Protests by students continued for the 16th day on the appointment of Dr Feroz Khan in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan faculty of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Although the administration is continuously pressurizing the students to withdraw their protest, the students remain firm on their demands.
The students submitted their demand letters to the administration yesterday and sought answers from the university administration for several questions. There was a meeting between the SVDV faculty head, other heads of department and the Vice-Chancellor late in the night but no conclusion was reached. Meanwhile, it is also being said that the administration tried to remove Sasikanth Mishra, Shubham and Krishna from the protest site, who are leading the resistance, to pressure SVDV students. Despite this, the students continue to protest.
The Questions posed to the Vice-Chancellor by SVDV students
- Which shortlisting procedure of UGC has the university adopted in this recruitment process?
- Has the appointment procedure been completed according to the University constitution?
- Has this appointment been made keeping in mind 1904, 1096, 1915, 1955, 1966 and 1969 Act of the BHU Act?
- In the literature department of SVDV, has the shortlisting been done as per all other departments of the faculty?
- Has the shortlisting been done keeping in mind the rules of Sanatan Dharma of the faculty?
The BHU administration has promised to give written answers to these questions asked by the agitating students within ten days. But since this morning, a lot of fake news including the dismantling of the dharna was run in the media, about which the students allege that such reports are being run deliberately to lower their morale with the connivance of the administration and the media.
It was for the first time that a Muslim assistant professor, Dr Feroz Khan, was appointed in the literature department of the SVDV of Banaras Hindu University, on the 5th of November. As soon as the students of the faculty came to know about it, protests started in the university against this appointment and since then there have been continuous protests.
It is noteworthy that when the students were protesting about the appointment of Professor Feroz Khan, all the media groups across the country ran this news as if the appointment of a Muslim teacher was being opposed in the entire BHU but it is not the case. On the lines of Aligarh, there may be some similarities in the name of BHU, but there has never been any opposition solely due to one’s Muslim identity.
In reality, the current protests are against the appointment of a non-Hindu to the ‘Faculty of Theology’. There are two departments for Sanskrit in BHU, one under Arts Faculty and the other under SVDV Faculty. The first is the study of Sanskrit and the other is the theology of religion. There are different ways of studying in these two. Sanskrit is taught as a language in the Sanskrit department. At the same time, in the SVDV, students are taught about the customs, mantras, shlokas, rituals of worship and rituals of Sanatan Dharma.
Students of Dharma Vigya department of BHU who are holding protests say that how can a Muslim person teach the Hindu Dharma and rituals of worship. This is what is being opposed by the students. The students said that they had no objection to Sanskrit being taught as a language by a teacher of any caste or religion. The students said that if the appointment was made as a Sanskrit teacher in any other faculty of the university, it would not be opposed. But now after the students’ protest, it has been made clear from the university that Firoz Khan will teach Sanskrit and not rituals.
OpIndia has been reporting the accurate version of the students demands from the very beginning. A deliberate attempt has been made by the media to demonize the students for their fair concerns. However, we have striven hard to portray the accurate version of events.