Jinnah’s portrait in Aligarh Muslim University sparks row, BJP MP demands clarification from VC

BJP MP Satish Gautam has written to the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University asking to take down the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah which was reported to be hanging in the Student Union Hall. According to reports, the MP has asked VC Tariq Mansoor to explain what was the compulsion for putting up the portrait in the University walls.

Demanding the portrait be taken down, the MP has also reportedly added that it is fine if Jinnah was revered in Pakistan after the partition but his portrait should not be put up here in India. He reportedly further added that the University should rather celebrate the contributions of Raja Mahendra Pratap and Sir Sayyed Ahmed who had both played a crucial role in the establishment of the University.

Speaking to Times Now, MP Gautam stated that Jinnah’s portrait should find no place in India.

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BJP MP Maheish Girri also took to Twitter to assert that Jinnah’s photograph in AMU is an example of the same mentality that gave birth to Pakistan.

According to reports, the AMU Students Union has claimed that Jinnah was conferred with honorary membership of the University before partition and many portraits of pre-partition leaders have been hanging on the University walls since 1920. Former AMU Student Union President Faizul Hassan has reportedly stated that Jinnah was granted a life membership of the Students’ Union in 1938 and the University has many other things from the pre-partition era like the Victoria Gate. He further asked whether the gate should be brought down as well.

The University Administration, however, has maintained that the Students’ Union is an autonomous body. The Public Relations Officer has reportedly stated that many people of eminence were conferred with the life membership including Mahatma Gandhi, VV Giri and CV Raman. He further added that the portrait is a part of History and it does not mean that the University is a part of their politics.

The hanging of Jinnah’s portrait has now sparked a row on the social media with many users condemning it.

As per latest reports, the Ministry of HRD has clarified that the decision on the matter, for now, will be taken by the VC and the ministry will decide on the issue only if it is escalated to their level by the written complaint. It is notable here that the Students’ Union of AMU has been in controversy recently for objecting to the University Administration’s invite to President Ramnath Kovind for the convocation ceremony. The University again hogged the limelight when one of its students was found to have joined the terror organisation Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

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