The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) students have been protesting against the employment of a Muslim professor at the Dharma Vigyan department of the university. The students have faced severe vilification at the hands of the media since the media has constantly misrepresented the situation to insinuate that the students merely don’t want a Muslim professor teaching them Sanskrit as a linguistic effort, when in fact, the students don’t want the professor employed in the ‘Dharma Vigyan’ department and have no problem if he is employed as a Sanskrit teacher at the Arts department. When the media is lying and vilifying based on a lie, Rahul Kanwal of India Today cannot be too far behind.
— India Today (@IndiaToday) November 20, 2019
The debate was meant to be between a BHU student called Chakrapani Ojha and one Professor Mahesh Ahirwar. However, the debate became Rahul Kanwal’s rude, arrogant, shameless tirade against the student.
In an arrogant tone, Rahul Kanwal first tells the students that we want people from all over the world to learn Sanskrit, but BHU students, by blocking the appointment of a professor who is a Sanskrit gyaani from India, have defamed BHU not only in India but the entire World.
Rahul Kanwal then goes on to open his eyes wide with an excessively scary, and creepy expression and tells the student that according to his professor, the students are a ‘kalank’ (black mark). Then, he tells the student to be ashamed.
Then, after the student in an extremely respectful tone poses questions to the professor, Rahul in between starts in his annoying little voice again. He says, “Arre kaise sawal pooch rahe ho, anyway let the professor respond. Aap chhatra ho, abhi abhi janme ho, professor se pooch rahe ho ki uska pata hai kya, professor jawab denge ab” (What sort of questions are you asking? Anyway let the professor respond. You are a student who has just been born and you are asking the professor if he knows or not?)
After saying this in an extremely arrogant, rude tone, Rahul Kanwal starts gesticulating in derision for the student. Then, when the student tries to respond to Kanwal, he shuts him up and asks him not to “talk nonstop”.
After an extremely civil discussion between the student and the professor, where the student said ‘Ji boliye Guruji’ and the Professor spoke about the rules of BHU, the student tried to respond to the points raised by the professor. But Rahul Kanwal interrupted the BHU student and launched a tirade. He said he was hurting the image of BHU and when the student tried to respond, Rahul Kanwal rudely told the student to keep quiet and put him on mute while ranting himself.
The facts of the case have been twisted beyond measure. One needs to understand at the very onset of this discussion that the students of Dharma Vigyan don’t learn Sanskrit as a linguistic endeavour. The media and elements like Rahul Kanwal are essentially set on demonising the students without even giving them a chance to explain their position.
The first fact to understand is that BHU has a separate Arts department that teaches Sanskrit as a linguistic endeavour. Just as one would perhaps learn French or English or even Hindi. The Sanskrit being taught at the Dharma Vigyan department has deep religious significance.
It is not wrong for BHU students to want to learn their own faith from someone who is a practitioner of the faith. In fact, the BHU students have categorically stated that they have no problem with Dr Khan and that he should be shifted to the Arts faculty to teach Sanskrit as a linguistic endeavor.