Varanasi: Feroz Khan, whose appointment as professor in the Sanskrit Department of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has triggered protests, is actually a ‘Hindu by karam (act)’.

His father Ramzan Khan aka Munna Master is a ‘gau sevak’ who runs a cow shelter in Bagru, about 35km from Jaipur in Rajasthan.

The family follows the ‘Sanatan dharma’ way of life and is a firm believer in astrology.

According to sources, Ramzan Khan changed his name to Munna Master on the advice of local astrologers. He is a graduate in Sanskrit and his love for Hinduism made his son study Sanskrit too.

According to the father, Feroz could have chosen to study Urdu but he opted for Sanskrit because he loves the language. The father said that he got Feroz admitted to a private school and he later joined the Sanskrit school to pursue his study of the language.

“The first time I was made aware that we are Muslim was when protests began in BHU against my son’s appointment as professor there. We have lived our lives according to Hindu culture and love the Sanskrit language. We have studied Hindu scriptures. For my family, our love for Sanskrit is our love for the country,” he told reporters in Jaipur.

Incidentally, Feroz’s family is a devotee of Krishna and the father has written several ‘bhajans’ in praise of the deity. He has also penned songs on the cow. His book ‘Shri Shyam Surabhi Vandana’ is popular in the area and Munna Master is frequently invited to sing at religious functions.

Feroz’s sister is named Laxmi.

“If the students in BHU are informed about Feroz Khan’s background, they would not have protested, It is clear that the students are being misled,” said a family friend.