De-radicalisation programme for the minority community rolled out in Maharashtra

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Who: De-radicalisation programme for the minority community
Where: Maharashtra
What: Rolled out
When: January 2016

Maharashtra Government in January 2016 rolled out a de-radicalisation programme for the minority community. The programme was launched to face the challenges of both home-grown extremism and global Islamic State (IS) threat.

A government resolution on de-radicalisation of youth and preserving communal amity was approved and passed by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Some highlights of the Programme
• Vyayam shalas will be opened in minority areas
• National Cadet Corps (NCC), Bharat Scouts and Guides (BS&G) will be made compulsory in the minority schools
• Mainstream thoughts and values will be delivered to minority youth in the state by establishing independent media outlets
• Plans to teach religious texts from all sects in minority schools
• Teaching merits of democratic States and demerits of dictatorships as a separate chapter in the Urdu textbooks
• The State Education Department will launch a mid-day meal scheme in Urdu schools
• Provide textbooks at subsidised rates, and teach Urdu as optional subject in 300 Marathi shalas (schools)

Apart from this, the state police have been directed to deal with religious extremism in the stricter possible manner. It has been asked to strongly deal with those (individuals or organisation) disturbing communal harmony and spreading propaganda on social websites and services.

Police has been asked to reduce any feeling of communalism with the force by identifying the same and reach out the minority community and win their hearts at all costs.

Background

The programme was rolled out against the backdrop of Union Home Ministry’s direction to three states including Maharashtra on drawing up a comprehensive counter-strategy in wake of attempts by international terrorist outfits like ISIS to promote Jihadi ideologies.

However, in December 2015, certain Muslim scholars and social activists had criticised the programme.

They termed the programme of de-radicalisation of youth from the community amounts to labeling of a particular community as radicalised.