A quick post since tweeting this potentially make reading very difficult.
The Government of Telengana has come up with a new scheme called the “Telengana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions”. The aim of this scheme, in the words of the Telengana Government itself, is as follows
“The society is to provide high quality education for talented children belongs to minorities’ community, through pace setting residential schools. TMREIS will be setup as an autonomous organization to establish and manage these residential schools.”
Such a scheme, while being sectarian, and therefore completely unfair, is also turning out to be unconstitutional.
As pointed out by Arvind Dhar in his tweet, the Government of Telengana now intends to teach Deeniyat also as part of this scheme.
A quick look at what Deeniyat will include reveals this.
“Aqaa’id (Beliefs), and : Aqaa’id (Beliefs), Salaah, Al-Asmaa-ul-Husna Masaa’il (Rules) and Masaa’il (Rules)”
In other words – RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION!
Such a scheme, being run by a Government Institution, and being completely funded by the State, is totally unconstitutional!
Article 28(1) of the Indian Constitution has this to say
“No religion instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds”
In Aruna Roy vs Union of India, 2002, A 3 judge bench of the Supreme Court has further clarified on what constitutes “Religious Instruction” qualifying for the bar under Article 28(1)
“The expression ‘religious instructions’ used in Article 28 (1) has a restricted meaning. It conveys that teaching of customs, ways of worships, practices or rituals cannot be allowed in educational institutions wholly maintained out of States funds”
It is quite clear from above that Deeniyat does indeed teach Islamic practices and rituals. Hence it most certainly qualifies for a bar under Article 28(1).
This MHRD report further clarifies that Deeniyat teaches Islamic theology.
“The introduction of Urdu and Deeniyat in such schools/Madrasas has resulted in a higher enrolment of children, especially girls, whose parents were otherwise reluctant in sending them to regular schools”
It is a tragedy that such brazenly sectarian and unconstitutional schemes are being implemented in India today. Totally #uncore