Bangladesh).

Growth of madrasas:
It was this early batch of alims who took the initiative of establishing maktabs and madrasas in Manipur), where children were taught Islamic education. A British official, B.C. Allen (Gazetteer of Manipur and Naga Hills, 1980) writing in the early part of 20th century, records, “Their (the Muslims) Moulvis are Manipuris, who have been sent to Cachar to be instructed in the principles of their faith by Moulvis from Hindustan. They are said to be fairly well acquainted with the doctrines of their religion.”

Interestingly, the British administrators in Manipur also introduced Arabic, Urdu and Persian languages in most of the schools in Muslim inhabited areas. These schools were known also officially as madrasas. The first such madrasa was the Lilong Lower Primary Madrasa, established at Lilong in 1907. Administrative Report of Manipur State for 1907-08 records, “A new madrasa has virtually been established at Lilong by the introduction of a curriculum in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian at the Muhammadan school, which has been in existence in that village for several years. Owing to the introduction of the study of these classical languages the number of boys attending this school has trebled in the year, and an additional Moulvi has been provided for in next year’s budget.”

The first formal madrasa established by the Muslims in Manipur was Madrasa Alia. It was established in 1944. An official record mentions the development of Madrasa Alia, “In 1942, Murhoom Mv. Rahimuddin, former Sheikul Hadith, founded Madrasa Alia within the four walls of a masjid located at Khongangkhong, Lilong and was further assisted by Murhoom Mv. Barkatullah & Murhoom Mv. Ayazuddin. In 1944 Murhoom Alhaj Noor Ali and Md. Muhamad Ali donated the land where Madrasa Alia stands today. It started with 5 kaccha rooms, and 30 talibas (students). Till 1972, the madrasa struggled on its own and carried on with the donations and charities but could not develop the facility. With the intervention of Ex-Chief Minister Murhoom Alimuddin in 1972, Madrasa Alia was upgraded to 5 rooms with half pacca wall. Since then the management committee of madrasa took massive responsibilities to develop the facility ad create more numbers of alims and hafiz.” Today the madrasa has 225 students including 195 hostellers. There are 21 teaching and 15 non-teaching staffs. The madrasa is now a one-storey building with 12 pacca rooms on top floor. The top floor also has a make-shift masjid for the students and teachers (ustads) to offer prayers. The ground floor is used as study hall (darajgah).

Since then there has been increase in the number of the madrasas in Manipur. In 1965, Madrasa Imdadul Islam was established at Khelakhong in Thoubal district. At present there are around 200 boarders studying in different classes (darjas).

In 1981, Jamia Azizia Madrassa, a residential madrasa for girls was established at Khumidok Epum. Haji Ali Abbas and Maulana Alauddin were some of the founders of this madrasa. Today the madrasa has around 500 students. Maulana Abdul Nasir who teaches Urdu and Arabic at Madrasa Azizia said, “The madrasa has 350 hostellers and 150 day scholars. Our madrasa offers hafiz and alima courses. English, Maths and Science are taught till Std V. We are planning to give computer courses to our students. Our madrasa has so far produced more than 100 alimas.” Maulana Nasir graduated from Matlaul Uloom in Rampur, UP. The Mohtamim of the madrasa Maulana Abdul Karim graduated from Darul-uloom Deoband.

Today there are more than 10 madrasas for girls in the state. Madrasa Imdadia Banatus Salihat in Thoubal, Darul Yatama Lil Banat in Lilong, Madrasa Jamiat-ul Tarihat in Irong Chesaba, Madrasa Roujatus Salihat in Bengoon are some of the prominent madrasas for girls.

In 1979, Darul-Uloom Markaz Haoreibi was established at Lilong Haoreibi taking the model and curriculum of Darul-uloom Deoband. Today it is the biggest madrasa in the state. At present the madrasa has 8 branches and around 1000 students. There are 400 hostellers and 70 staffs. This madrasa offers the 9 year fazil course. This madrasa is also the markaz for Tabligh Jamaat. The Mohtamim of Darul-uloom, Maulana Idris Qashmi was a student of Darul-uloom Deoband.


Students of Darul Uloom

Most of the madrasas in Manipur follow the Dars-i-Nizami syllabus and Deobandi curriculum. The syllabus of the madrasas in Manipur include study of Quran (articulation, phonetics and memorisation) and Hadis (traditions of the Prophet Muhammad), the interpretations, Islamic law (Fiqh), Logic (Mantiq), History (Tarikh), Mathematics (Hisab) and Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Manipuri languages and grammar. Urdu and Manipuri are the main mediums for instruction. General subjects like English, Science and Mathematics are introduced in some of the madrasas. Hafiz Idris, a staff of Darul uloom, said, “Our madrasa offers hadis and fazil courses and adopts the Dars-i-Nizami syllabus. Besides the various Islamic courses the madrasa offers mainstream subjects like English and Maths, and languages like Hindi, Urdu, Farsi and Manipuri and its literatures till Std V. We also include geography in our syllabus.”

The madrasas follow rigorous schedule. Hafiz Idris said, “A normal day for the students in a madrasa starts with the fajr namaz (morning-prayer). Classes start after breakfast at around 6.30 am and continue till 11.30 am. Then the students are given a break for 2 and half hour. During the break they are given lunch. Class resumes after the juhr namaz at around 2 pm and continues till 4 pm. In the evening the hostellers are allowed to play at the idgah ground near the madrasa. The students have to start studying on their own after the completion of magrib namaz (evening-prayer) till 10 pm. We have our library. The students are allowed to read newspapers and weeklies. The madrasa subscribes Manipuri and Urdu weeklies and newspapers. We subscribe the Urdu weeklies, Al-jamiat (Delhi) and Ar-raid (Nadwa publication). Every year before the completion of the course we organise naat, kirat, kutbah, bayan and Quran recitation competition for the students. Our students also participate in the state and all-India level competitions. The students get around two-month holiday during Ramzan.” Hafiz Idris studied at Madrasa Kashimul-uloom in Khandala, UP.

Madrasas in Manipur are managed by the community’s collective efforts. Almost all the madrasas are managed by public subscription on monthly basis, khairat and imdaad or donations and contributions from the rich and affluent Muslims, and zakat (alms). For instance, every year the madrasas organize jalsa, inviting Muslims from far and wide for a charity feast. And many of the madrasas appoint staffs who go from door to door asking for donation (chanda). They accept donation both in cash and kind. They even go out of the state for donation.

However, most of the madrasas in the state have poor infrastructure due to shortage of funds. Except a few, most of the madrasas fail to offer the complete courses for fazil degree due to shortage of funds. The official record of the Madrasa Alia stated the shortages of the madrasa, “The daily expenditure incurred by the management on kitchen is approximately Rs 12,000. Monthly expense for salary for teaching staff is Rs 74,000, and Rs 19,000 for non-teaching staff… currently the madrasa is able to provide talim from deeniyat-awal to alimiyat/mishakaat. Due to the lack of facility and infrastructure, the madrasa is not able to provide fazil, however the taliba who qualify for fazil are sent to madrasas which are in agreement with Madrasa Alia. For Madrasa Alia to be able to provide the fazil course, darul hadith hall is highly required…library needs to be upgraded with the books required for the course. The management is looking forward to provide fazil course in future, when the required fund is available….construction of a pacca masjid is underway, as the makeshift masjid was becoming congested. Due to the shortage of land area two hostel rooms were deconstructed for the construction of the masjid.”

However some of the madrasas are managed by tuition fees charged from students. Madrasa Azizia is one such madrasa. Maulana Nasir of the madrasa said, “We do not take any kind of financial assistance from the government. We mainly manage with the income that we get from the tuition fees from the students. We charge Rs. 700 per month from each of the students. There are 20 teachers, 13 are female. Each of them gets around Rs. 4000 as monthly salary.”

Madrasa modernization:
The state government has recently initiated the programmes for modernization of madrasas. Under the programme the state government has decided to offer financial assistance to the madrasas to introduce general subjects like Science, English, Maths and Computer. The state government, under the Ministry of Minority and Other Backward Classes, has also lately appointed around 150 teachers for imparting the general subjects.

However, most of the madrasas in Manipur are against the programme for modernization of madrasas. Madrasa Alia, Darul-uloom Markaz Haoreibi, Madrasa Jamia Rahmania and Madrasa Hussainia at Sora, Madrasa Majahirul-uloom at Irong Chesaba, Madrasa Imdadul Islam, Madrasa Mazharul-uloom at Mayang Imphal Bengoon, Madrasa Jamia Azizia are some of the prominent madrasas which have rejected the programme for modernization of madrasas. According to Maulana Nuruddin of Madrasa Alia the move would strip the madrasas of their ‘Islamic character.’ He said, “The programme for madrasa modernization would strip the madrasas of their Islamic identity. The curriculum of the madrasas sifts the focus from theology once you adopt the programme. It will also threaten the autonomy of the madrasas. Moreover, the quality of education in the government affiliated madrasas is mediocre and, therefore, their graduates command less respect and reverence in the Muslim society. However, we are not against the introduction of modern subjects. General subjects like English and Maths are included in the syllabus of our madrasa.”

List of madrasas registered to Wakf Board, Manipur as on 1st June 2009:

Imphal East District:

1. Madrasa Islamia, Khumidok
2. Madrasa Azizia, Khumidok
3. Madrasa Hussainia Ashrafia, Ningthounai, Yairipok
4. Madrasa Islamia Madnia, Tulihal, Yairipok
5.  Kashimpur Alia Madrasa, Babupara, Jiribam
6. Madrasa Rahimia, Urup
7. Madrasa Jamia Islamia, Khumidok
8. Jiribam Hafizia Madrasa, Sonapur, Jiribam
9. Madrasa Halimia Madnia, Khergao, Imphal
10. Madrasa Mishabul Uloom, Yairipok, Changamdabi
11. Madrasa Rahimia, Urup
12. Madina Model Madrasa, Lalpani, Jiribam
13. Abdul Wakil Quran Madrasa, Konyaitabi, Kiyamgei
14. Jamia Islahul Uloom, Khetri Bengoon Mayai Leikai
15. Al-Madrassatul Banat, Kashimpur, Jiribam
16. Madrasa Jamia Arabia Rahmania, Kairang

Imphal West District:

1. Madrasa Anwarul Uloom, Konuma
2. Madrasa Majharul Uloom, Bengoon, Mayang Imphal
3. Madrasa Roujatus Salihat, Bengoon, Mayang Imphal
4. Madrasa Aminia, Bengoon, Mayang Imaphal
5. Saajada Jamia-tus Salihat, Benggoon, Mayang Imphal
6. Noor Islam Madrasa, Hiyangthang Pallak
7. Madrasa Banatul Islam High Madrasa, Uchiwa Wangbal
8. Madrasa Imdadia Arabia, Oinam Sawombung
9. Madrasa Markajul Uloom, Mayang Imphal Bengoon
10. Furkania madrasa (Maktab), Bengoon Mayai Leikai
11. Madina Islamia Public Madrasa, Phabakchou
12. Madrasa Ajeemul Quran, Bengoon (Maktab)
13. Momina Jameatus Salihat, Bengoon
14.  Madrasa Tazwidul, Bengoon Yangbi
15. Madrasa Miftaul Uloom, Paobitek Mamang

– tcn

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