"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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Ahmad Kashmiri


Nowadays Christian Missionary Schools (CMS) are being projected as the USP-status-schools in the educational sector of the valley. From the historic point of view some of these schools have a countable past, there is no denial about it but as per the concept and the spirit of proper education is concerned the schooling from such schools is not the final phenomenon! And also it is not without weaknesses and free from flaws. the tactics of embedding politics as well as the patriotism together in the same belly and then to ruminate these one by one as per need is not a measure for the schooling excellence of any educational institute because all the people from chief ministers to chief commanders have not done their schooling from any common school or for that purpose from any distinguished tens or twenty schools. Instead there are instances of great persons who have done their schooling from the remote rural under looked schools. Well at the time of the establishment of these schools these were founded as the Church Mission Society (CMS) and till date continue to accomplish the Christian mission. It is pertinent to mention here that Christians mix their blood and sweat in disseminating their message and mission, some eleven years back this author, on a university (KU) backed industrial training at Chennai, while travelling from Pallavaram to Central Madras (then Madras) observed a Christian missionary vowing the teachings of Christianity at a railway station, though the passersby would underestimate him as finding no listeners to him there but the point to make was his endless effort to continue his work without any humiliation. the claims that these missionary schools have been achieving the top positions in the Board examinations is a commendable thing from academic view point but at the same time it is not a wonder to vow because the cream of the kids had had been on the rolls of these schools following their historical establishment. And now the things have changed, with more than one option of schools one finds new dimensions of achievements and goals. In the recent past a unique state level mental arithmetic competition of 6 to 14 year old children was conducted in Srinagar wherein four champions were to be chosen and out of the four champions two were from Iqbal Memorial Inst. Srinagar while as one was from a public school of Bandipora. Education should enable a selective path to a learner for reaching his ultimate goal and for a Muslim the goal is already devised but one has to tread on a specific way to reach this goal. A former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah is the product of a Christian missionary school. His chief ministership has been attributed to the reputation of the school as its outcome on the other hand a commander in chief of JKLF, Ishfaq Majeed Wani too a pass out of a Christian missionary school. But he, indeed, proved a poison instead of the medicine to the their mission! To make hay from Ishfaq Majeeds’ case also the school administrator has attempted to be a good crisis manager (as per crisis management is concerned) by saying “…..our students are open to think widely. School doesn’t give them a closed mind. You are taught to live openly, they can go to any extent” thereby an attempt has been made to cash the uncashable. Consciously nobody would indulge into any futile exercise but with certain goals and motives. Such goals and motives may take even centuries to reach the destination. To believe blindly that missionary schools had settled just for the sake of mere education is as innocent a belief as a tale listening child believes that any lion would be kind to the prey to which it gives deal till it becomes self motivated and finally gets entrapped. Many things like food packets, medicine, clothes, tents etc between the missionaries and the beneficiaries can be precise to persuade and perceive respectively for the two parties. As a Muslim in case of food offered, one has to see halal and haram, medicine is afterall medicine, acceptance or rejection of clothes depends on likes and dislikes of a person. But it must be borne in mind that such is not the case with education which is not learnt directly from books and extra-curricular activities only but the spirit of education is gained from the system and the background by which the education setup is originated and backed. Christian missionary schools have a mission of their own, the mission of disseminating Christianity and its force. Interestingly they do not do the job of direct attachment with Christianity but they definitely do the job of unfelt detachment from Islam!!! Seemingly one may not find any Christian literature in the syllabi of these schools but one has to be a bit sensitive and witty to consider the things that are generally overlooked and underestimated. Besides the vital discrepancies such as dancing and immodest dress code being in vogue in these schools the other small things when allowed to flourish bring havoc with the passage of time to the religious beliefs and cultural traditions. Once this author happened to accompany a friend to a Christian missionary school to see his child, at the first instance Moona Madam (name changed), a class teacher extended her hand for a handshake to which my friend responded gladly and the students nearby were watching it, but not with a surprise! After some time we entered another room which appeared a leisure room, sitting inside was another Madam asking insistently her students whether they had celebrated their birthdays! Coming back my friend was eager to listen some impact oriented remarks about the schooling that as per his ideology might have impressed me…..! But I did start some routine talk to which he cross-talked turning the topic, he was eager for, he completed his initiative and waited for my comment. Then I told my observations (above mentioned) and he was dumbfounded to speak out anything more! In some Christian missionary school the innocent kids at the morning assembly were asked to close their eyes and pray to Allah somewhat as, “O’ Allah send us toffees and chocolates” then they were asked to open their eyes and search their school bags for toffees and chocolates but all the kids got disappointed as they did find neither toffees nor chocolates in their bags. Then they were asked to do a second attempt but this time they were asked to pray somewhat as, “O’ Yusuh (Christ) send us toffees and chocolates” and now according to a plan all their bags were filled with some toffees and chocolates. Then they were asked to open their eyes and search their school bags for toffees and chocolates again and this time children were overjoyed to find what they had prayed for from Lord Christ. For innocent children this was an exercise wherein they made two attempts with a “slight” alteration in the praying sentence and they enjoyed what happened in-between they didn’t know but it was a big thing – the mission, the missionaries were accomplishing for. This is not a hearsay but a firm narration by the renowned religious scholar, president, Darul Uloom Rahimiya Bandipora, Mufti Nazir Ahmad Qasmi this year he narrated while bewaring the Muslims at a Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid Tangmarg. The origin of morning assembly at 10 O’ clock in the morning seems to be related with the Christian worship in church at 10 O’ clock. This time in Muslim philosophy is the time of a special prayer (Nimaze Chaast). But ironically nowhere such practice is in vogue, instead, a new trend evoked with the emergence of Muslim Public schools as to recite Sura Fatehah and other Quranic verses at the time of morning assembly before the routine prayer starts. Since recitation of Quranic verses follows a strict code that women can’t recite Quran aloud leading (in front) men. But unfortunately in our schools preference is given to the girl students to recite Quranic verses and prayer infront of boys. Is such an act mercy seeking or sin earning? Who cares! Christian missionary people make tall claims of sheer discipline and values. But over the ground the situation is different. The students as well as the pass outs of such schools have been found crazy and rough even a person who had been an insider of such a school told this author that there students are vulgar as compared to the students of other schools Some people too are proud of the products of Christian missionary schools. The Alumni of a Christian missionary school includes the former chief minister of J&K Dr Farooq Abdullah. The school administration may use him as a USP but the people of Kashmir know his “honesty” by which he became the chief minister even when only two percent votes were casted. Well he exercises too frankness and flexibility when it comes to religion and religious beliefs, be it the matrimonial relation or the roadside rally he enjoys everything from cross-religion marriages to disco dance beyond the religious and traditional boundaries! Isn’t it so? Concluding: Muslims must come forward and establish their own, indigenous educational institutions based on Islamic cause and constitution for that Islam is a complete and eternal system for all things right from cradle to grave and for all times where schooling and education can not be a separate entity.

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