MHRD Disclosure Stir Hornet’s Nest11 December 2011
Srinagar: Declaration of names of Madrassas funded by Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has stirred the hornet’s nest with those named in the list denying getting any assistance from the Centre. They have also sought a thorough probe into the alleged embezzlement of the funds. The controversy was triggered when HRD Ministry on Friday said that hundreds of Madrassas across Jammu and Kashmir were being funded every year while the state’s Education Minister Peerzada Sayeed on Saturday issued an order asking the Director School Education Srinagar-Jammu to verify the credibility of Madrassas getting funds from the Centre. In order No. 692-CBU-2011 issued on December 9, the Education Minister has asked the DSEs to “to verify the authenticity of all 372 Madrassas which are recommended for seeking financial aid from Central Ministry under various financial aid schemes to various educational institutions.” “DSEs have been asked to check the authenticity of these schools and their affiliation with concerned competent authority accordingly and submit a report,” the government order states. However, Union HRD Ministry has already issued a statement saying: “An amount of Rs 5, 38, 60,000 was sent last year to the Jammu and Kashmir government through Additional Secretary (Education), Government of Jammu and Kashmir for implementation of scheme for providing quality education in Madrassas (SPQEM). This year also funds have been released for the same purpose,” said Anita Kaul, Additional Secretary, Ministry of HRD. She said the funds were released by the HRD Ministry after receiving a formal proposal from the Jammu and Kashmir government in this regard. “We sent the funds to the state government and later on it was to be disbursed to the Madrassas by them. Our Ministry has no direct role in the process,” she said. The HRD Ministry had declared the list after an RTI application was filed by Muhammad Sadiq Paswal of Kangan and it had named 372 Madrassas which have been funded to the tune of about Rs 7 crore this year as being spent by these organisations on “teachers’ salaries, establishment of libraries, supply of teaching material and providing computer labs to the students.” Among the beneficiaries, 45 Madrassas in Rajouri district of Jammu region tops the list followed by South Kashmir’s Anantnag district with 44 Madrassas. Doda has 32 Madrassas while Budgam district 29, Baramulla and Ramban districts 24 each and Reasi district two Madrassas. Greater Kashmir is in possession of the list which the HRD Ministry says have been funded by it under SQEM. The preliminary investigation revealed that the list of Madrassas is incomplete and has names of the villages, Ziarats, and Shrines also. Anantnag district as per the list has at serial number one the name of village-Aishwukam where funds are being provided for salary of two teachers to the tune of Rs 1.44 lakh per year and Rs 50,000 have been earmarked for library, Rs 15,000 for teacher learning material. In this context, there is no mention of the Madrassa in Aishwukam where the funds have been provided. Similarly, in the same district at serial number two and three names of villages Chaki Wangnoo Daroo and Chewgam Qazigund have been mentioned without identifying the Madrassa or Darul Aloom. But, the list shows that the funds were released amount for Madrassas in these villages for teachers’ salary and library etc. At serial number four, the HRD Ministry list mentions the name of Darululoom Ashimuqaam getting funds of more than Rs two lakh. However, Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board, which manages the affairs of this Darululoom denied receiving such amount from the state or the central government. “Not at all. There is no funding of HRD ministry to our institutes. We have not received any funding for this Darululoom or any other Waqf run institute. Infact, for computerisation of Waqf records, the ministry of Minority Affairs GoI provided us Rs 22 lakh last year for computerisation of Waqf records,” Vice-Chairman of the Waqf Board, MY Qadri told Greater Kashmir. The list at serial number 28 mentions the name of Idara Sowtul Awalia Bange-Lab Nowgam in Anantnag. When contacted, Ameer-e-Ala Idara Sowtul Awalia Jammu and Kashmir Abdul Rasheed Dawoodi vehemently condemned the naming of his organisation as having received funding and demanded immediate probe into the whole funding process. “We started this organisation in 2005 and it runs purely on charity, donations and sadaqat and zakat from the locals. I condemn this act by Government to name the Idara as fund receiver. I deny this listing and demand thorough probe into the matter so as to clear the air,” Dawoodi told this newspaper. At serial number 29 appears an institution in the name of Idra Tahqueeqat Islamia Islamabad, whose chairman Qazi Yasir has no knowledge about any list or the funding. “We have not received any funds from the Government and in fact we reject all efforts by the state to provide such funding. We run our Madrassa from the amount raised from charity and donations. It’s people’s money and whenever they need accounts, we are ready to give them the same,” Yasir said, demanding probe into the ‘funding mess’. Besides, the list has names of villages mentioned in Kulgam district while these are actually located in Kupwara. At serial number 228, Darasgah-e-Taleemul Quran Mukam-e-Shah-Wali has been mentioned to have received more than Rs 2 lakh. This Darasgah is located in Kupwara district. Similarly, at serial number 229, Ishadululoom Chanjimulla is shown in district Kulgam while it falls in Handwara. The list has name of one organisation being given funds mentioned more than 30 times which is contrary to the established norms of registering a Madrassa. According to officials, there can’t be more than one name to an organisation and the process of registration of Madrassa is cumbersome. Here, the list has umpteen names of one organisation receiving central funding. There has been sharp reaction to the funding and naming of the organisations from Muslim organisation in Jammu and Kashmir. Darul-Uloom Raheemiyyah expresses concern The oldest Madrassa in Kashmir Valley, Darul Uloom Raheemiyyah while expressing concern over what it termed as vaguely worded statement of HRD ministry, has demanded probe into the whole affair. The HRD ministry has not mentioned name of any Deeni-Madaaris of Darul-Uloom Deoband receiving any funding from the state or central government. However, the rector of Darul-Uloom Raheemiyyah Bandipora, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Rahmatullah Qasmi, has expressed serious concern over the vaguely worded statement about providing financial aid to the Deeni-Madaaris of J&K state by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. “All Madrassas affiliated with Darul-Uloom Deoband are not allowed to accept any kind of aid either from the state government or from the central government,” he told Greater Kashmir. “It is a basic principle among the eight principles of Darul-Uloom Deoband to abstain from accepting government aid for running a Madrassa, and meet the needs of a Madrassa by raising donations from the public,” he added. “It is crystal clear that whenever the government’s offer of financial aid came to the administrations of Deeni-Madaaris of Darul-Uloom Deoband, it was turned down outright,” he asserted. “Even during British rule, such offer was made by the regime which was out-rightly rejected by Darul-Uloom Deoband and it continues to do so now,” the founder of Darul-Uloom Raheemiyyah Bandipora, said. He asked the Muslim Wakaf Board and other religious organisations to clarify about the funding issue since the list has names of Ziarats and other places shown as receiving aid from the government. In Jammu, head Madrassa Talab Khatikan Jammu, Maulana Abdul Samad demanded probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into what he alleged was embezzlement to the tune of crores in the name of Madrassa funding. Imam-e-Markaz, Jammu, Maulana Mufti Inayat-ullah urged the state government to investigate the matter at its own level. “Why the Centre has released list of Madrassas if they have not received any funds from the government,” he said. Alleging that conspiracies were being hatched to defame the Madrassas, he said, “It’s a conspiracy to malign the name of Madrassas in state. We urge upon the government of India to find out the truth and probe the funding through CBI,” he added.