Recent chaos at Aligarh Muslim University brought it in limelight for many reasons. The string of events that happened led to mass injuries.
The issue is called as Jinnah Portrait issue was reportedly in news on 1st May 2018. The issue came up when a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of parliament (MP) Satish Gautam, wrote in a letter to the Aligarh Muslim University vice-chairman, asking for an explanation as to why it displays a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Jinnah, a lawyer and politician, was the founder of Pakistan and also served as the leader of All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan’s independence on August 14, 1947.
The students of AMU were in favour of keeping the portrait as they said it is a part of the university’s history as he was given a life membership of the university’s union.
Soon after the letter was sent, members of right-wing organization Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) founded by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath barged into the varsity and shouted slogans against the hanging of Jinnah’s portrait. They also briefly clashed with Aligarh Muslim University students, according to the news agency ANI.
The clashed increased and led to the injury of 41 people, which included 28 students and 13 policemen.
The protest by HYV was held moments before former vice-president Hamid Ansari was to visit the university to attend an event.
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Internet services were suspended on Friday at AMU. Also, section 144 was imposed in the city. University students choose to boycott classes for 5 days to protest against the police action against them. Also, rapid action force has been deployed outside the university gates to prevent any law and order situation.
ANI reported, ”The conflict had to be resolved by police intervention that resorted to teargas shells to disperse AMU students demanding the arrest of protestors who had barged into the university. They were then taken away to a police station from where they were later “rescued” by other protesters, AMU student union members said”.
Further DNA reported, On Thursday, more than five thousand students gathered at the university main gate — Baab-e-Syed — demanding a judicial investigation against the right-wing activists. Around 150 students reached the same spot and raised slogans of “we want justice” and “say no to fascist forces”.
The students union is demanding to slap the National Security Act against BJP MP Satish Gautam and also aiming to move the National Human Rights Commission over the controversy.
In Gorakhpur, newly elected Samajwadi Party MP Praveen Nishad sparked a controversy by comparing the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru to that of Jinnah during the freedom struggle.
Nishad accused the BJP of playing dirty politics’ in Jinnah’s name. “Nehru and Gandhi contributed for the freedom of the country but it cannot be denied that Jinnah equally contributed for it,” he said, according to news agency ANI.
He said the BJP was trying to “divide the people in the name of religion and caste.
Nishad had scored a surprise victory in the recent by-polls from Gorakhpur, represented by Yogi Adityanath before he became the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
The Congress said on Friday that Muhammad Ali Jinnah was never and would never be an icon of this country as it condemned the politics allegedly being played out by the BJP to create polarisation and communalisation.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi accused the BJP of provoking sentiments and communalising the atmosphere by raking up an “artificial” issue of Jinnah’s picture at AMU, which has led to violence in the Uttar Pradesh town.
He charged the BJP with doing “dirty politics of sensationalism, divisiveness, polarisation” and said this needed to be condemned.
Singhvi said if a photograph is hanging for decades and a group of people suddenly enter and deliberately make provocative statements and try and do identity politics and provoke people before the elections, “this is equally condemnable”.
“This is the dirty politics of sensationalism, divisiveness, polarisation, which only one party for the last 70 years and before that for another 50 years has been precisely practising,” he said, reported PTI.