Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is again in media limelight for all wrong reasons. This time around, controversy erupted as BJP MP of Aligarh Satish Gautam has questioned the presence of Muhammad Ali Jinnah‘s portrait on the walls of the AMU Student Union Office. The letter to Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor has become a political move as BJP and Congress have engaged in a war of words and yet against the issue of anti-nationals has come up in the forefront.
Incidentally, the picture of Muhammad Ali Jinnah has been hanging on the walls of the AMU Students Office for decades and there has never been an objection to that. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan was a founder member of the AMU Court and he was also granted life membership of the student union.
Thus the history of AMU is intertwined with Jinnah, which is purely historical and has no motive behind it. Of late, BJP has been trying to make an entry into AMU. In this regard, only a few days back, a student sought permission to hold an RSS shakha within the university premises.
Amidst all controversy, AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai remarked,”Traditionally, photographs of all life members are placed on the walls of the student union. Jinnah was also accorded life membership of the AMUSU in 1938. He was the founder member of the University Court in 1920 and also a donor. He was granted membership before the demand of Pakistan had been raised by the Muslim League.”
There is no denying the fact that Muhammad Ali Jinnah‘s contribution in Indian politics can never be ignored. Before joining Muslim League, he was a pivotal man in the Congress Party and was also a prominent minority face in the freedom struggle against the British. Thus creating unwanted controversy just because Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan, is a particular case of opportunistic politics.
The Congress has thus urged BJP to clear its stand on Muhammad Ali Jinnah and thus Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said,”BJP leaders like LK Advani and Jaswant Singh have lauded Jinnah as a patriot.
When questions are raised on its leaders, on Jinnah, the BJP keeps quiet. It should clarify its stand on Jinnah before the country.” No doubt, all the events with AMU are politically motivated and there is an attempt to create sharp polarization before the elections.