Welcome to Bengal, where there is not one or two, but thirty Muslim Professors who teach Sanskrit

Must read

Kolkata: At a time when faculty members both present and past have even written to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, requesting him to intervene and stall the appointment of Dr Feroze Khan in Banaras Hindu University (BHU)’s Sanskrit Dharam Vidya Vigyaan department, West Bengal seems to embracing its Sanskrit professors hailing from the ‘other’ community, comfortably.

Going by a loose headcount there are at least 30 Muslim professors in West Bengal, teaching Sanskrit. Around 14 were recruited last year through College Service Commission and 12 this year. The most recent recruitment being of Ramzal Ali at the Sanskrit department of Ramkrishna Mission Vidyamandir, Belur. Speaking to eNewsroom, regarding his recruitment, he said, “I am in a state of shock with so many calls being made to me, seeking my comment. A Muslim learning Sanskrit is nothing new. There is a history to it. In every Sanskrit department across the state, you will find at least one Muslim student. Muslim Sanskrit teachers in Bengal, is also not rare.”

Perhaps Ali has a point. For, Dr Shaikh Sabir Ali, a gold medalist in Sanskrit from the University of Calcutta has been teaching the language for almost a decade now. Dr Ali, at present, teaches Sanskrit at the West Bengal State University, Barasat. According to him, Sanskrit, as a language is beyond Vedas and Upanishads.

Speaking from experience Ali said, “Every batch has at least one Muslim student in the Department of Sanskrit. In Kolkata, I presume, Rabindra Bharati University has a huge number of Sanskrit students.”  Dr Ali is also a topper from Ramkrisha Mission Vidyamandir.

He said, “There is more to this language, apart from the Vedas, Purans and Upanishads. This language has a rich literature and grammar too. It was these two that attracted me as a child. Luckily, my teachers encouraged me to take up this language for my higher studies. You, see one can’t make people take up a language simply based on one’s religion. History is a witness to many Muslims mastering this language.”

Speaking from experience Ali said, “Every batch has at least one Muslim student in the Department of Sanskrit. In Kolkata, I presume, Rabindra Bharati University has a huge number of Sanskrit students.”  Dr Ali is also a topper from Ramkrisha Mission Vidyamandir.

Rakibul Sk, assistant professor at SBS government college said, “I have never been discriminated on the basis of my religion, neither while I was mastering Sanskrit, nor while teaching it. I would like to add that while I hail from a small place like Jangipur, my place of birth has taught me that there is no religious attachment to any language. Hence, when I took up Sanskrit for my higher education, the Hindu neighbours of mine never raised an eyebrow. On the contrary, they were quite happy. The teachers who guided me to reach this position are all Hindus. It’s sad that today, we are discussing all this from a religious perspective.”

Adding to the experiences of Muslim Sanskrit teachers in Bengal, Rakibul Sk, assistant professor at SBS government college said, “I have never been discriminated on the basis of my religion, neither while I was mastering Sanskrit, nor while teaching it. I would like to add that while I hail from a small place like Jangipur, my place of birth has taught me that there is no religious attachment to any language. Hence, when I took up Sanskrit for my higher education, the Hindu neighbours of mine never raised an eyebrow. On the contrary, they were quite happy. The teachers who guided me to reach this position are all Hindus. It’s sad that today, we are discussing all this from a religious perspective.”

However, on being asked about the faculty members writing to the President of India, Ali, said, “I don’t want to open up a new controversy. But let me be very clear, there is a particular department of Sanskrit, which is accessible only to the Brahmin. Even Hindus from other sect are not allowed to enter that domain, so the question of a Muslim being appointed in that domain can be quite challenging. As per my knowledge, Dr Feroze Khan has been appointed in the Sanskrit Dharam Vidya Vigyaan department, which is the domain that I just talked about. I don’t want to get into a further debate, but I guess, his recruitment in the literature department wouldn’t have caused this huge controversy.”

Given the new twist in the story, it would be interesting to see President Kovind’s call on the letter written by the faculty members of BHU, seeking his intervention to stall Khan‘s recruitment, especially when earlier this year, he had awarded Padma Sri for Literature and Education to Sanskrit Scholar Mohammad Hanif Khan Shastri.

FOLLOW US

204,858FansLike
23,848FollowersFollow
10,384FollowersFollow
15,844SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

Editor's choice

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Indo-China Conflict: A Renegade’s Reading

More romantic than Mao but much less strong-willed, Nehru was a democratic socialist. He was inspired by egalitarian ideas of Marx- Lenin since his...

Jagdeep aka Soorma Bhopali: An actor who stood out among giants passes away

The garrulous, greedy, timber merchant was present on screen for barely five minutes, yet the character gave an immortality that is destined to only...

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren goes into home quarantine, as a minister and MLA test Covid-19 positive

Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has gone into home quarantine as a minister of his cabinet and another MLA tested Corona positive on...

Youths’ assault in Shillong locality takes tribal-nontribal colour, columnist faces FIR

Shillong: A person’s misjudgement can turn a flicker into an engulfing flame. This is exactly what has happened in the recent case of assault...

Indo-China conflict: A Renegade’s Reading

The world’s longest territorial dispute on the Himalayas could have been nipped in the bud if Mao Zedong and Jawaharlal Nehru, the helmsmen of...