Two ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh are pulling in different directions on the issue of imposing a dress code on government-aided madrasas in the state.
The issue took centre stage on Tuesday when Minister of State for Haj and Waqf Mohsin Raza made a statement that the state government might soon propose a dress code for the students of the madrasas. He said the new dress would be different from the current one — kurta and pyjama.
Raza added that while it was important that both religious and social education be imparted to madrasa students, a formal dress code would help them realise that they were on par with other students, which would uplift their confidence.
The minister also said the proposal on the dress code, its colour and patterns, once finalised, would be placed before the government. Following clearance from the government, it will be implemented in the madrasas across the state.
Raza made this statement at the Ali Miyan Nadvi Memorial Haj House in Sarojini Nagar where he was reviewing the preparations underway for Haj 2018.
Shortly after Raza’s statement, Minister for Minority Welfare Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary, his senior, said the government was planning no such thing or had taken no such decision. In a late-night tweet, Chaudhary rejected Raza’s remarks and said ‘the government had not formed any new policy pertaining to the dress code for madrasas. He said the department had no opinion to share on the matter.
“Madarson mein dress code lekar sarkar ne koi nayi niti nirdharit nahi ki hai.Is Vishay ko lekar vibhag ka koi mat nahi hai,” the tweet read.
The UP Board for Madarsa Education also clarified that there was no proposal for a dress code by the government.
Incidentally, madrasa education comes under the purview of minority affairs and has nothing to do with the departments of Haj and waqf. Mohsin Raza’s statement regarding a dress code for UP madarsas was allegedly seen as interference in the affairs of the minority welfare department. Raza is the sole Muslim face in the Yodi Adityanath government.
While the two ministers pulled in different directions on the issue of a dress code in the madarsas, it evoked a mixed response from the public, with some clerics voicing their unhappiness over Raza’s statement.