Published: 21st November 2019
BHU reopens Sanskrit department after week-long protest against Muslim prof's appointment
The VC said that semester examinations are about to begin and students should cooperate in ensuring smooth conduct of classes
The Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan, Banaras Hindu University, has been reopened, said an official statement from the varsity administration on their Twitter page on Thursday. The administration stated that they had held several rounds of talks with the students — including Vice Chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar, Dean Of the Faculty, Heads of Departments, senior teachers and university officials before coming to this decision. The BHU students had been protesting the appointment of a Muslim assistant professor Firoz Khan in the Sanskrit department at BHU for over a week.
The statement says that the VC has appealed to the students to call off their dharna. "He told the students that the prolonged dharna and closure of the faculty for so many days have made students suffer a lot. He said that semester examinations are about to begin and students should cooperate in ensuring smooth conduct of classes. The university administration hopes that the students will call off their protest and contribute positively and constructively in maintaining academic atmosphere in BHU," it added.
The students have been insistently demanding the cancellation of the appointment of a 'non-Hindu' professor at the varsity. The protestors, in a letter to the BHU vice-chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar, have claimed that the varsity's founder, late Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya had termed the SVDV faculty as the heart of the varsity. "The stone plate of the faculty also contains the message that this institution is for cultural, religious, historical debates and discussion of Sanatan Hindus and their direct or indirect branches like Arya Samaj, Buddh, Jain, Sikh, etc," the letter pointed out. The protestors said that despite knowing all these facts, a 'non-Hindu' has been appointed, which seems to be a conspiracy. They allege that as the new appointment is against the soul and spirit of the institution, it should be cancelled immediately.
However, the BHU administration has made it clear that "the appointment has been made as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) rules and the BHU Act in a transparent manner based on the eligibility of the candidate".
Hurt by the ongoing protests over his appointment, Professor Firoz Khan left the campus for his native place, Jaipur, on Tuesday evening. While confirming the development, the BHU authorities claimed Khan’s appointment remains 'effective' and 'intact'. "The newly-appointed professor will return as soon the protests stop. The situation on campus will return to normal soon," a senior member of BHU’s proctoral board told the New Indian Express.