As many 200 staffers which includes 35 professors at the prestigious Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi are going through a deep financial crisis as they have not been receiving their salary on time.
Even during the poll-time, no one is ready to listen to their complaints.
Despite the university being situated in Prime Minister Modi’s constituency, Varanasi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) penchant for Sanskrit, neither the BJP nor the RSS came to support the staffers of the grand old Sanskrit university.
Though the problem started years aso, according to a professor, it aggravated after 2014 because the “BJP government has reduced the budget for Sanskrit education.”
Established in 1791, during the rule of the East India Company, Jonathan Duncan, founded a Sanskrit college to demonstrate British support for Indian education.
In 1857 during the first war of independence, the college had begun postgraduate teaching and almost 100 years later it was converted to a state university in 1958. Since then it has been run by the state government.
Somnath Tripathi, a retired professor of the SSU told NH that the Yogi government did not pay heed to the university’s demand to raise the budget.
“They are Bhashanveer (motor mouth). They profess to make Sanskrit lingua franca but are not willing to pay our salary in time,” blasted the retired professor, adding “because of neglect and regressive education policies adopted by the BJP government, the glorious Sanskrit university is heading towards its death.”
“We struggle to make our ends meet every month. We have written several letters, seeking assistance from BJP governments but nothing has happened,” added another teacher on the condition of anonymity.
Sources claimed that the grand old university needs a budget of 24-25 crore per annum to disburse salary, but the Yogi government did not allocate more than 9 crore per annum.
Several request and petitions to raise the budget fell on deaf ears.
As per media reports, vice-chancellor of the university, Rajaram Shukla recently met UP governor, Ram Naik demanding budget for salary but as per sources, the governor did nothing except lip service.
Not only a reduction in the budget but also a decline in the admission and the lack of resources has added to the existential crisis of the university.
“People do not want their son/daughter to read Sanskrit anymore,” said a staffer of the Sanskrit varsity.
Various sources confirmed NH that there are 75 vacant posts in the university but due to a lack of funds, university administration stopped its hiring process.
Presently, as per university records, there are 1000 colleges attached to the university with 2500 students having taken admission in the main campus.
“Despite all odds, we accept at least hundreds of students and many more will take admission this year as well, but colleges outside Varanasi will struggle to keep their attendance register alive,” said a teacher of the university.