Why Ban FAT Schools?

Jama’at run girls’ school

 “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education”

                                ~ Martin Luther King

 A notification released by the Ministry of human affairs on 28th February has imposed a ban on Jamat-e-Islami, Kashmir for a period of five years. This unjustifiable ban wouldn’t only affect the people belonging to the Jamat-e-Islamia but its repercussions will extend to the community as a whole. This, however, is not the first time that the Jamat-e-Islami run schools have come under such an onslaught. It is a multitude of times that these schools have been on the radar, yet these schools continued to flourish by leaps and bounds.The FAT was formed in 1971 with a noble aim to provide social services to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and this great service is provided to the people by the Jammat-e-islamia. From 1971 till now FAT has been doing wonders in the fields of the education including the extra curriculum activities. Jammat-e-Islamia and its schools faced the ban in 1975 for the first time but somehow schools survived till 1990.

In 1990, Jammat-e-Islamia as well as the schools were again banned by the government and this was the time when teachers from FAT were inducted into the governmental services by the government. The parents were deeply worried about the future of their wards but despite undergoing such a harsh phase, the schools are there, and run smoothly.

From global village to digital India, Government still believes that by imposing ban on these schools can make the situation better, but don’t they know that Jamat-e-Islamia is not simply an Islamic organization, but a socio, politico, religious organisation, which means they don’t confine their activity to mere sermons with regard to Islamic teachings but it covers wide spectrum of works which includes, BaitulMaal(charity for downtrodden masses), Diagnostic centres, Daral-ul-Ulooms, Carrier counselling centres, and the most important thing is the schools run by FAT. There are thousands of schools run by FAT and the number of students is pretty massive; the number of teachers is in thousands. Ban on FAT schools implies snatching the fundamental right of education, which can badly impact the education of these students. On the one hand, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is on the verge of unemployment and on the other hand here we have the ministry of home affairs coming up with a ban on these institutes which don’t only provide the employment to the thousands of teachers but it caters to the needs of their families as well.

Ban on these schools can make the parents more worried. There are thousands of students belonging to the poor families, who pursue their studies in these schools without fee. On the one side centre is making hue and cry about the critical situation in Jammu and Kashmir but at the same time they take recourse to things which can only worsen the already tense situation.

The real obstacle which comes in the way of the establishment of cordial relations of the people of the state and the centre is the reluctance of the latter to recognise the fundamental rights of the former. And in the state of the Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre tries to snatch the fundamental rights of those students who want to study for the welfare of the state. It would be quite disastrous to impose ban on FAT as there are lakhs of families which are directly or indirectly linked to this institution.

This institution doesn’t need certificate for the splendid accomplishments it has done in the field of the education. This institution produced many brilliant doctors, engineers, bureaucrats, teachers, scientists, professors, athletes, and politicians etc., who not only represent the state at a national level but the international level as well. The schools have ever since flourished despite all odds faced by JeI members as well as the administrators of these Jamaat run schools. So ban on these schools entails violation of the fundamental rights of the Indian constitution as well.

Before the situation takes an ugly turn it’s better for government to revoke this order, so that these schools run smoothly, thereby saving many people from this avoidable anxiety.  Somehow the half of the families are connected to this institution by means of their wards – getting education in this institutions and the one of the important role played by this institution is to provide employment to the unemployed youth so that they can run their families without any hardship. So it’s better for government of India to revoke ban on FAT, before things go from bad to worse.

Author hails from north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. [email protected]


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