Every time there is some demand of modernizing madrasas, Muslim religious leaders start making a hue and cry about it. The cry of Islam in danger starts reeking from the pulpits and big seminaries and their representatives see to it that any effort of reform is blocked. Making madrasas an issue of Muslim identity can only hurt the Muslim community educationally. Realizing this, a section of Muslims themselves have started demanding changes in curriculum of the madrasa so that it can be made more in tune with the times. Alas, their efforts have bore no fruit as these reform minded Muslims are not considered a viable vote bank for successive governments who have pandered to the reactionary demands of the conservative Ulama. There is an educational hunger among Muslims now and given a choice, a Muslim parent would send his children to a school rather than a madrasa. But it is the religious leadership of the community which is blocking any development of the Muslims. Ironically enough, this leadership has the backing of the state which erroneously believes the Ulama are the representatives of the Muslim community.
The National Council of Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), in a report submitted to the government argued that there was an urgent need to reform madrasa education in this country. It has also suggested ways to implement reform in a phased manner and as a first step has suggested the creation of an All India Madrasa Board to implement reforms. That report must be gathering dust in some office of the government of India. Rather than creating a new committee to look into madrasa modernization, the government of the day would do much better to look into the report submitted by one of its own departments (NCMEI)….