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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Impossible to believe Aligarh BJP MP unaware of Jinnah portrait: AMU union

AMU students’ union secretary Mohammad Fahad said an RTI reply confirming the existence of the Pakistan founder’s portrait was sent last year to all members of the AMU court, which includes Aligarh MP Satish Gautam.

india Updated: May 09, 2018 18:02 IST

Press Trust of India, Aligarh
Aligarh Muslim University students stage a protest over the Jinnah portrait issue in Aligarh on Sunday.
Aligarh Muslim University students stage a protest over the Jinnah portrait issue in Aligarh on Sunday.(PTI)
         

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students’ union has said it was “impossible to believe” that the BJP MP who triggered a row over a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the campus was unaware of it till recently.

Students’ union secretary Mohammad Fahad said a Right to Information (RTI) reply confirming the existence of the Pakistan founder’s portrait was sent last year to all members of the AMU court, which includes Aligarh MP Satish Gautam.

RTI activist Alok Kumar had filed a query last August asking the AMU to confirm whether such a photograph existed. An AMU spokesman confirmed that the query had been received by the university and was then forwarded to the students’ union.

The answer to this RTI query was distributed to all members of the AMU court, the union said on Tuesday.

The news reports on the RTI query had then stirred a controversy and the MP should have raised the issue then at the university court, the institution’s highest governing body, instead of waiting for nearly eight months, Fahad said.

The MP had earlier told reporters that he had come to know about the portrait hanging at the office of the AMU students’ union only recently, and had immediately written to the AMU vice-chancellor about it.

The university said portraits of all students’ union life members hang on the walls of its office.

Meanwhile, jurist Faizan Mustafa said that contrary to the notion spread by some forces, Muslim youth today nurse “a very strong grievance” against Jinnah for “dividing the Indian Muslims into three countries”.

“Muslim youth and the present generation of Muslims have a strong feeling that the communalism which they are facing today is largely because of Jinnah’s divisive politics,” Mustafa, a former professor and registrar at AMU, told PTI on Wednesday.

“It would be historically incorrect to put the blame of Partition entirely on Jinnah. However, what is very clear is that if there is any Muslim from Indian subcontinent who has damaged the cause of Indian Muslims, it is Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” he said.

“The right-wing ideologies of both Hindus and Muslims end up with the same result. It is an ideology which is divisive, regressive and dated,” he said.

“If the concept of India has to be preserved and protected today, this ideology of religious extremism has to be opposed by all of us,” he said.

First Published: May 09, 2018 18:02 IST