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File picture of a madrassa. BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj said madrassas “which have no connection with nationalism” are being given government aid. Photo: AP
File picture of a madrassa. BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj said madrassas “which have no connection with nationalism” are being given government aid. Photo: AP

Madrassas give ‘education of terrorism’: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj

Congress, Samajwadi Party accuse BJP of trying to create communal polarization in the country

Lucknow: In controversial remarks, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj on Sunday alleged that madrassas were giving “education of terrorism", drawing sharp reaction from other parties which accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to create communal polarization by spreading “canard".

“Education of terrorism is being given in madrassas. They (madrassas)...are making them terrorists and jihadis.... It is not in national interest," the MP from Unnao constituency told reporters in Nademau in Kannauj district, 120km from Lucknow.

He alleged students were not being taught about nationalism in religious schools. “Tell me about one madrassa where tricolour is hoisted even on 15 August and 26 January," he said.

The BJP’s Hindutva hardliner said madrassas “which have no connection with nationalism" are being given government aid. “Most of our schools do not take the aid, but it is being given to madrassas having no connection with nationalism," he said.

The ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh denounced Sakshi’s “hate speech", saying it was an attempt to create division among communities while Congress said it was another attempt to create a spectre of religious polarization and “turn the country into another Pakistan".

“Sakshi has given a hate speech which is aimed at creating differences in society," Samajwadi party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said. Congress leader Manish Tewari said the MP should come out with evidence to back his “outrageous claims". “It is canard by BJP, RSS and its affiliates. There is no factual basis.... It is another attempt to bring the communities head-on, to create the spectre of religious polarisation and ultimately bring about a situation in the country where rather than looking at economic development, this government wants to turn it into another Pakistan," he said.

Earlier, during a programme in Etah on 7 September, Sakshi had reportedly labelled madrassas as “hub of terror" and alleged that “love jihad" prospers through such institutions. “Love Jihad" is the term used by right wing Hindu outfits while referring to alleged conversion of Hindu girls through marriage.

BJP MPs in Uttar Pradesh, including Adityanath have come under fire for making hate speeches in the run-up to yesterday’s bypoll in one Lok Sabha and 11 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh. Adityanath had said Hindus will reply “in the same language" if they are subjected to attacks or forcible conversions and that “where there are 20 35% of them (Muslims), serious communal riots take place".

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