BJP MP from Unnao Sakshi Maharaj on Sunday sparked a political controversy by claiming that children in Madrassas were being trained to become terrorists.
The MP is facing serious critcism from political parties for his remark. "Whosoever maharaja this is, if he has evidence, he should put it in the public domain. If not, he should restrict from giving statements creating tensions in the society," said Congress leader Manish Tewari.
"Madrassas are schools, they are not any communal thing. Sakshi ji knows everything but he just wants to create disturbance and hatred in country," said former Rajya Sabha MP Shahid Siddiqui.
Muslim clerics have also slammed the BJP lawmaker. "They do not teach any terrorism, they only teach the Quran for peace. Those who make such statements should be punished," said Muslim cleric Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashidi.
Sakshi Maharaj had said that madrassas were giving "education of terrorism", which did not go down well with parties which accused BJP of trying to create communal polarisation by spreading "canard".
"There should be a common board for the Madrassas and they should check what's being taught there. They teach terrorism in Madrasas. Just the way in schools, we are taught good values, they should teach Muslim kids good things as well, and not just teach them the Quran and how to become jihadis. Why is there a different code for Madrasas and schools' Madrasas should also teach the same things rather than teaching terrorism," the MP from Unnao constituency told reporters.
Maharaj accused the Madarsas of not teaching nationalism to students. "Tell me about one madrassa where the tricolour is hoisted on August 15 and January 26," he said.
The BJP's Hindutva hardliner said Madrassas "which have no connection with nationalism" are being given government aid. "Most of our schools do not take the aid but it is being given to Madrassas having no connection with nationalism," he said.