As the controversy over the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Aligarh Muslim University continues, Finance Minister of Haryana has said that the university after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.
“What can be more sad than the fact that no image of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh has been displayed in the university. He donated land for the university without any hesitation and with an objective of education to all, irrespective of religion, but there is a portrait of Jinnah who divided this country,” Captain Abhimanyu told a gathering at the foundation-laying ceremony of Jat Dharamshala in Rewari.
“This is the need of the hour: that the university be renamed after him. And this is possible only if a united demand is made,” Abhimanyu added.
Later, speaking to The Indian Express over phone, he said, “I don’t see anybody from the angle of caste and religion. Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had worked for the unity and integrity of the country. Singh fought for Independence of ‘Akhand Bharat’ and worked for ‘Manav Dharam’. It will be most befitting to name the university after such a great personality of modern India.”
Recently, dozens of Aligarh Muslim University students were injured after ‘armed’ members of the Hindu Right wing group Hindu Yuva Vahini entered the campus with alleged police backing.
They were demanding that a portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, should be removed from the Students’ Union Hall. The portrait in question has been hanging there since 1938.
The incident took place hours before the former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari, who has also been the vice chancellor of the university, had to attend an event.
According to a report in the Wire, 30 activists of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, accompanied by uniformed policemen, came to Bab-e-Syed – the central gate of AMU. They shouted slogans like ‘We will not let such respect for Jinnah pass in India”, “If you want to remain in India, you must say Vande Mataram’, “Vande Mataram, Jai Shri Ram!’
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently cleared his stand on the ongoing controversy over Muhammad Ali Jinnah and said that “A person who is responsible for country’s division cannot be respected”.