A portrait of Jinnah in India caused massive unrest
Aligarh Muslim University in India just became embroiled in a bitter dispute, and bloodshed, over a portrait of Pakistani founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Years after the partition, it seems as if the founding father of Pakistan is still the cause for unrest in modern day India, and more specifically, at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
Students of Aligarh Muslim University protest against RSS affiliates ABVP Students Org which attacked AMU to remove Jinnah's Portrait from the Student Union Hall. They are chanting "Azaadi" to protest oppression but this isnt a ISI backed agenda. This is how people protest #PTM pic.twitter.com/PceobYZ4LU
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) May 4, 2018
An armed Hindutva mob under police protection entered Aligarh Muslim University today and attacked students after the management & student union refused to remove a century-old portrait of Jinnah. pic.twitter.com/18XzjbrWPd
— Omar (@timesn0w) May 2, 2018
A portrait of Jinnah hung in India has caused massive bloodshed from the rightwing
The prominent and historical university in India was stormed by an armed group of Hindutva nationalists that demanded a portrait of Jinnah, one that had been hanging in the university for almost 80 years, be taken down.
The Hindutva or ‘Hinduness’ is a term in India that refers to those who are predominant in their sense of Hindu nationalism. Therefore the group that stormed the campus was a number of Hindutva members, whose aim, it seems was to rid the University of the Portrait, and in a deeper sense, of any traces of Pakistan, as they were marching in protest of the portrait that was hanging.
The issue itself began when the University was an MP in Aligarh wrote to the vice-chancellor, Tariq Mansoor asking why the portrait of Jinnah was present in India in the first place
It started off a dialogue within the Indian press as well as in the Indian government, about the historical significance of Jinnah, a conversation that seemed quite out of place.
In the University, according to Hindustan Times, an AMU student leader said the portrait was not to be removed and was included in the Student’s Union protocol in which all major leaders of India who had ever visited the campus were to be recognized.
A spokesperson of the University spoke with the Indian publication, saying similar violence were caused by Hindu nationalist parties when former Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari was being honored, leading to the program being cancelled.
Regarding the bloodshed over Jinnah’s portrait, the spokesperson of the University said, “in the afternoon, right wing activists reached the university gate, raised objectionable slogans, burnt effigies and manhandled half-a-dozen security guards. They came face-to-face with AMU students. About a dozen AMU students, including the student union president, were injured in police action following their march towards the police station”.
When the members of the violent protesting parties were taken out of the campus, they were taken to the police but then quickly released without an FIR against them
Upon hearing this, members of the Student Union marched their way towards the police station to demand an answer in regards to the lack of the FIR.
Suspecting some police involvement with the extremist group, the students began questioning why the Hindutva were not stopped before reaching the campus gates in the first place.
At this point, the police charged on them and in turn caused 41 injured in the clash, 28 of which were students and 13 policemen, according to ANI News.
The event has since sparked a debate on media outlets everywhere as to whether or not the portrait of Jinnah in India should be removed
Many Indians believe that the portrait itself does need to be removed since it is currently causing direct physical harm to students
Apart from this, many believe that as a university in India, having a portrait of Jinnah may not be respectful or in some regard, unnecessary.
Jinnah was neither a student nor a teacher of Alig Its a shame that his portrait is there The administration n students should voluntarily remove it from there n those who were protesting against this portrait should now protest against the temples made to honour Godse.
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) May 3, 2018
There is need for soul searching for the AMU's alumni & present leadership of the University to find out vestige of Jinnah & his philosophy which is giving bad name to the institution. cleansing from within is the best solution.
— Prof Rakesh Sinha (@RakeshSinha01) May 3, 2018
A portrait of Jinnah in AMU doesn't surprise me because the Idea of Pakistan was originated from AMU & it denied food for Hindu students till 2017 during ramzan when I opposed it.
— Prashant P. Umrao (@ippatel) May 1, 2018
This is what happened in AMU today.
Please remove the photo of Jinnah which has been hanging in the Students union hall since 1939. If that is the reason for this attack
We need safety of students. pic.twitter.com/mWSaGVT7uJ
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) May 2, 2018
A portrait of Jinnah in AMU offends me more than anybody else particularly as an Indian Muslim – AMU's 1st pass out was a Hindu; donations to AMU came from Hindus- AMU represents everything that Jinnah never accepted- that Hindus & Muslims can co exist in India #NoToJinnah
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) May 1, 2018
However, on the other hand, people are arguing over the fact that Jinnah received honorary recognition from the University, YEARS before the idea of Pakistan even materialized so taking that away over recent fascist Hindu groups would be a shame
People are also bringing up the fact that Jinnah, a Muslim, represented Bhagat Singh, a respected Hindu freedom fighter, in court when no one else would.
Several people are questioning:"Jinnah ki photo kyun hai vahan pr?"
leave social media for a minute.
Go, educate yourself a bit.
Come back and still if wanna argue, do it like an educated being rather acting like a fool. pic.twitter.com/7iyPRkc8aZ
— Affan Ahmad Aligarian (@affan_alig) May 3, 2018
Sanghi attacked AMU students. They want removal of Jinnah's portrait from university bcz he was behind partition
Wasn't Savarkar equally responsible for partition?
When Savarkar was licking Britishers' boots then Jinnah was defending Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Bombay High Court
— Md Asif Khan (@imMAK02) May 2, 2018
Do not PHOTOSHOP – that is, FALSIFY – INDIA'S HISTORY.
— Sudheendra Kulkarni (@SudheenKulkarni) May 2, 2018
Gandhi statue at the Pakistan Monument
Picture of Nehru's Pakistan visit in Saidpur village
Gandhi's name in the cornerstone of Karachi Chamber of Commerce
Kamla Nehru Road in Karachi
Pakistanis seem way more tolerant than us. Can we not try to erase Jinnah's legacy from AMU? pic.twitter.com/OGoDUkfBwy
— Omar (@timesn0w) May 3, 2018
If you think the #AMU row is about #Jinnah, then you are being delusional. It is about Muslims as the "other", it is about the forthcoming elections. Remember, before Jinnah, they're slamming Sir Syed as "father of Pakistan". And before this they were slamming Nehru for Partition
— Manimugdha Sharma (@quizzicalguy) May 3, 2018
A new kind of people have taken over the politics of this country. Students have nothing better to do. Jinnah did a good thing by leading the demand for Pakistan. Even if not taken as a left handed compliment he is part of history.
— Prem Kumar Nair (@nairprem53) May 3, 2018
All in all, it is quite sad to see that in 2018, we are still so deeply rooted in the anger of partition and the actions of Pakistanis and Indians before us, that we must resort to violence to voice our opinions.
Bloodshed is never the answer and here’s hoping that THAT, is something we can agree on, on both sides of the border.
What do you think about the situation in India? Is Pakistan faring any better in such situations like naming of public institutions and portraits?