The BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government has reduced the number of holidays alloted to state-recognised madrassas in the calendar for the year 2018, drawing flak from Islamic institutions.
According to the calendar issued by UP Madrassa Board Registrar Rahul Gupta, the holidays during several non-Muslim festivals like Christmas, Diwali, Dusshera, Mahavir Jayanti, Buddh Purnima and Raksha Bandhan have been increased.
On the other hand, 46 holidays given on Ramazan have been reduced to 42. Besides, 10 holidays at the discretion of madrassa managers have also been scrapped.
With the new arrangement, number of holidays in madrassas have now been reduced to 86, as compared to 92 earlier.
Protesting against the decision, the Teachers' Association of Madaris Arabia today wrote a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, demanding that he reconsider the move.
"As per the new calendar, holidays will be given two days before the start of Ramzan. Earlier, it was given 10 days before Ramzan. It will create difficulties for madrassa students and teachers to reach their homes in time for the festivities," Diwan Sahab Jaman, general secretary of the association, said.
Contending that the new move would send a wrong message, he said, cancellation of 10 discretionary holidays given by madrassa managers should be reconsidered.
The Teachers' Association of Madaris Arabia also demanded 10 days special holiday and 47 days holiday on Ramzan.
Meanwhile, justifying the changes in the new calendar, state Minority Welfare Minister Chowdhury Lakshmi Narain said the changes apply to all boards, universities and madrassas.
He said the intention of the Yogi Adityanath government was to educate the students about iconic personalities and not just declare the days as holidays.
"The new calender applies to all boards, universities as well as madrassas. This decision is in the interest of students," the minister added.