The appointment of a Muslim assistant professor in the literature department of the faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan (SVDV) of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has triggered protests.
Research scholars and students of the department started a sit-in at Holkar Bhawan near vice-chancellor's residence on the varsity campus from Thursday. They played musical instruments to attract attention towards their demand.
They are demanding the cancellation of the appointment of a 'non-Hindu'.
However, the BHU administration has made it clear that "the appointment has been made as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) rules and the BHU Act in a transparent manner based on the eligibility of the candidate".
The protestors, in a letter to the BHU vice-chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar, have claimed that the varsity's founder, late Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya had termed the SVDV faculty as the heart of the varsity.
"The stone plate of the faculty also contains that this institution is for cultural, religious, historical debates and discussion of Sanatan Hindus and their direct or indirect branches like Arya Samaj, Buddh, Jain, Sikh, etc.", the letter pointed out.
The protestors said that despite knowing all these facts, a 'non-Hindu' has been appointed, which seems to be a conspiracy. They allege that as the new appointment is against the soul and spirit of the institution, it should be cancelled immediately.
BHU spokesman Rajesh Singh said: "The appointment has been made following an interview in the 'Sahitya' (literature) department of the faculty of SVDV. The varsity has made the appointment as per the UGC rules and the BHU Act, in which discrimination on the basis of caste and creed has no place. The appointment has been made with full transparency and only on the basis of the eligibility of candidate."
However, he declined to comment on the protests.