Education is the birth right of every citizen and every individual must be able to take up any job or position in a free democracy. India has seen such polarization and segregation in the last few years that a person is first judged based on his caste and religion instead of merit and academic qualifications. This has muddled the Indian academics to the point that students of a Central University run under UGC Guidelines are protesting over the appointment of a Muslim professor.
The students are staging a protest demanding that a Muslim man, Feroz Khan, cannot teach Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan though as per the University administration, he was the most qualified candidate for the position. The administration maintains that the appointment of professor Feroz Khan is in accordance with the norms and guidelines of UGC and there is no option of his removal.
The BHU administration rightly commented that “the idea behind the establishment of the university was to contribute in nation-building by providing equal opportunity of study and teaching to all deserving people without any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, gender and sect.”
Many have come out in support of Professor Feroz Khan who has been training vigorously in Sanskrit language and the Dharma Vigyan. Prominent personalities like Paresh Rawal have come out in the support of Feroz Khan’s appointment. Paresh Rawal said, “Stunned by the protest against professor Feroze Khan. What has language to do with religion? Irony is professor Feroze has done his masters and PhD in Sanskrit…By same logic great singer late Shri Mohammad Rafi ji should not have sung any Bhajans and Naushad Sahab should not have composed it”.
India has had a history of Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb where Hindus and Muslims have lived together in harmony. But these incidents have caused uproar and a ripple in the secular fabric of the country. Political parties that do politics in the name of religion are responsible for creating this communal sentiment in the minds of the students.
It is the duty of students to focus on studies as only through studies a country can become strong on a global level. Such communal and discriminatory incidents are the reason India is lagging behind in terms of economy and infrastructure. When student leaders who have spent their college days in communal issues enter national level politics, they become hate-spewing war mongers.
AMU students have come out in support of Assistant Professor Feroz Khan saying that we are deeply pained by Khan’s public statement. He feels insulted at BHU because of the opposition he’s facing for being a Muslim. We stand by him and his merit. We will not remain silent if anything untoward happens to him. His life, liberty and safety must be considered a matter of primary concern. He must get a chance to be able to teach in an amicable environment.
This is a shameful incident where the Government of India should intervene and instruct the University administration to resume the classes as the protest is only causing a delay in the studies and wasting time of the students.