The Hindu right-wing forces on Wednesday allegedly entered the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus with weapons through the iconic Bab-E-Syed entrance and attacked students over putting up of the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the walls of the AMU’s students’ union hall.
Activists of Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and some other Hindu outfits clashed with AMU students wherein several students, including students' union president, vice president, got severely injured.
The controversy around Jinnah’s poster rose after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Satish Gautam on Tuesday wrote a letter to Aligarh Muslim University’s Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor, seeking an explanation for a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah hung in the Students’ Union Office.
Talking to Newsclick, Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani, president of the AMU students' union, said: "It is seriously heart-wrenching to see that after eighty years, the members of the ruling dispensation and Indian media is bringing a proxy discourse to the fore which is totally a hogwash. It was in 1938 when Mohammad Ali Jinnah was conferred a lifetime membership of the historic Muslim University Students' Union. Since then his portrait has been hanging on the walls of the Union hall along with Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Mahatma Gandhi and many others. Mahatma Gandhi was the first lifetime member of the Students' Union, which the Indian media and BJP members will never impart to the nation."
He further stated that there is Jinnah House in Mumbai which comes under the Government of India and it's revenue also goes to the Indian Government.
"This is a highly paradoxical, hypocritical, and a selective notion of the elected representatives of the BJP of bringing such foul narratives with the help of media. History is an open-ended discourse, the 'good' and 'bad' version is merely an interpretation. Jinnah's portrait at AMU Students' Union Hall is a historical preservation and it will remain there anyway,” he said.
Former AMU students' union president, Faizul Hassan, said that in a recent TV news debate, an RSS pracharak said 'Veer' Savarkar was the one who begged for the mercy of the Britishers numerous times from jail. Adding to that, the news anchor said that Savarkar had been the president of the Hindu Mahasabha eight times. It was the same Hindu Mahasabha which boycotted the Non-Cooperation movement called by Gandhiji in 1942 and went on to form a government with Mr Jinnah's Muslim League in two provinces of the country, wherein Syama Prasad Mukherjee became Dy. Chief Minister in the province of Bengal.
Sharjeel Usmani, a student, said, "What happened on March 2 had nothing to do with Jinnah's picture in AMU. The right-wing goons came to attack former vice president Hamid Ansari. They almost reached near the guest house where he was staying, waved their weapons, fired bullets and raised slogans against AMU and Muslims. The students caught six of those goons and handed them over to the police. The police in return attacked us with brutal lathi-charge and tear gas."