The appointment of Assistant Professor Feroz Khan in the Sanskrit Department of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has been held as valid against ongoing protests by students who fear this is the beginning of a demographic invasion in the Hindu domain. BHU Chancellor Justice Girdhar Malviya said that the students’ campaign was wrong. “Mahamana (founder of BHU Madan Mohan Malaviya) had a broad view. If he were alive, he would certainly have supported the appointment,” the chancellor said.
The BHU will not withdraw the decision to appoint Feroze Khan. Chief Proctor OP Rai said that the university followed the relevant rules for the appointment. “There is no question of withdrawing the judgment. But they (students) have the right to do what they are doing,” he said.
On the appointment of Feroz Khan, the chairman of the Sanskrit department of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) said that somewhere there was an omission from the BHU selection committee at the time of appointment. “There is no doubt that Feroz Khan was appointed in a clean manner,” he said, adding that only the teacher of Hinduism should teach Dharmakand.
The BHU imparts education in Sanskrit via two departments, one of which is under the Hindi department while the other is Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan Department, a separate department. In the Sanskrit department, Sanskrit is taught as a language. The Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan Department, however, teaches the customs, mantras, shlokas, rituals of worship and philosophies of Hinduism.
Protesting students wonder how a Muslim could tell them about the ways of worship in Hinduism, for example. They say that they have no objection to Sanskrit being taught as a language by a teacher of any caste or religion.
BHU students are staging a protest in front of the Vice Chancellor’s residence. They say until Professor Feroz Khan is transferred to another department, the opposition will continue.