UP minority commission summons Darul Uloom Deoband official over notice on studying subjects outside curriculum


The Uttar Pradesh Commission for Minorities has written to the Saharanpur district magistrate and has summoned the chairperson of the education department of Darul Uloom Deoband over a notice issued by the Islamic seminary directing its students to not get any additional education, including English and other subjects, while pursuing their education at the institute.

The notice was issued by the secretary of the commission, Shakeel Ahmad Siddiqui, on Thursday summoning the Darul Uloom Deoband official at the commission’s office in Lucknow at noon on June 21.

“It has come to our notice through social media that a notice was issued by the Darul Uloom, Deoband saying that students studying at Darul Uloom, Deoband will not be permitted to study any other subject (English, etc),” read the letter written by the commission to Saharanpur District Magistrate Dinesh Chandra.

Darul Uloom Deoband is a prominent Islamic seminary in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Friday morning, Darul Uloom Deoband spokesperson Ashraf Usmani said, “We have not banned English education. In fact, we teach English at our institute too. And students can specialise in English as well. This issue is being misreported. We have merely asked our students to not enrol at any other institute because then, they can’t focus on the curriculum.”

A recent notice by the education department of the Darul Uloom Deoband read, “The students are being informed that while studying at Darul Uloom Deoband, they will not be allowed to get any additional education (English, etc). And if any student is found engaged in this act or if it is known through credible sources that a student is getting additional education, then that student will be expelled.”

The institute has said that it only instructed students that while studying at the seminary, they should not study outside as the curriculum requires their full attention and time and “they won’t be able to succeed in their curriculum if they pursue other subjects outside the institute”.

Uttar Pradesh Commission for Minorities president Ashfaq Saifi, a member of the BJP and a former national general secretary of the party’s minority wing, said that the Deoband seminary can put forward its perspective in front of the commission on June 21. “If they have not banned English, then that is fine. They can come and give us details and present the facts. But banning English will push the Muslim community back by decades and we will not let that happen,” said Saifi.

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