Home India Corner Controversy over Jinnah’s Portrait Grows in AMU as Other Universities Join In

Controversy over Jinnah’s Portrait Grows in AMU as Other Universities Join In



New Delhi: A portrait of Pakistan’s founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah, has sparked controversy in one of India’s most prominent universities— AMU (Aligarh Muslim University).

Controversies regarding Pakistan’s idol seem to only be getting more intense. Be it the ugly verbal spat between the BJP and Congress party members over the portrait or the Samajwadi party comparing Jinnah to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

It all started after Satish Gautam, BJP MP on Tuesday wrote a letter to AMU’s Vice-Chairman Tariq Mansoor, asking him to explain why a portrait of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah was hanging inside the campus.

“I have heard a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah is hanging inside the campus. Kindly gather more details on this and give reasons behind it,” Gautam wrote.

“It’s a part of AMU’s history. And, whether good or bad, history cannot be erased,” a senior AMU official had replied.

Soon after the letter was sent, members of right-wing organization Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), on Wednesday, barged into the varsity, shouting slogans against the hanging of Jinnah’s portrait and briefly clashed with AMU students, according to ANI.

In retort of the event, groups of agitated students on Saturday continued their protest at AMU’s main gate – Baab-e-Sayyad seeking a judicial inquiry against members of right-wing groups along with BJP MP Satish Gautam.

Students from other universities like Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Allahabad University have now also joined the protest

They have also received support from the teaching and non-teaching staff at AMU and they have collectively demanded the suspension of the Station House Officer of Aligarh’s Civil Lines Police Station, and a magisterial inquiry into Satish Gautam’s actions.

The Congress has accused BJP of doing “dirty politics of sensationalism, divisiveness, polarisation”, and said this needs to be condemned.

“The BJP is provoking sentiments and communalizing the atmosphere by raking up an “artificial” issue of Jinnah’s picture at Aligarh Muslim University, which has led to violence in the Uttar Pradesh town”, said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.

The Aligarh district authorities, on Friday suspended internet services in the communally sensitive place to prevent rumor mongering.