BHU Asst. Prof. Firoze Khan’s father to get Padma Shri award

Jaipur: Ramzan Khan, father of Firoze Khan who got embroiled in a controversy over his appointment as an assistant professor of Sanskrit at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) two months ago, has been nominated for Padma Shri award.

Sixty-one-year-old Ramzan Khan is a bhajan singer. His family has been living in fear, ever since his son Firoze had faced the ire of right-wing protesters soon after joining BHU’s Sanskrit department. The protestors were demanding Firoze’s removal from the Department for being a Muslim.

Later on December 9, Firoze resigned from the post and joined varsity’s arts department.

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Firoze’s father Munna Master Bhajan Gayak, popularly known as Ramzan hails from a traditional Muslim family of Bagru in Jaipur.

Carrying forward the family legacy, the sexagenarian has been singing Ram-Krishna bhajans in temples for a living.

Author of a book, ‘Shri Shyam Surabhi Vandana’, which contains bhajans praising Lord Krishna, Ram, Vishnu and Shiva, Ramzan is also known for his love of cows.

Times of India quoted Firoze Khan as saying, “I was taken aback (on announcement of Padma Shri award) for a few minutes and after confirming from different news sources several times over, I broke the news to my father (Ramzan Khan). He took some time to digest the news, before saying that singing bhajans was his source of income and he never thought this would help him achieve such an honour.”

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Firoze added: “We thank Allah for the izzat afzai (respect bestowed).”

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