Hindus teaching Urdu in Rajasthan colleges amid row over Muslim Sanskrit prof in BHU
Even as Firoz Khan, the Muslim assistant professor from Rajasthan, had to face protests in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for teaching Sanskrit, several Hindu lecturers are teaching Urdu across government colleges in the state.
Chhotu Meena (39), associate professor in Government Girls College of Peeplu (Tonk), can be seen taking class Urdu classes in his college. There are 15 students of Urdu in his class who are all Hindus and hail from Tonk, a district with considerable Muslim population.
When asked about his experience as an Urdu teacher, Chhotu said, “I have never faced any difficulty in teaching Urdu subject and most of the students even do not know that Urdu language is associated with any particular religion”
“Students consider Urdu as a Hindustani language and learn it like that,” he said, but refrained from commenting on the Muslim professor in BHU controversy.
Chhotu is not the only Hindu college lecturer who is teaching Urdu in Rajasthan.
Krishna Kumar Meena is another Urdu lecturer at the Government College, Tonk. When asked about the BHU controversy, he said, “Language cannot be confined within the boundaries of any religion”.
“If we are associating language with religion, then why are we studying English language in the country?” asked Krishna who has 40% Hindu and 60% Muslim students of Urdu language in the college.
Sunita Chawla (38), who is an Urdu lecturer at the government college in Sangod town of Kota district, said, “India believes in the tradition of ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ (entire world is a family) and it would be a narrow-minded view if we see language through the prism of religion.”
She said that there are over a dozen Hindu college lecturers and around 60 school lecturers who are teaching Urdu in the state.
Mukesh Kumar (32), who is an associate professor of Urdu at the University of Rajasthan, said, “Urdu or any other language is a literature in itself, so everyone has the right to learn and teach any language.”
Muslim lecturer taught Sanskrit
Anjum Saifi (64), who retired as a lecturer of Sanskrit from the Kota Government College, four years ago, said that he never faced any protest during his teaching days. “Students were very supportive when I taught Sanskrit in government colleges all my life.”
He said, “German and foreign scholars’ extensive work on Sanskrit would not have been possible if Sanskrit was confined to religion only.”
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