THE UTTARAKHAND Madarsa Education Board on Saturday rubbished allegations that madrasas in the state are not willing to put up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph in their offices or educational institutions, as directed by the state government last year.
According to Akhlaq Ahmad Ansari, deputy registrar of the state Madrasa Education Board, the Board never said that madrasas are not ready to follow the government’s direction on displaying the Prime Minister’s photograph.
He told The Indian Express: “According to Islam, the prayer room must not have the photograph of any living being. Any place other than the prayer room can have a photograph of the Prime Minister. Why will any madrasa have a problem with that?”
Indicating that it is an unwarranted controversy, Ansari said, “The state government never gave any orders asking madrasas to display the Prime Minister’s photograph.” On August 24 last year, the government sent a circular to all “government offices”, asking them to display a photograph of Modi. “All departments are expected to ask the sections, establishments, educational institutions under them to put a photograph of the prime minister,” the circular stated.
On September 14, 2017, the state minority welfare department forwarded the government’s instructions to all departments under it, including the madarsa board. Ansari said, “We put a photo of the Prime Minister in our (madarsa board) office soon after we received the circular.” He said department offices in the districts were also sent the circular.
The state madarsa board recognises 297 madarsas across Uttarakhand — barring one, the other 296 are neither government-run nor receive government aid. Ansari said, “The 296 madrasas are religious institutions that run on charity. Since they are not government institutions, the circular was not applicable to them. Also, a few madrasas may or may not have displayed the Prime Minister’s photograph, but no survey has been done yet to check it (numbers).”
\But, Ansari said, “We will certainly write to our district offices to find out which madrasas do not have photographs of the Prime Minister and we will ask them to motivate all madrasas to put up the photograph in madrasa offices.”