‘I’m Not Alone’: Muslim BHU Sanskrit Prof Reacts to Public Support
“People are supporting me. They are understanding my predicament. I am happy that I am not alone,” says Firoze Khan.
Days after Professor Firoze Khan appealed to BHU students, via The Quint, to get to know him before protesting against him teaching Sanskrit in the university, there has been a wave of support for Khan on social media.
Continuing to speak from a location he wishes to keep undisclosed, Khan tells The Quint that he has been reading these comments of support on social media and the make him feel “not alone”.
“People are supporting me. They are understanding my predicament. I am happy that I am not alone,” Khan says, sounding relaxed.
The protesting students are using a 'rule’ written on a plaque at the entrance of the Banaras Hindu University’s Sanskrit department. It says that the halls in the department would be used for purposes related to the Hindu religion and the Sanskrit language only.
The students have interpreted this to mean that a Muslim cannot teach Sanskrit, despite repeated clarification by the BHU administration stating that not only is that an incorrect interpretation, but also that the professor’s appointment is very much in line with the university’s guidelines.
YouTube Comments Overwhelmingly in Support of Khan
One Abhishek Didolkar says, “Why still discrimination on religion. He’s also our brother [sic],” while one Akshay Kumar Bagh writes that it is “shameful to protest such a thing” and adds that “knowledge should be respected regardless of religion.”
Ankit Singh, who claims to be a BHU student, says he is saddened by such behaviour.
“It gives the wrong impression to people about this university. I would say 90-95% BHU is really inclusive,” writes Singh.
Atul Arya, in Hindi, writes that there is a need for people like Khan in this world “who don’t respond to hate with hate, but with love.”
Similarly, an individual with username ‘Mansooralikhan Hospet’ salutes the people who are standing by the professor.
Debate Rages On Twitter
On Twitter, there have been mixed reactions. While some came out in fierce support of Khan, others were critical.
Through multiple sources, The Quint has learnt that the administration is assuaging the feelings of the protesting students so Firoze Khan can begin his classes soon.
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