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BHU Students' Protest against Sanskrit Muslim Teacher is Absurd, Says Chief of RSS Language Wing

The national organisational secretary of the RSS's Sanskrit Bharti, Dev Pujari, said there is no limitation in learning a language and the students are on the wrong side of the issue.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:November 19, 2019, 11:11 PM IST
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BHU Students' Protest against Sanskrit Muslim Teacher is Absurd, Says Chief of RSS Language Wing
File photo of BHU campus.

New Delhi: An organised campaign by students against the appointment of a Muslim teacher of Sanskrit at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has started making headlines after they resorted to 'pujas' and other modes of protest to demand the removal of the professor, Feroz Khan.

Khan has been appointed as an assistant professor in the literature department of the faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan (SVDV) at BHU.

Expressing shock over the issue, the national organisational secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) Sanskrit Bharti, Dev Pujari, said the grounds of protest are absurd. The outfit had recently organised an international event to exhibit the scientific traditions of the ancient language among other things.

“It is absurd that the BHU students are protesting against a Muslim teaching Sanskrit in their university. I don’t know what are the fundamentals of BHU and on what grounds are the students protesting, but I know that Sanskrit is for all," he said.

“Everyone can learn Sanskrit. There is no limitation of learning a language. Everyone can learn, speak and teach it. I think BHU students are on the wrong side of the issue,” he added.

Pujari said the students fail to understand that Sanskrit is a culture, not a religion. “Sanskrit language teaches culture, not religion. The BHU students are talking about religion when Sanskrit language doesn’t promote any religion. They must withdraw the protest,” he said.

The students, who believe the appointment of a non-Hindu is a conspiracy, have written to Vice Chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar stating that the university’s founder, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, used to consider the SVDV faculty as the heart of the institution.

“The stone plate of the faculty also mentions that this institution is for cultural, religious, historical debates and discussion of Sanatan Dharma and its direct or indirect branches like Arya Samaj, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism,” the letter read.

Pujari said, “I don’t know what Malviya wrote as I have not studied that, but there is no limitation for teaching Sanskrit. No one should be deprived. Being a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh is not important. If you wish to, you can write and teach the language, there is no harm in it.”

The BHU administration has clarified there will be no discrimination on appointments on the grounds of religion.

In a statement to the media, BHU spokesperson Rajesh Singh said, “There was an appointment meeting and some students created disruptions at the time. They were protesting against the appointment of a Muslim. The meeting took place on November 5 and the appointment was done on the basis of the potential of the candidate. The university does not stand for discrimination on the basis of religion, caste or gender. For the progress of the nation it believes in providing equal opportunities of education to all.”

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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