Somebody needs to teach AMU a lesson. Who will do it?

Time has come to rein in the Aligarh Muslim University

Somebody needs to teach AMU a lesson
Somebody needs to teach AMU a lesson

Have AMU students endorsed Jinnah’s two-nation ideology based on religion?

Time has come to rein in the Aligarh Muslim University, and political correctness is damned in making this demand. If the university’s union continues to take pride in the display of MA Jinnah’s portrait in the campus and the administration is unable to take decisive action, the Centre has to step in. Imagine the cheek: Here is a Central university created by an Act of Indian Parliament, and it showcases the portrait of a man responsible for not just the division of the nation but also for the promotion of disunity among Hindus and Muslims.

The plan is obvious enough: Create a Hindu versus Muslim narrative by pitting Jinnah as the Muslim face to counter the likes of Savarkar and obfuscate the shocking presence of the image of the father of India’s partition in an Indian university’s campus.

One would expect Indian Muslims and non-Muslims to demand in one voice the removal of the portrait of the man who opposes everything that India stands for. Unfortunately, that has not happened. Should it surprise anybody that most of these reluctant characters are the very ones who had backed the Jawaharlal Nehru University gang which called for the dismemberment of India. They had spoken in favour of the hate-preacher Zakir Naik. They had shed tears over the sentencing of terrorists Yakub Memon and Afzal Guru. They are ones who were coy about calling Budhani Wani a militant. They are in the forefront in condemning the Indian security forces in Jammu & Kashmir who risk their lives while combating militants.

But of course, faced with trenchant criticism, some of these apologists have conceded the folly of having Jinnah’s portrait at the AMU. But to ‘balance it out’, they also demanded the removal of VD Savarkar’s portrait from the Central Hall of Parliament. What’s the connection? Savarkar was a patriot and a nationalist, regardless of differences one may have over his Hindutva ideology. The plan is obvious enough: Create a Hindu versus Muslim narrative by pitting Jinnah as the Muslim face to counter the likes of Savarkar and obfuscate the shocking presence of the image of the father of India’s partition in an Indian university’s campus.

These people have been so consumed by their hatred for the Right that they conveniently twist history. On Indian television on Tuesday evening, they said that Jinnah alone could not be held responsible for partition — the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha are equally culpable. The RSS has ever since its existence spoken about Akhand Bharat or a united India. In fact, it was taken by surprise by the partition plan. Author Pralay Kanungo in his book, RSS’s Tryst with Politics: From Hedgewar to Sudarshan — this book incidentally is critical of the RSS — writes, “The RSS leadership failed to anticipate…that the country would be partitioned”, and that later RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras had “admitted that the then leadership was unable to foresee these events”. How can then the proponents of Akhand Bharat be held responsible for partition?

The AMU student’s body had objected to the visit of the country’s President Ram Nath Kovind to the university on the ground that it opposed his ‘soch’ (ideology)

The Hindu Mahasabha too never stood for India’s partition. The Jinnah apologists’ pet target, Savarkar, had written in Hindu Rashtra Darshan about the looming danger of partition, saying that the clause about self-determination for provinces “constituted a veritable dagger aimed at the heart of the integrity of Hindustan as an indivisible nation…” Indeed, the Mahasabha even observed an Anti-Pakistan Day on May 10, 1942, well before the creation of Pakistan. Further, the Mahasabha had demanded an assurance from the Congress that the indivisibility of India, “from the Indus to the seas as an organic nation”, would be maintained. There may be many points on which the Mahasabha and its tallest leader Savarkar can be criticised or even condemned, but peddling brazenly wrong material as fact is a sign of the desperation of the lobby that wishes to justify Jinnah’s portrait in an Indian university.

A senior member of the AMU students’ union defended Jinnah’s presence by taking us to 1938 and informing us that Jinnah had been made a life-member of AMU’s union and had also been a co-founder. But 1947 happened after 1938, and the killing of millions of people, both Hindu and Muslim, took place as a result of the partition that Jinnah had insisted upon. And before 1947 came 1946 when Jinnah’s Direct Action Day had resulted in thousands of Indian losing their lives in targeted communal violence across Bengal. For the AMU students’ union, the tragedy of the deaths of innocent men, women and children — and the rape and pillaging that accompanied the barbarity — is of secondary importance to the fact that Jinnah was a life member of the union and founder-member!

The AMU student’s body had objected to the visit of the country’s President Ram Nath Kovind to the university on the ground that it opposed his ‘soch’ (ideology). It has also objected to the opening of an RSS unit in the campus on a similar pretext. Should we then assume now that, by having no qualms about retaining Jinnah’s portrait in the campus, the students have endorsed Jinnah’s two-nation ideology based on religion?

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Rajesh Singh is a Delhi-based senior political commentator and public affairs analyst
Rajesh Singh
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  1. The problem is Hindu mindset. Basically they have Ostrich nature till some one in their home is bullied. With Modi coming into picture, many Hindus have become snails hiding their hinduness not knowing, that their shells can be crushed. The article mentions that 300 Hindus were killed with no retaliation from Hindus . Why? Is god going to descend and help them ?
    Leave TN, why KC Rao hugging Owaisi, whose seniors butched Hindus during Razakar movement in Hyderabad and why Telangana RSS hate AP RSS and supported division of AP. It was this Jinnah, who in Hyderabad, made extremely filthy speech against Hindus, equating them to chicken.

    Gandhis name is erased in Pakistan, and the movie was also banned. When Musharraf visited Rajghat during 2014 ,he showed ignorance on Gandhi. Well DD should telecast speeches of Jinnah serialised in PTV, where Nehru and other freedom fighters as jokers. Pgurus , please send this article to your Iyengar friends K Hasan and Ram.

  2. When they are pointing out that Jinha was the member of the body that instituted AMU, the question is do we require such remnants in our country? When the person is responsible for the partition and a million deaths and more over, now, he is the father of our enemy country, when we changed the name of a road, Aurangzeb to Abdhulkalam, can’t we dissolve such University which is being used to divide the country further more? Is it a sovereign country or slave country? Why incumbents are fearing to do that? When the people, communalising the word the Hindu, which has an identity of geographical, secular, and cultural in nature, have been reining for the last 70 years to keep only their royality, leaving the development to its fate, why can’t we use such term to unite and reign to make our country a world leader in all aspects and show that though we are diverse in culture we can unite for our well-being as the true meaning of the term Hindu represents for. Modi was not voted on the communal basis in 2014. The term Hindu was communalised to divide and rule. We have to use the Hindu term unite and rule which can only keep us a nation with over 130 crores population.

  3. Biggest lie in your article is that Savarkar was a patriot. He was a traitor who warmed up to Britishers to save his life. You also know that but will not speak up. Yes Jinnah’s portrait should not have place to be hanged anywhere in the country.

  4. Yogi Govt should come out with an Ordinance immediately, making it an offence to publicly display any photo or portrait of Jinnah
    delaying this matter would make it only a poll issue
    but acting decisively would make it a matter of national pride, as Jinnah was the person who gave the call of Direct Action Day [for creation of Pakistan] against Hindus and we know what happened thereafter

  5. Why did it take 70 yrs for people to realise that Jinnah’s pic was still hanging in AMU ??
    Agreed that but for Jinnah portion of India would not have taken place
    Likewise why should there be roads named after Moghul rulers who were raiders and ruled over India as oppressors of non-zMuslim people ??
    We have enough Muslim nationalist leaders who need to be more eulogised than they have been so far


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