Jinnah Controversy: Removal of Quaid e Azam’s Portrait From Aligarh University India Sparks Outrage

The portrait of Founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Aligarh Muslim University campus has sparked a major controversy in rival neighbours. The protests initiated after BJP’s (Bharatiya Janata Party) MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam wrote to Tariq Mansoor, varsity’s Vice Chancellor demanding an explanation for the presence of Jinnah’s portrait. In his letter, the BJP leader questioned the ‘compulsion’. He said that he isn’t sure where the picture is displayed, but he wants to know why it is still present there after the creation of Pakistan.

He said that after university’s role in 1947 independence in galvanizing the students, it rather presents an anti-nationalist stance. He further that if the university really wants to honour someone and put up their portrait, they should consider great people like Mahendra Pratap Singh, who donated the land for the university.

Reacting to it, AMUSU president Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani said that the portrait is there since 1938. He added that Jinnah was honoured with a lifetime membership of the student union before 1947.
President of Muslim Political Council of India, TA Rehmani, defended the portrait, saying:
“It is with the university what portrait should be displayed and what should be taught to students. The university should take a decision regarding this”

Backed by Satish Gautam, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy also criticized the presence saying there is no need. He said that the university works as an independent body, without any political intervention but is still getting money from the government and is liable to abide by the rules.

“We have removed all British viceroys’ photos from Rashtrapati Bhavan, removed statues… names of roads like Aurangzeb have been renamed’’ – he said talking to Times.

Also See: Abdus Salam Controversy

India is completely divided on it. Some are on roads protesting to support it while others view their support as an anti-nationalist stance. Here is what social media community has to say about it:




Ironically the incident has occurred parallel to Abdus Salam controversy in Pakistan, causing a reaction and protests on both sides of the border. The reasons might be different but the question is the jinsame – do we really need another enemy?

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