Muslim teacher at BHU Sanskrit dept 'hurt' by protest

Banaras Hindu University. File photo

As the protests by the students against his appointment as a teacher in the Sanskrit department at the prestigious Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi entered the 12th day, a deeply hurt Firoz Khan on Tuesday said that he loved the ancient Indian language  

''I fail to understand why can't a Muslim teach Sanskrit,'' Khan, whose appointment as an assistant professor in the department has triggered a huge controversy with a section of the students maintaining that a 'non-Hindu' could not be made a member of the faculty, where the students were taught ancient Indian 'shastra', Sanskrit language and literature.

Incidentally, Firoz's family had a tradition of learning the Sanskrit language. Firoz had topped the list of candidates who had been interviewed by the selection committee for the post.

Firoz said that he never faced any discrimination because of his religion anywhere in the country. ''It is unfortunate that some students are opposing my appointment,'', he remarked. 

Scores of students of the department have been holding a demonstration before the office of the Vice-chancellor demanding cancellation of the appointment of Khan as an assistant professor.

The Varsity officials, however, refused to bow to the demand of the student saying that the appointment was in accordance with the rules of the University Grant Commission (UGC). 

The Faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in the studies of ancient Indian Shastra, Sanskrit language and Sanskrit literature.

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