A Staggering Kerfuffle over a portrait of M. Ali Jinnah which hangs in quietude in the campus of Aligarh Muslim University over the last 70 years has recently forested national attention in political discourse and media outlets. The incident prima facie would sound offensive and shocking to many but a brief analysis and observation tells a contrastingly gobsmacking picture of the entire political apocalypse being thrown upon an academic institution.
The reason why Jinnah’s photo hangs on the walls inside the University Campus chalks up to the fact that he was awarded Life membership of AMU students Union for his generous contribution to Hindu-Muslim Unity which even leaders like Gokhale had acknowledged and resistance to British being a member of Indian National Congress. His greedy desire for a separate Muslim state causing mass murders and massacre eventually leading to partition was not born until then. If it was not for this historical fact, the portrait even wont have existed there.
Simply being a reminiscence of a historical reality, just the way the statue of John Wilkes booth residing in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in the United States.
The photograph in no way lays off any affection with Jinnah or his ideology, History is cruel at times, but that doesn’t allow us to deny it or suppress it. History exposits these same cantankerous hyper-nationalists formed coalition with Muslim League which Jinnah was the founder of, in the elections of Sindh, that these same irascible jingoists went hand in glove with Muslim League in crushing Quit India movement, Mr. Savarkar believed Hindus and Muslims are two different Nations residing within the same constitution and thereby is often deemed to be the chief architect of 2 nation theory even though he harangued political dissolution of India’s integrity.
The Prime Minister is on many occasions seen waxing eloquent for his love with B.R Ambedkar. But Ambedkar’s views on Jinnah and Savarkar won’t please him for his ipso facto love for Mr. Savarkar. As Ambedkar points out in his Book Pakistan or Partition of India – “Strange as it may appear, Mr. Savarkar and Mr. Jinnah instead of being opposed to each other on the one nation versus two nations issue are in complete agreement about it. Both agree, not only agree but insist that there are two nations in India—one the Muslim nation and the other the Hindu nation. They differ only as regards the terms and conditions on which the two nations should live.” Speaking of which, Muslim League which no longer exists in India anyway and Sangh Parivar represent 2 different poles of Indian politics both having immense hate and bigotry over one another with no patriotism of national significance.Tackling the Smoke And Mirrors Nationalism of BJP/RSS is of resounding importance here.
Lets get back to the whole issue to analyse it better.
It seems that the ruling party is yet to a lay the ghost of opposition they have kept in themselves for so many years, Docking to their 4th year of tenure they probably are yet to adapt how to behave being in a government. Doing protests, burning statue is normally something we see fuming up from opposition, you know when the government is doing the job of opposition, the destiny of the nation is hovering in air without a pilot. Are they behaving like they are in opposition thanks to their peevish political mindset or is there a bigger conspiracy behind it? As per the method of functioning.
If they really believe keeping the portrait of Jinnah there as a reminiscence of a historical fact is still wrong.
HRD could have sent a notification to the University administration to ensure that the portrait is removed pretty much as they had sent notification to all central universities to celebrate birth centenary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay
But the ministry of HRD didn’t send any notification regarding Jinnah’s portrait, rather they let their goons enter the university campus who can also be seen being escorted by the state police in various CCTV footages to create distractions inside the campus. Similar story we witnessed in JNU where no action was taken against students who were accused of sloganeering, nobody has been charge-sheeted yet but all we got was loud quibble and promotion in the national media.
The very fact of their inactivity on these issues but rather tending to throw the nation in the state of chaos the justification of their smoke and mirrors nationalism which is to create confused and arrogant version of nationalism to trick the public which would feed them the votes they need to remain in power.
All that chaos has now forested an immense protest from the students in AMU. Now as wrongly being portrayed in various news outlets, these protests have got absolutely nothing to do with Jinnah or his ideology, the protest is simply against the disorderly conduct and behavior which was carried out on that day, and the way the state police lathicharged the students when they went ahead to lodge an FIR. Same they did with the students peacefully protesting against SSC Scam a couple of months back, similar chronicle was penned in JNU and DU.
Lastly, i would like to recall that very famous poem by a German pastor Martin Niemöller, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and i did not speak out- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me- And there was no one left to speak for me. “
All those who have temerity and compassion for the nation’s goodwill, need to unite and support this struggle against hate and bigotry.
Article is Collectively written by two friends presently studying in AMU. Mohammad Uzair Ashraf and Imran Khan. Indian Spectator congratulates you both for this exquisite piece on the matter.