LUCKNOW: The appointment of an assistant professor in the department of Sanskrit triggered a series of protests by the students at Banaras Hindu University owing to the religious credentials of the newly appointed professor who is a Muslim.
However, coming out to clear the air over the issue, the BHU authorities on late Thursday evening issued an official statement saying the appointment of the professor was ‘unanimous’ and that he was chosen from among the “most qualified candidates” through a “transparent” screening process headed by the
The university authorities also emphasised that the appointment was done with the objective of awarding “equal opportunity to all to study and teach” for the purpose of nation-building “by rising above discrimination” on the basis of religion, caste, sect and gender.
A section of students of Sahitya (literature) department of the Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan of the Central university had objected to the appointment of Firoz Khan as an assistant professor in the department. They had even staged a sit-in at the Holkar Bhawan near the residence of the Vice-Chancellor on Thursday. The protesters demanded the university authorities to cancel the appointment of Prof Khan.
Rachna Mishra, one of the protesting students, said the demonstration was to save the “values” of Madan Mohan Malaviya, the founder of BHU, and claimed that a stone-slab in the Sanskrit faculty mentioned that non-Hindus, except Jain, Buddhist and Arya Samaj followers, were barred from the department.
“It is a protest not to oppose Prof Khan but back the values of Mahamana Malviyaji,” said Atharva Singh, another student. However, some of the protesting students even levelled the bribery charges on authorities while appointing Prof Khan.
On the contrary, the charges of the students were dismissed by an associate professor of the same department. “The selection took place as per the rules,” said Prof Ram Narayan Dwivedi who flayed the students for causing ruckus over a non-issue.