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Muslim boy tops Sanskrit Board exam in Uttar Pradesh, breaks stereotypes

May 6, 2023

Nishant Saxena

Seventeen-year-old Irfan has achieved a significant feat by securing the top position in the Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Sanskrit Shiksha Parishad Board’s Uttar Madhyama-II (Class 12) exams. 

He scored an impressive 82.71 percent in the exams, which were held from February 23 to March 20. Irfan hails from Jindaspur village in the Sakaldiha tehsil of Chandauli district, and he is the only Muslim boy to have made it to the list of top 20 scorers in Class 10 and Class 12.

Irfan’s father, Salauddin, a farm laborer who holds a BA degree, was happy when Irfan chose to study Sanskrit. Salauddin encouraged his son to pursue the subject, despite the fact that it is not typically studied by Muslims. In one of the many media interviews he has been giving, Salauddin said that he did not subscribe to the notion that only Hindus should study Sanskrit and that only Muslims should study Urdu. 

In fact, Salauddin wonders that if Irfan was studying Sanskrit in primary and junior classes, why could he not continue to study it further.

Irfan started studying Sanskrit in junior classes when it was a compulsory subject. He developed a liking for the subject and expressed a desire to pursue it further. His father supported him in his decision and did not hesitate to encourage him to continue his studies in Sanskrit. 

According to Salauddin, Irfan plans to pursue Shastri (equivalent to B Ed) and Acharya (equivalent to MA) and then become a Sanskrit teacher.

Further, what adds embellishment to this feat is the fact that despite being the only Muslim boy in the list of top 20 scorers, Irfan did not face any discrimination or harassment from his peers or teachers. He received support from his teachers and classmates, who were impressed by his hard work and dedication. Irfan’s success is an inspiration to many young students who may be facing similar challenges in their academic pursuits.

It is heartening to see that Irfan’s success is not just limited to his own personal achievements but is also a source of pride for his family and his community. Irfan’s father is proud of his son’s accomplishments and is committed to supporting him in his future endeavors.

In a world where religious and ethnic identities often create barriers, Irfan’s story serves as a reminder that hard work and dedication can overcome any obstacle. His achievements demonstrate that academic excellence is not limited to a particular community or religion but is accessible to all those who are willing to put in the effort.

Also Read: Uttar Pradesh to have all-women staff in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas

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