(Eds: adding detail) Kolkata, Nov 22 (PTI) At a time when students of theBanaras Hindu University are up in arms over appointment of amuslim sanskrit teacher, a man from the minority communityselected as an Assistant Professor of sanskrit by a city-basedcollege on Friday said he was overwhelmed by warm welcome fromstudents as well faculty members.
Ramzan Ali has been chosen to teach sanskrit atRamakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Belur, on the outskirts ofthe Bengal's capital.
He joined his new assignment on Tuesday last. He earliertaught at a college in north Bengal for nine years.
Ali said he was overwhelmed by the kind reception hereceived from the students and faculty members.
'I was welcomed by principal Swami ShastrajnandajiMaharaj, and everyone... Maharaj told me that my religiousidentity was not important, what mattered was my grasp overthe language, my indepth knowledge and my ability to share itwith the students,' Ali told PTI.
The Belur based institution is a fully residentialdegree college for boys affiliated to the University ofCalcutta. It was founded in 1941 by the Ramakrishna Mission.
It got the 11th NIRF (National Institutional RankingFramework) in the college category in 2018-19 academic sessionfrom Union HRD ministry.
Asked about the agitation in Uttar Pradesh based BHU, Alisaid he would not like to make any comment about anothereducational institution, but 'I believe sanskrit embodiesIndia's inclusiveness, its rich culture. Don't forget sanskritis the mother of all languages. How can anyone bar people fromother religions from learning and teaching sanskrit?' A section of students at BHU has been demonstratingagainst the appointment of Feroz Khan as the assistantprofessor of the varsity's sanskrit department.
Although the BHU authorities backed him, Khan has notbeen able to take classes.
The university tweeted on Thursday that the faculty ofsanskrit vidya dharma vigyan has reopened after days ofprotests.
Unlike the BHU professor, Ali, who is in his early 40s,said he never faced any discrimination as a sanskrit teacher.
'I never felt that I was out of place or unwantedwhile studying or teaching sanskrit. Here, at the Belurcollege, the management has arranged for my accommodation andensured that I do not face any inconvenience,' the assistantprofessor maintained.
A student of the Sanskrit department at RamakrishnaMission Vidyamandira said he was looking forward to attendingAli's classes.
It is 'unfair' to question the religious identity of ateacher, he said.
'Ali sir has just joined, so far I haven't had theopportunity to attend any of his classes. I am looking forwardto it,' the student added.
The principal of the college could not be contactedfor his comment.
Ali said since the time of joining the college onNovember 19, he is liked by students and has even joined their'adda' after class hours.
'I have already taken classes of first and secondyears and the students have showered me with love. Some ofthem have even commented why I did not join before theTeachers' Day on September 5 so that they could have shown metheir love and respect. And I tell them his greatest rewardwill be if they follow teachers' words.' He said after class hours, 'they have invited me totheir adda in the play ground in campus and I am participatingas a friend and a guide. I have also joined them in sportsactivities after classes and played football and cricket withthem.' PTI SUS RMSSNS SNS