Amid the ongoing protests in the Banaras Hindu University campus, regarding the appointment of Dr Firoze Khan under Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan (SVDV) faculty, the Centre on Thursday has condemned the protest. Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Union Human Resources and Development Minister (MoS) Sanjay Dhotre stated that the Centre could not interfere in the issue as it comes under the Vice Chancellor's administration. He added that the protests were wrong and there were other ways to express disapproval.
"We have taken information from the Vice-Chancellor as this comes under his administrative rights. Directly ministry cannot interfere on this. What is happening is wrong. If there is some opposition, there are other ways to express it," he said.
Meanwhile, Sanskrit students who have been abstaining from classes since November 7, claim that they have no issue against a Muslim teacher in the Sanskrit department in the Arts wing. Speaking to Republic TV, they have claimed that a non-Hindu cannot teach Sanskrit theology and hence they are protesting. Currently, Dr. Firoze Khan has reportedly returned back to his native Jaipur due to prolonged protests in Banaras.
"We do not have any issue against any Muslim professor. The Sanskrit department coming under the Arts wing has been established, is open to people of all religions. In that, 'Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan' was established and relates to Sanskrit theology. We believe that even if one studies a lot, we believe that in the 'Dharma Vigyan Sankay' non-Hindu professor must not be appointed," said a protestor.
On the other hand, BHU Chancellor Justice Giridhar Malviya has appealed to the teachers and students to leave their stubbornness and accept Khan as a part of the faculty. He has stated that Dr Khan - a 29.-year old PhD from Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan - is an intellectual of Sanskrit. Seconding with BHU Vice-Chancellor Prof Rakesh Bhatnagar, Malviya stated, "No matter where knowledge is coming from, students should take it. There is nothing wrong with a Muslim teacher teaching Sanskrit."
Since November 7, when Dr Khan was appointed as an assistant professor in the Sanskrit literature department under the Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan (SVDV), students have protested against it stating that Muslims are not allowed to enter the department. Protestors have met Vice-Chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar and the Head of Department Umakant Chaturvedi demanding cancellation of Khan’s appointment. But the University has been firm on its view that the appointment cannot be revoked and that the students will have to accept its decision. Several students and other faculty members have backed Dr.Khan's credentials and have slammed the students giving the appointment an intolerant spin.