Jinnah’s photos in Aligarh Muslim University that sparked a row.

Jinnah’s photos in Aligarh Muslim University that sparked a row.

Jinnah’s photos in Aligarh Muslim University that sparked a row.

The photos of Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah that were put on display in an exhibition in Aligarh Muslim University. Jinnah’s photos with Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel were put up in the varsity’s library during the exhibition and it sparked a row in the country.

The week-long exhibition was planned for the celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s Jayanti at AMU. The exhibition was held at the Maulana Azad Library’s central hall in AMU. 

However, after interrogation the university administration said that they were not aware of Jinnah’s photos with Mahatma Gandhi being displayed in the exhibition. But the fact that counters University’s claims of not being aware about the photos was very interesting. The exhibition was inaugurated by AMU pro vice-chancellor Mohammad Hanif Beg on October 2, 2018.

The pictures were soon removed quietly afterwards from the university. The spokesperson of AMU, Shafey Qidwai was the person to say that the administration was not aware of such photos.

AMU ordered probe.

Aligarh Muslim University ordered a probe to look into the matter. To find how and why the pictures of Jinnah with Mahatma Gandhi was displayed at the exhibition. The University authorities also served a show cause notice to the librarian, who was also the curator of the exhibition.

After BJP MP, Satish Gautam demanded the removal of some of the group photos in which Jinnah was seen along with Mahatma Gandhi, the university ordered the probe.

“The probe has been ordered as to how these pictures were included in the exhibition. Also a show cause notice has been served to the librarian Thursday,” said University’s spokesperson.

“We cannot tolerate Jinnah’s pictures with Mahatma Gandhi as Jinnah was responsible for the partition of India,” said BJP MP Satish Gautam. 

Similar Incident in May 2018.

A similar incident took place months earlier in May, when Jinnah’s photos were found hanging in the students’ union office. Violence broke out between right-wing activists and AMU students. The right-wing activists protested and burned Jinnah’s effigies at the AMU campus gate.

According to the AMU students, the protesters forcefully entered the campus and thrashed the security guard as well as AMUSU president MA Usmani. The incident sparked a major row when the protesters and AMU students got into a clash. 

Why Celebrate Jinnah?

Many leaders questioned the University as to why they were hanging portraits of Jinnah. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath says that there is no reason to celebrate Jinnah in India. “There’s no question of celebrating Jinnah in India. Seems the AMU Jinnah photo might be coming off for good.”

“Were they celebrating Gandhi Jayanti or Jinnah Jayanti? This is an educational institute and they should not disgrace it with their actions. If they want to display Jinnah pictures, they should go to Pakistan,” said Shakuntala Bharti, BJP leader.

Manvendra Pratap Singh, a member of NMDMC questioned the varsity that why they didn’t put Gandhi’s photo with other personalities. He also asked why Jinnah’s ghost keeps on haunting the University.

“Why Jinn of Jinnah” (ghost of Jinnah) keeps haunting the varsity? Many respectable personalities were associated with Gandhi Ji then why only Jinnah’s pictures with him were displayed?”

Nidhi Shree

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