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Karnataka: Post Dussehra, Madrasas on target of Hindutva Outfits, Government

Saurav Kumar |
On the night of October 6, during a Dussehra procession, a group of people forcibly barged into the ancient Mahmud Gawan madrasa situated in Bidar town. They shouted Hindu religious slogans and performed puja rituals.
Mahmud Gawan Madrasa, Bidar: Courtesy:Karnataka Travel Blogspot

Mahmud Gawan Madrasa, Bidar: Courtesy:Karnataka Travel Blogspot

In the midst of Karnataka making headlines for Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, madrasas in the state have become the target of Hindutva organisations.

On October 10, Hindu Rashtra Sene protested in front of the Davangere district collector's office, demanding to ban madrasas across Karnataka. Through the protest, Hindu Rashtra Sene claimed that madrasas were centres of hate and fanaticism.

Anand Raju, a social activist based in Davangere town, informed NewsClick that "Few members of the Hindu Rashtra Sene demanded action on madrasas functioning in Karnataka.”

“The demand to ban madrasas is part of the larger plan of the BJP government to brew hate in society and electoral benefits by polarising the society," Raju told NewsClick.

Davangere-like tone and tenor of the Hindutva outfit reflected in the Bidar district of Karnataka.

On the night of October 6, during a Dussehra procession, a group of people forcibly barged into the ancient Mahmud Gawan madrasa situated in Bidar town. They shouted Hindu religious slogans and performed puja rituals.

A video clip that circulated on social media showed many people with slogans like - Bhavani Maa ki Jai, Bharat Mata ki Jai, and Hindu Dharma ki Jai, while performing puja at the madrasa site.

Mahmud Gawan madrasa, a heritage site in the city in north Karnataka, performed puja during Dasara festivities early on Thursday.

Mahmud Gawan madrasa made it to the list of UNESCO to become a world heritage site in 2014.

As Karnataka is approaching State Assembly polls in May next year, several attempts of Hindutva outfits to communalise the social atmosphere are surfacing in public.


The incident in the backdrop of Dussehra has triggered apprehensions among the locals in Bidar. Many consider it to be a pre-planned, orchestrated attempt to destabilise socio-religious harmony.

Mohammed Zeeshan Ali, a mechanical engineering student and a resident of Bidar told NewsClick, "The incident occurred at night 1 am on October 6. The video of the incident was made viral. In the afternoon, members from the Muslim community, as well as the ASI, went and filed a police complaint. An FIR was registered at the Bidar Town police station.”

Zeeshan claimed that locals were in dire shock after the incident.

According to Zeeshan, the whole act of trespassing into the madrasa happened in the presence of the local police, followed by puja and sprinkling of saffron powder on the front minar of the madrasa.

On the following day of the incident, the Bidar Police ASP and DSP spoke to protesters promising strict action.

Bidar Town PSI told NewsClick that, "On October 6, the police registered FIR against nine people, namely Naresh Gauli, Prakash, Vinu, Manna, Sagar Banti, Jagadish Gauli, Arun Gauli, Gorakh Gauli and Ganesh Gauli and arrested four of them.”

Despite locals claiming Hindutva organisations were behind the incident, police officials denied any link of the arrested culprits to any of the right-wing organisations.

Wajid Gulbargavi, another local of Bidar, claimed that the puja ritual at the madrasa was a pre-planned act of the Hindutva outfits.

He also claimed that it happened in the presence of two policemen, and locals were agitated to

acknowledge this nexus with a nefarious intent demanding action on police officials.


As the State Assembly election is around the corner, the Hindutva outfits in the state are undertaking muscle flexing with regard to polarising the society on religious lines and causing disharmony.

Instances to instigate action against madrasas started early this year when BJP MLA MP Renukacharya demanded to ban madrasas in the state and accused them of propagating anti-national lessons.

In August, the state's education minister, BC Nagesh, announced an inspection of madrasas raising questions about the quality of education such religious schools provide.

In October, the state education department will likely conduct a survey of all madrasas in the state. The decision is in line with a similar survey ordered by the Uttar Pradesh government last month.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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