After protests, Sanskrit prof Firoz Khan applies to other faculties at BHU

He was not allowed to teach at the SVDV faculty of BHU after students said a Muslim couldn’t teach them

firoz khan BHU

In the hope of ending the ongoing impasse, Dr. Firoz Khan, whose appointments as assistant professor in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharam Vigyan (SVDV) faculty of Benaras Hindu University (BHU) triggered protests, has now applied for teaching posts in the Sanskrit Department of the varsity’s Faculty of Arts, The Indian Express reported.

Khan, who is keen to teach at the Faculty of Arts, has also applied for the post of Assistant Professor at the university’s faculty of Ayurveda after the students of SVDV had staged a dharna regarding his appointment of an Assistant Professor in their faculty, stating that they wouldn’t tolerate a Muslim, who is not connected with their culture, teaching them about the Sanatan Dharma and Karmkaand.

Firoz Khan, a PhD in Sanskrit, was inducted into the SVDV faculty on November 7, but was unable to conduct even a single class there owing to the protests. The protesting students called off their sit-in protest on Friday following a written assurance from the university administration that it would answer their questions. The students, however, said that they would continue to boycott classes and may even resume their agitation if the BHU administration fails to answer their questions in 10 days.

Khan, who felt ‘insulted’ for the response his appointment received says he will quit the SVDV department if he is selected in either, or both of the departments he has applied to. However, he is said to be keen on joining the Arts Faculty as the students there have no problem with a Muslim teaching them Sanskrit. Additionally, it is also said that joining the Ayurveda department would mean deviating from his field of interest as well as area of expertise.

Through all of his ordeal, the BHU administration has backed his appointment stating that it is in accordance with the norms prescribed and there is no question of his removal stating that his appointment was a unanimous decision made by a selection committee under a transparent process.

However, dragging Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya’s name into their protest, the students said Khan’s appointment hurt their sentiments and was made as part of a conspiracy stating that there was a stone inscription installed in BHU clearly states that no non-Hindu can either study or teach in our department. However, the university has rubbished their claims.

While Firoz Khan’s future at the BHU remains to be seen after the show of extreme radicalism, there comes some good news. The Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir in West Bengal recruited Ramzan Khan and Ganesh Tudu, a Muslim and a tribal, as assistant professors of Sanskrit.


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