A countrywide campaign by the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board
(AIMPBL) to mobilise support for amendments in the existing Right
to Education (RTE) Act and seeking a stronger Wakf Act is to begin
from Malegaon Tuesday.
The decision to organise the nationwide mass campaign against the
negatives in the Right to Education (RTE) Act and seeking
amendments in the Wakf (amendment) Bill 2010 passed in the Lok
Sabha during the May 2010 parliamentary session was taken by
the Muslim Law panel during its Executive Council meeting held in
New Delhi on November 26, 2011.
As per the declared plan, the AIMPLB will be organising public
rallies and meetings in the next couple of weeks in the entire
country, with the first being organised in Malegaon Tuesday.
Explaining the reasons behind the campaign, Hafiz Umrain Rehmani,
the local convener of the AIMPLB Action Committee formed for the
purpose, said that many clauses in the act including
promotion of the students to higher standards even if they were
irregular and absent from the classes and elimination of the
examination system would have dire consequences on the quality of
"We are not against the Right to Education Act. What we say is
that there are a lot of ambiguities in the law which if not
corrected would have long term consequences on the education
quality as a whole", he said while speaking to ummid.com.
Terming as a landmark decision to ensure elementary education to every
citizen of the country, the parliament passed the Right to
Education Act in the year 2009, which was then enforced from April
01, 2010 after the President’s approval. However, ever since the
introduction of the act in the parliament, objections are raised
and amendments in its controversial clauses are sought. But, the
government does not pay any heed to these demands.
"Since the day one, we are putting these facts in front of the
government. The government in fact promised that it would bring an
amendment to exempt Madrasa education system and schools run by
other religious groups from the RTE Act. But, when the amendments were
put in the parliaments, our concerns were overlooked", Maulana
Syed Mohammad Wali Rehmani, Secretary of the All India Muslim
Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and National Convener of the AIMPBL
Action Committee said.
Section 17 (5) of the RTE Act says that any person who establishes
or runs a school without obtaining certificate of recognition
would be liable to punishment. The Muslim panel believes that this
clause in the RTE Act will have a direct impact on the Madrasa
"The Madrasas are normally not recognised by the government and
the immediate fallout of the RTE Act is closure of these Madrasas
which are the only option for the poor in many parts of the country", Maulana Rehmani said.
Spread all across the country, India has hundreds of thousands of
Madrasas where millions of students, including non-Muslims, are
getting education free of cost or on minimal fees. Though they are
not formally recognised by the government, they are established
under Article 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution which give the
minorities right to establish institutes of their choice.
The other issue, which the Muslim panel has included in its
nationwide campaign, is the demand for a stronger Wakf Act. The
act for the safety of the Wakf properties was introduced first
time in 1954. Due to the discrepancies in the law, it was amended
first in 1969 then in 1984 and finally in 1995. The UPA government
decided to amend the act once again and consequently passed the
Wakf (amendment) Bill 2010 in the Lok Sabha on May 07, 2010. But
AIMPLB says the amendment bill is not capable of serving the
"The proposed Wakf (amendment) Bill would not be able to provide
the needed security to the Wakf Properties. Instead, it would
further results in misuse, encroachment and damage to the wakf
properties", Maulana Rehmani said.
Besides these two acts, the AIMPLB also demands changes in the
proposed Direct Taxes Code saying if it becomes a law, all
religious places and non-profits would become liable to paying
Meanwhile, days after the AIMPLB
decision to protest taken November 26, the union cabinet proposed
exempting Madrasa Education from the RTE Act. The Muslim panel
however says the cabinet decision is not sufficient and suitable
amendments in the act should be made in the parliament.