The Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh issued fresh orders for the ‘Madrassas’ in the state to cut down the holidays in the institution on Muslim festivals. The Madrassas have also been instructed to allow holidays on festivals of other faiths. The saffron party in the state has come up with a calendar for the same. Earlier, every Madarsa in Uttar Pradesh was asked to play the national anthem during Independence Day and then arrange videography of the same.

Earlier, Madarsas in the state announced holidays on Holi and Ambedkar Jayanti other than Muslim festivals. According to the new calendar issued by the state government Madarsas will have to observe Mahavir Jayanti, Buddh Purnima, Raksha Bandhan, Mahanavmi, Diwali, Dussehra and Christmas as holidays. The decision has not gone down well with the Muslim clerics of the state and they have blamed the government to issued diktats against the religious institutions. According to reports, these seven news holidays have been added, whereas 10 discretionary holidays have been cancelled.

These discretionary holidays use to be announced around Muslim festivals like Id-ul-Zuha and Muharram, but now they have been cut short to 4 days. “The 10-day holiday used to be at madrassas’ discretion, but now this is predetermined and distributed around the birthdays of great leaders. It’s important for students to know who these people were,” Registrar of UP Madrassa Board, Rahul Gupta was quoted as saying by Times of India.

“It has also been done to bring madrassas on a par with basic school education following the general rule of law,” Rahul Gupta further added.

“Madrasas are religious institutions that do require different kinds of leave around a number of minority events for which the former discretionary leave was used. There is no problem in addition of holidays of other faiths, but it is totally wrong to cut down the ten discretionary special leaves,” Eijaz Ahmed, president, Islamic Madarsa Modernisation Teachers’ Association was quoted as saying by ToI