AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal had also criticised the move earlier.
“Secularism is the basis of our Constitution. The government must not take any step which will hurt the secular ethos. The Congress believes that this move is autocratic and undemocratic,” Bora told media persons here on Thursday.
As the state education department has started the process of closing down the madrassas under it, with Dispur recently asking the director of secondary education to submit a formal proposal regarding shifting of 148 contractual teachers working in madrassas to general schools, the Madrassa Teachers’ Association, Assam has vowed to resist the government move.
State education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that religious education should not take place at government expenditure, adding that both the Madrassa Board and government-run madrassas in Assam will be closed down in the state by November.
Meanwhile, the All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (Aamsu) has threatened to launch a legal battle against the decision. “As per Article 30 of the Constitution, minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institutions and madrassas are no exception to this. If needed, we will approach the high court and Supreme Court to quash the state government’s move to shut down around 400 madrassas in the state,” Aamsu adviser Azizur Rahman told TOI.
He alleged that the sudden move to close the madrassas before the 2021 assembly polls is ‘politically motivated’. He added, “The decision is unreasonable. These institutions have been functioning in the country even before the British rule. The curriculum taught in these madrassas is different from that in general schools. If the madassas get closed, thousands of students will head towards a bleak future.”
There are about 400 government-run madrassas in Assam which will cease to exist if the decision is implemented. The move has also made the future of 602 other madrassas uncertain as these were expected to be taken over by the government. Over one lakh students are estimated to be studying in madrassas across the state.