A country with different religion and yet another set of caste and sub-caste, one can only hope for fewer problems based on the same. An issue over the appointment of a new professor at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) “Sahitya” or the literature wing of the Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vijnan caught the attention of media recently as the students-enforced lockout enters the second week
For the past 12 days a group of 30-odd students at BHU, Sanskrit wing has been protesting outside the office of university Vice-Chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar, demanding to cancel the appointment of a freshly recruited Professor Firoze Khan. The students are so adamant that they are not ready to end the protest until their demand is met.
As per the BHU website, the Sanskrit-Vidya-Dharma-Vijnan-Sankaya was founded in 1918 by BHU patron Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya to “preserve and promote the studies of ancient Indian Shastras, Sanskrit language and literature”. Moreover, the university also has a separate department for Sanskrit that functions under the faculty of arts.
Students who are protesting claim that Sanskrit-Vidya-Dharma-Vijnan-Sankaya not just merely teaches the languages but also teaches the culture. They also said that they are not protesting against someone from a particular religion but because things are not happening as per the traditions.
University authorities claim the university has acted according to the constitution, and the acts of the university. They also said that all the rules and regulations regarding the appointment were followed. Moreover, they added that professors Khan is the most suitable candidate for the job and that the university works according to the rules.
As per the reports, faculty at the university wing is involved in instigating the students to protest, as the majority of the students protesting are from ABVP, Hindu Mahasabha and Hindu Vahini. Moreover, the girls in the college hostel were also asked to take part in by professors.
While on the other hand students in BHU under the banner of ‘Joint Action Committee’ held out a march in support of Firoze Khan’s appointment.
The university has issued statements twice in the last week, stating it is “committed to achieving the objectives of the BHU in providing equal educational and teaching opportunities to everyone irrespective of religion”.
Even after multiple attempts over calls and messages to reach out to Professor Khan mobile phone, it all ended in vain as he hasn’t turned out to the university since his appointment.
According to the report, Professor Khan is formerly from Rajasthan, his father also studied Sanskrit and sings bhajans at a temple near his locality.
It is also said that Prof Khan studied Sanskrit at the Rajkiya Sanskrit Vidyalaya in Bagru, Rajasthan. Further, he completed his higher education in the language from a deemed university in Rajasthan.