Jinnah’s Portrait at Aligarh: Is Aligarh Still Nurturing the Idea of Pakistan?

Aligarh Muslim University was the fountainhead of the two nation theory. It was on this campus, the idea of Pakistan was conceived and the Islamists shrewdly manoeuvred it in a way to make partition a reality.
With a BJP MP asking the Aligarh Muslim University to explain why it displays a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the walls of the AMU student union office, the university has once again come in news for wrong reasons. Objecting the uninvited practice of honouring the man behind the partition, BJP Aligarh MP Satish Gautam wrote a letter to Vice Chancellor in which he shared his apprehension and concerns.
AMU spokesperson refuted the allegations saying that Jinnah was a founder of the university and granted life membership of the student union! “Traditionally, photographs of all life members are placed on the walls of the student union,” he told PTI
 “Jinnah was also accorded life membership of the AMUSU in 1938. He was the founder member of the University Court in 1920 and also a donor,” the spokesman said. “He was granted membership before the demand of Pakistan had been raised by the Muslim League,” he said. The spokesman said no national leader had raised any objection to the photo even after Independence. These included Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, C Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad and Jawaharlal Nehru.
He said the student union enjoyed certain autonomy within the legal framework of the University’s constitution as enshrined by an Act of Parliament. “No vice-chancellor or governing body has ever tried to infringe upon such rights and hence, while we may have different views from the student union on many matters, the AMU authorities have always tried to avoid directly intervening in their matters,” he added.
It may be recalled that it was on the campus of Aligarh Muslim University, the idea of Pakistan was conceived and the Islamists, led by The AMU’s founder Sir Syed, shrewdly manoeuvred it in a way to make religious based partition a reality in 1947. As academicians suggest, in a way, the partition owes so much to Sir Syed and his educational movement.

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