BHU students end stirafter Muslim teacherquits, joins another deptUpdated: Dec 10, 2019 19:26 IST
VARANASI The Muslim professor, whose appointment in Banaras Hindu University’s Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vijnan (SVDV) faculty led to over a month-long protest by students, has resigned from the faculty and will teach Sanskrit in a different department of the same institution.
Dr Firoz Khan, who submitted his resignation on Monday, joined the department of Sanskrit in the Arts faculty of BHU, confirmed an official.
The agitating students, meanwhile, called off their protest.
The SVDV students had been agitating since November 7 against Khan’s appointment. Claiming that a non-Hindu could not teach the subject, the protestors said they were not against the appointment of a Muslim professor but of a non-Hindu for a subject closely connected with the religion.
Although the BHU backed Khan, he was unable to take classes.
Amid the protests, Khan appeared for interviews for the post of assistant professor in the department of Sanskrit in the Arts faculty of BHU and department of Sanskrit and Samhita of the faculty of Ayurveda, also in BHU. The interviews were held on November 29 and December 4. He topped the list of applicants in both the interviews.
“Dr Firoz joined the faculty of Arts as an assistant professor on December 9. If required, he will be given examination duty as of now and as soon as semester examination concludes, Dr Firoz will start taking classes in BA. He will teach Abhigyan Sankuntalam, Meghdoot and many other topics of the subject,” said a senior professor at the department of Sanskrit.
Three other candidates, who were selected for the post of assistant professor in the interview, have joined along with Dr Firoz in the faculty of Arts, the professor said.
Professors and students of the department of Sanskrit have welcomed Dr Firoz’s appointment.
“We are happy that Dr Firoz has joined our department. He is a renowned scholar of Sanskrit. Our students will benefit from his knowledge,” another professor of the department said.
There are 750 students enrolled in the department of Sanskrit in courses, including Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Arts and Sanskrit and Ph D.
Anand Mohan Jha, one of the students who protested against Dr Firoz’s appointment in faculty of SVDV, said they called off their protest as head of department of Sahitya Prof Umakant Chaturvedi produced a proof of resignation by Dr Firoz Khan from the department of Sahitya of the faculty of SVDV.
“We have won. Our protest has yielded desired results. We wanted Dr Firoz to be transferred out of the faculty. He himself resigned from the post of assistant professor in the department. That is why we have ended our protest,” Jha said.
Dr Chaturvedi, however, refused to comment on the issue.
Dr Firoz was appointed assistant professor in department of Sahitya at faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vijnan on November 6 after being selected in an interview for the post on November 5.
Soon after his appointment came to light, a group of students started dharna in protest against his appointment.
On November 22, they called off their dharna but continued their protest which they finally called off on Tuesday.
Prof MP Ahirwar of department of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology said, “It is very unfortunate that Dr Firoz, who was appointed on merit, could not teach in the faculty of SVDV due to protest by a handful of students.”
Chief proctor Prof OP Rai said, “Dr Firoz applied for assistant professor in three departments of three different faculties. He was selected as assistant professor in all three departments on the basis of his performance in interview, eligibility and merit. Finally, he chose to teach in the department of Sanskrit in faculty of Arts and joined it.”