Ramkrishna Mission Vidyamandir Belur shows the way when it comes to proving that religion should not be linked with education. Following the recent student protests against, Firoze Khan, a Muslim, who was appointed Professor in Sanskrit at the Banaras Hindu University, Vidyamandir has appointed Muslim teacher Ramzan Khan and tribal Ganesh Tudu as assistant professors of Sanskrit.
While students at BHU have been demonstrating in front of the residence of the Vice-Chancellor and refusing to be taught by a Muslim professor, the Ramakrishna Mission has again proved that if one went by the ideology of Swami Vivekananda, then universal religion as taught by Sri Ramakrishna is the ultimate path. The Ramakrishna Math and Mission is an organisation which is pluralistic in nature and inclusive in practice. True Swami Vivekananda has always talked about universal religion and this appointment is an example of that tolerance for sure.
Ramzan Ali, who joined on Tuesday, said he has never faced any sort of discrimination regarding his subject and his religion. “The Maharaj here (principal Swami Shastrajnanandaji Maharaj) and my colleagues arranged for my stay and food. Never for a moment have I felt unwanted or insecure. They have always been encouraging,” he told the Times of India. Before this, Ali taught at the Falakata Government College in Alipurduar since 2010. “There, too, I never felt isolated. …Whatever happened at BHU is unfortunate,” he said.
“We practise the idea of Sarva Dharma Samanvay,” said Divyanandaji Maharaj, the secretary of Ramakrishna Mission Saradapitha, Belur, which has administrative control over the college. “Swamiji has talked about universal religion, and we practise this in real life. This is nothing new here. Our philosophy head of the department is a Muslim, so is another in the same department. The students have wholeheartedly accepted their teachers.”
Meanwhile, according to the latest news reports, students have agreed to end their demonstration today after meeting BHU Vice-Chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar, who they say pledged corrective measures within 10 days. BHU’s Chancellor, Giridhar Malviya (the grandson of BHU founder Madan Mohan Malviya), and a number of senior politicians have defended the professor, Firoze Khan.