New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh minister, Usha Thakur, has sparked a controversy by alleging that madrasas or Islamic educational institutions are breeding grounds of fundamentalism and terrorism in the country, according to an NDTV report.
Thakur, who is the minister for tourism and culture in the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, was sharply criticised by the Congress for her remarks. This is not the first time that she has stoked controversy.
She made the remarks on Tuesday when she was asked about the status of midday meals in madrasas.
The minister said that state support to madrasas should be stopped. “All terrorists are raised in madrasas, they had turned Jammu and Kashmir into a terror factory. Madrasas which can’t comply with nationalism, they should be merged with existing education system to ensure complete progress of the society,” she said, according to a Times of India report.
Her comments have drawn sharp criticism from the Congress party in the state. Terming the minister as a “toy” in the hands of the RSS, Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma told NDTV that she should not make allegations without any evidence.
“You (Usha Thakur) have your government. If you have some proof, act against them (madrasas), but do not poison and divide the society in the name of religion, or just try to give a communal colour to everything,” he said, according to NDTV.
Verma pointed out that it is not the first time that Thakur has made controversial remarks. The minister had earlier termed Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti, an outfit led by members of tribal communities, as “anti-national”. She retracted her comments and apologised following a backlash, he recalled.
The minister was in the news in May last year when she had called Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, a nationalist. A few years ago, she had also demanded that Muslim men should be banned from entering garba venues during Navaratri.
Thakur currently represents the Mhow assembly segment from Indore district.