Benaras Hindu University (BHU) professor Firoze Khan has resigned from his post at the Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan (SVDV) department and joined the Arts Faculty where he will teach Sanskrit, BHU sources told PTI.
Students, mostly from the ABVP, were protesting against Khan's appointment for the past month in the SVDV department, which offers courses in ancient and traditional treasure of knowledge such as the Vedas, sahitya, darmagam, jyotish (ganit and phalit), vyakaran, mimansha and nayaya vaisesika. They said only a Hindu can teach Sanskrit at the university in Varanasi. Although the Benaras Hindu University backed Khan, he was unable to take classes for several days.
Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan Department Dean Bindeswari Prasad Mishra confirmed that Khan has joined the Arts Faculty of the university where he will teach the Sanskrit language.
According to a report in NDTV, in the Sanskrit department in the Arts faculty, only the language is taught. The protesting students had claimed that at the SVDV, the study of religion and literature was intertwined.
The report quoted Shubham Tiwari, one of the protesting students as saying, "(We) want to tell Professor Khan we do not have personal enmity...we wish him well."
Meanwhile, a Dalit Sanskrit professor at the BHU, Shanti Lal Salvi, was allegedly attacked by students for supporting Khan. He claimed that some students used foul language against him and others hurled stones at him. However, News18 quoted a student as saying that they had only asked the professor to stop supporting Khan and that they did not attack him.
Khan, a 29-year-old postdoctoral scholar of the ancient Indian language, was among 10 candidates shortlisted to teach at SVDV in BHU. While others scored between 0 to 2 on a scale of 10, Firoze scored full marks due to his exceptional credentials.
Khan's grandfather Gafur Khan would sing bhajans in front of Hindu crowds. His father Ramjan Khan had studied Sanskrit and would preach on the need to look after cows.
In November, Firstpost had quoted a protesting PhD scholar, Piyush Kumar Dwiwedi, as saying, "How can you expect me to be taught Vedas and Dharmashastras by a Muslim? If I learn the Quran, will I be allowed to teach at madrassas?"
Dwiwedi had further said, "We have holidays for Hindu occasions, now if Khan joins, he will want a holiday every Friday."
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2019 17:03:30 IST