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Days After Sangh Backed Muslim Professor’s Appointment, Slogans of ‘RSS Murdabad’ Echo in BHU

Screenshot of a video showing protest by BHU students.

Screenshot of a video showing protest by BHU students.

An affiliate of the RSS, Samskrita Bharati, on November 22 came out in support of Feroze Khan, an assistant professor at Banaras Hindu University (BHU)'s Sanskrit department, whose appointment was opposed by the students.

New Delhi: Two days after the RSS came out in support of a Muslim professor at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), whose appointment as Sanskrit professor was opposed by a section of students, videos showed students shouting slogans of ‘RSS Murdabad’ to mark their protest against the move.

The videos, which emerged on social media on Monday, showed students of the Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan (SVDV) department shouting slogans against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

One of the videos showed a bunch of students shouting slogans of, “Dharm ke naam pe thekedaari nahi chalegi, Hindutva ke naam pe thekedaari nahi chelegi...RSS Murdabad.”

Samskrita Bharati, an affiliate the RSS, had issued a statement on November 22 and backed Feroze Khan, an assistant professor at BHU's Sanskrit department. Sidelining the protests by ABVP members and other students of the department, it requested Khan to “fearlessly make his contributions at the university.”

The BHU authorities have also come out in support of Khan, saying they do not discriminate on the grounds of caste, class, gender and religion. The protesting students ended their ‘dharna’ on Friday but resumed it on Monday. The university had announced on Thursday that classes at the department would resume, indicating that the stir had ended.

Khan was named assistant professor on November 5 but has been unable to teach because of the protests. The students who have spoken out against his appointment have demanded it be cancelled because he is not a Hindu.

Samskrita Bharati issued a statement saying the outfit works to teach Sanskrit language across the world and is also active in Arab countries. “Dr Firoze Khan is one of the thousands of people who were trained by us,” it said in the statement and urged the students to not protest against his appointment.

The protesting students had earlier written to the V-C of BHU Rakesh Bhatnagar saying the varsity’s founder, late Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, considered the Sanskrit faculty as the heart of the University. In the letter they said, “The stone plate of the faculty also contains that this institution is for cultural, religious, historical debates and discussion of Sanatan Hindus and their direct or indirect branches like Arya Samaj, Buddh, Jain, Sikh, etc.”


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