The Assam Assembly on December 31 passed a Bill to convert State-run madrasas into regular schools. State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Bill as a move to empower the Muslim community.
In his speech in the State Assembly, Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "We don't want votes. We don't do appeasement. We have no vested interest with this community. But away from politics, we want to take that community forward… When doctors and engineers will come out from these schools, it will bring laurels to you."
"I think this is my gift to Islamic society. This conversion of state-run madrasas to general institutes, after 10 years, the Muslim children who become doctors and engineers from these schools, they will be indebted to our government," Sarma said. He said he was not opposed to any community. To oppose fundamentalism is not to oppose Islam, he said. To try to make some Muslim children doctors and engineers can never be anti-Islam, he said.
Sarma quoted B R Ambedkar and said that the latter had said that religious instruction should have no place in the curriculum. He argued that the Quran should not be taught on government expenditure because the Bible or the Bhagwad Gita or texts of other religions are not taught on it.