A day after a hullabaloo over Uttarakhand madrasas allegedly refusing to display photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Uttarakhand Madarsa Education Board, on Saturday, rubbished the allegations stating that the madrasas across the state had no problem in displaying a photograph of Modi in their respective offices.
Akhlaq Ahmad Ansari, deputy registrar of the Board, said to The Indian Express, “According to Islam the prayer room must not have a photograph of any living being. Any place other than the prayer room can have a photograph of the prime minister. Why would any madrasa have a problem with that?”
The issue erupted when the news broke, on Friday, of Uttarakhand madrasas acting against a state government order by not displaying photograph of Modi. “The state government never gave any orders asking madrasas to display the prime minister’s photograph,” Ansari said.
On August 24, last year, the state 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 carried forward the state government instructions to all departments under it, including the adarsa board. Ansari said, “We had put a photo of the prime minister in our office soon after we received the circular.” He further added that the department offices in the districts were also sent the circular.
The madrasas board recognises 297 madrasas across Uttarakhand, however, barring one madrasa the remaining 296 madrasas are neither government-run nor government-aided institutions. “The 296 madrasas are religious institutions that run on charity. Since they are not government institutions the circular was not applicable to them. Also, few madrasas might, or might not have displayed the prime minister’s photograph, but no survey has been done yet to check it,” Ansari said.
“However, we would surely write to our district offices to find out which madrasas don’t have the photographs of the prime minister and we will ask them to motivate all madrasas to put the photograph in the madrasa offices,” he said.