BHOPAL: Accusing madrasas of breeding fundamentalism and terrorism, Madhya Pradesh minister of state for tourism and culture Usha Thakur has said that state support for them should come to an end in the country.
The minister's statements assume significance as they came just a few days after the BJP government in Assam reportedly announced the shutdown of government run madrasas and Sanskrit schools.
"All fundamentalists and terrorists have been bred in madarsas. Jammu and Kashmir was turned into a factory of terrorism," Thakur told journalists in Indore.
"All those madrasas which cannot gel with nationalism and mainstream society shall be merged with the existing education system to ensure fulsome progress of society," the minister said.
"Assam has shown it with success, so all those institutions creating hurdles in the way of nationalism will have to be shut down in the national interest," Thakur said.
However, when asked by scribes whether she was in favour of shutting down madrasas across the country, including MP, the minister said, "Government support to madrasas needs to end as the Waqf Boards are strong enough to run such institutions to promote religious education in the spirit of the Constitution."
She also advocated common education to children of all religions, saying religion-based education was promoting fundamentalism and hatred in society.
The minister, who represents Mhow seat of Indore district as a BJP MLA, has been in the news in the past also for making controversial statements.
A few years back, she had demanded a ban on Muslim youths entering Navratri Garba venues. In May 2019, she had termed Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse a nationalist.
A few weeks back, she courted controversy by terming the tribal outfit Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS) as anti-national.
JAYS has strong influence among young tribals, particularly in West MP districts neighbouring Indore, and its founder member Dr Hiralal Alawa is a Congress MLA from Manawar (Dhar).