The portrait was installed in 1938 before Partition, at the peak of Muslim League campaign for a separate nation for Muslims.
Lucknow: BJP MP Satish Gautam has asked the vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to take down the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan from the office of the AMU Students’ Union.
“It is fine if Jinnah is revered in Pakistan after Partition but his portrait should not be put up here in India. The university should instead celebrate the contributions of Raja Mahendra Pratap and Sir Syed Ahmed who played a crucial role in establishing the university”, said the BJP MP.
The portrait was installed in 1938 before Partition, at the peak of Muslim League campaign for a separate nation for the Muslims of India.
AMU Students’ Union, however, claims that Jinnah, like many other pre-Partition leaders, were conferred honorary membership of the university and as such their portraits have been installed in the campus since 1920. Former AMU students’ union president Faizul Hasan said “Jinnah’s portrait was installed when he was conferred life membership (of the students’ union) in 1938. AMU has many things from the pre-partition era like the Victoria Gate. Should that be brought down as well?”
The AMU administration, meanwhile, said that the AMU students’ union is an autonomous body and can take its own decisions.
AMU public relations officer Omar Peerzada said, “It is a tradition since 1920 to honor people of eminence with life membership. AMU first conferred it on Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 and on Jinnah in 1938. It is part of history… It does not mean we are part of them or their politics. C.V. Raman and V.V. Giri were also honored with the same”.