Amid the ongoing Aligarh Muslim University row, Olympian Yogeshwar Dutt took to Twitter on Friday morning and said it is embarrassing to fight for people like Jinnah. “How embarrassing to fight for people like Jinnah. A man who was responsible for the partition of the country and is still dividing it,” Dutt said in his tweet. He asked if anyone has ever seen protests for an Indian leader in Pakistan? “Then why are we fighting for a Pakistani leader? Wake up India!” his tweet said.
Clashes took place in Aligarh on Wednesday when the students were demanding action against right-wing protesters who had entered the campus and wanted Jinnah’s portrait removed from the student union office, where it has been hanging for decades.
The students offered Friday prayers at the scene of the dharna in which a large number of teachers and other members of the AMU fraternity participated. The row started after local BJP MP Satish Gautam wrote to AMU raising objections to the portrait.
जिन्ना जैसे लोगों के लिए लड़ना कितना शर्मनाक है एक ऐसा व्यक्ति जिसने जीते जी तो देश का विभाजन किया ही मरकर भी देश को तोड़ रहा है । कभी पाकिस्तान में भारतीय नेता के लिए संघर्ष होते देखा है किसी ने । फिर हम क्यों एक पाकिस्तानी नेता के लिए आपस में लड़ रहे हैं । जागो भारत जागो !????????
— Yogeshwar Dutt (@DuttYogi) May 4, 2018
Meanwhile, 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 Aligarh Muslim University, which has led to violence in the Uttar Pradesh town.
“I can clarify unequivocally that Jinnah is not, has never been and should not be an icon in this country in any way. He was a part of the freedom struggle at one time, but certainly he is no icon of this country,” he told reporters.
“…the issue raised today is purely an artificial issue, the issue raised today is only for polarisation. The issue raised today is only for communalisation,” he said.
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 election, “this is equally condemnable”.
In Gorakhpur, newly elected Samajwadi Party MP Praveen Nishad sparked a controversy by comparing the contribution of Gandhi and Nehru to that of Jinnah during the freedom struggle. “Nehru and Gandhi contributed for the freedom of the country but it cannot be denied that Jinnah equally contributed for it,” he told reporters.