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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Amid BHU protests over Firoz Khan, another Muslim man from Rajasthan wants to be Sanskrit teacher

Anahad Fareed, a Muslim from Hasampur village of Jaipur, wants to be a Sanskrit teacher like Firoze Khan, who got appointed in the faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan (SVDV) at BHU around a fortnight ago but has not been able to join because of protests by students.

jaipur Updated: Nov 22, 2019 10:04 IST
Rakesh Goswami
Rakesh Goswami
Hindusan Times, Jaipur
Anahad Fareed says that his life changed after he started studying Sanskrit and he wants to keep serving it till he is alive.
Anahad Fareed says that his life changed after he started studying Sanskrit and he wants to keep serving it till he is alive. (HT Photo )
         

Even as the student protest over the appointment of Firoze Khan, a Muslim man from Jaipur, as an assistant professor in the Sanskrit faculty of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi is on, another Muslim in Rajasthan is following in the footsteps of Firoze.

Anahad Fareed, 27, cleared the exam for admission to Master of Philosophy (MPhil) course at Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Sanskrit University (JRRSU) in Jaipur on November 8. The man from Hasampur village of Jaipur wants to be a Sanskrit teacher like Firoze, who got appointed in the faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan (SVDV) at BHU around a fortnight ago but has not been able to join because of protests by students.

Fareed said he joined a Sanskrit school after he flunked in Class 9 of a regular school. “My target was to pass Class 9 but I ended up falling in love with Sanskrit,” he said. “I did higher secondary in Sanskrit and later did undergraduate and postgraduate courses from Sanskrit College,” Fareed added.

“After Sanskrit came in my life, my life has changed. Sanskrit has now become the aim of my life – I want to keep serving it till I am alive,” he added.

Fareed said the government Sanskrit school in Bopiya village where he enrolled in Class 9 was 3km from his house. “I was the only student from my village going there. Every day, I walked 6 km only for my love for this language,” he said.

His father, Salim Khan Fareed, is a malaria inspector in Jhunjhunu district, and loves to write poems in Hindi. Incidentally, no one in his family knows Urdu. Anahad’s four elder sisters are married, and a younger brother is in Class 12 but not in a Sanskrit school.

Salim Khan is also spiritually inclined and visits Ayodhya four times a year. “My spiritual guru, Ramkrishna Pandey ‘Aamil’, was a Hindi teacher in Ayodhya. I got in touch with him after I read a book review in a vernacular daily and sent him an inland letter in 1998. The association continues even after his death,” he said.

He is aware about the controversy surrounding Firoze’s appointment. “We are distant relatives. It is unfortunate that someone should decide who can learn or teach Sanskrit and who cannot. My son also wants to become a teacher of Sanskrit. I wouldn’t want him to see the protests that Firoze is witnessing,” Salim Khan said.

From being the only Muslim in Bopiya Sanskrit school, to being the only research scholar in JRRSU, Fareed has come a long way. “Even in college, I was the only Muslim student but I never faced any problem because of that,” he said.

Fareed did Shastri ( undergraduate degree in Sanskrit) from SR Modi Government Shastri Sanskrit College in Sikar and Acharya (PG degree) from Govt. Shree Dhuleshwar Acharya Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya in Jaipur.

Fareed will do MPhil in Vyakaran Shashtra of Panini, said JRRSU public relations officer Shastri Kosalendradas. He said currently there are four other Muslim students enrolled in different courses at the university.