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Jinnah controversy: Kahin pe nigahe, kahin pe nishana; an effort to spread hate politics with an eye on 2019 polls

By Adv Masood Peshimam
The Muslims in India are a historically defeated community for variety of reasons, one of the main reasons being betrayal of the interests of the community by its own coreligionists. Dr Iqbal described the betrayal of the community by coreligionists in the following words:
“Jafar as Bengal, Sadique as Deccan
Nagne din, nange Millat, nange Watan
[Jafar from Bengal, Sadique from Deccan
The slur on the religion, slur on the community and slur on the nation]”

Mir Jafar and Mir Sadique, who betrayed Sirajouddaula in Plassy and Tipu Sultan at Suranga Pattam had larger dreams to cherish. They wanted to have fair share of the sultanate and other big rewards from the British.
In the current scenario, small time Muslim leaders are ready to be sold on a cup of tea or some small favour. These small time leaders have emerged through multiple platforms like Mushaira [poetic proceeding], Iftar Parties, Idd Milan, charitable programmes like collective marriages, free distribution of note books, Urdu school and college functions, so on and so forth. These programmes are not per se bad and there is no attempt to denigrate or undermine their efficacy, but they provide platform for small-time leaders to assert their social role without any depth of calibre and sincerity.
It is against this murky scenario that some Muslims sought permission to open the RSS shakha in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Vice chancellor Tarique Mansoori was put in profound unease to answer the proposal. The proposal was absurd with the lurking question: Would a branch of Jamat-e-Islami, Jamat-e-Ulma-i-Hind or Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (MIM) be accommodated in the Banaras Hindu University? Would anyone dare to talk in such terms?
RSS shakha or any fundamentalist organisation of any hue or colour has no scope to flourish in AMU or any other university for that matter as the Leftist Unions are dominating the scene in the universities. Narrow sentiments or communal interests have failed to fashion the growth of social environment in these universities. Once such perception and expectation of opening up a shakha was dashed to the ground, no time was lost in generating controversy over Jinnah portrait, which kept hanging since 1938.
Jinnah was life member of the University. There are a lot of portraits of other dignitaries hanging in the University. Jinnah’s portrait since 1938 never ran into any controversy whatsoever. His portrait does not determine the identification with his ideology or showing any favour for the creation of Pakistan, though fact also remains that Jinnah was not the only one responsible for the partition of the country.
Guru Golwalkar propounded two-nation theory much before Jinnah. Instead of frustrating the concept of partition of the country, efforts were underway to create conditions quite conducive for the growth of Pakistan. A Congress top gun explaining his conciliatory approach towards Pakistan said that the absence of the creation of Pakistan would introduce many a Pakistans in the government departments. It was Maulana Azad and other Muslim leaders who tooth and nail opposed the creation of Pakistan. Bulk of Muslim leadership expressed dissatisfaction with the partition of the country.
Jinnah himself was a political paradox. He never reconciled with the initiation of Khilafat Movement by Gandhiji with the support of the Ali brothers. To Jinnah, any talk of reviving the sagging fortunes of Khilafat was an anathema. Jinnah always made onslaught over religion-based politics. He was a veteran Congressman enjoying good equation with the Congress leadership. He fought the sedition case of Lokmanya Tilak and won it. He virtually made British judges dash to the ground while fighting cases of freedom fighters. He was never subservient before British judges. An incident well explains the position of strength from which Jinnah could talk with British judges.
It so happened that one British judge noticed a bug somewhere in the Bar, and with all the contempt and ridicule said that there was bug at the Bar. Jinnah lost no time in reacting, said, “Of course it came from the Bench.” Jinnah was bold enough to boycott British judges who had convicted Indian freedom fighters.
Jinnah forefathers were Lohana Kachchi who did not come from the mainstream Islam. He was a khoja who married a Parsi without converting her. His daughter was Parsi who recently died in US. His daughter had a litigation concerning Jinnah House in Mumbai. She desired Jinnah’s name to be removed from Jinnah House, may be to curry favour with the authorities to retake Jinnah House. It is not understood as to what made Jinnah, who was liberal and catholic in his approach, to come close to the Muslim League and stamp his signature over the creation of Pakistan.
Concerning Jinnah and the creation of Pakistan, it is relevant to quote what an eminent journalist Aakar Patel wrote in “The Times of India” (6th May 2018): “Jinnah accepted the nature of tribal voting in the subcontinent and stuck to his guns. If Hindus wanted a United India they would have to accommodate Muslims politically. We chose not to then and we have not now as the numbers starkly reveal”. Even with the creation of Pakistan, Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a secular state where Muslims ceased to be Muslims and Hindus ceased to be Hindus and Christians ceased to be Christians.
Jinnah was a square peg in a round whole, as Pakistani society was and is dominated by the Muslim fanatics. Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan could not match the fanatics in Pakistan. Fanaticism in Pakistan always remained a destabilising factor inviting all disasters. Fanatics, whether Hindus or Muslims, are not ready to tolerate differences, spelling lawlessness in society. It is sad to note that these fanatics a strong growing component in our society.
Notwithstanding reasons for the creation of Pakistan, we are socially a demolished lot, who are to bear all the brunt of that catastrophic event, despite the fact that Indian Muslims have disowned Pakistan.
Jinnah was admired by Lal Krishna Advani and Jaswant Singh for his secular and broader outlook, yet there was no murmur of protest then. Even MC Chagla, education minister under Indira Gandhi’s government, appreciated Jinnah for his legal acumen and sharpness. It was the same Chagla who never wrote his name as Mohammad Karim and willed to be cremated. No harsh words were used for Chagla’s comments over Jinnah.
It is not understood as to what made the right-wing Yuva Vahini stir the hornet’s nest in the name of Jinnah’s portrait in AMU. The discontent was spread when former Vice President Hamid Ansari was to address a gathering at AMU, and he was to be bestowed with life membership. Instead of sorting out the matter with vice chancellor Tarique Mansoori, the Yuva Vahini barged into the premises of the University armed with all sorts of weapons under the protection of police.
The Yuva Vahini owes its origin to rabidly communal chief minister Yogi Adityanath of UP. The forceful entry of the right wing forces led to the eruption of violence between right-wingers and students of AMU, in which the police allegedly sided with the Yuva Vahini. The alleged partisan role of the police is not unusual as there are gruesome stories of police atrocities in the spate of communal incidents.
The allegedly partisan role of the police accompanied with all the brutalities in Meerat, Malyana, Mumbai and Gujarat are too well known to recount. The weak and vulnerable Muslim minority is always at the receiving end. The prejudiced narrative of the police acting against the interests of Muslims does not mean that the entire police force is communal.
Hamid Ansari has become an eyesore for those in corridors of power over his remarks that Muslims are not safe in India. These were his remarks when he was stepping out of his office. He said this against the backdrop of gruesome incidents of mob lynching resulting in to the death of quite a few Muslims. Ansari called spade a spade which drew the sharpest level of vituperation from the communal forces.
Echoing some concern over the worsening plight of Muslims tantamounts to all sorts of liabilities. Poor AR Antulay was a case in point when he was disowned by his own party, Congress, when he questioned the mysterious circumstances in which Hemant Karkare was killed. Bigwigs of Congress stayed away from his funeral. Otherwise, he was Man Friday of the Congress. Late Yunus Salim was shunted out of the Indira Gandhi government when he tried to visit riot torn Aligarh. Such incidents galore.
It’s good to note that Hamid Ansari has the leftist leanings. Otherwise all sorts of cock and bull stories would have spun around him. Members of the Yuva Vahini cared a hoot for the presence of the former vice-president. The very eruption of violence in AMU in the presence of Hamid Ansari explains how powerless Muslim dignitaries are in the country. The allegedly partisan role of the police and the right winger Hindutva forces, out to bully AMU students into submission in the presence of the former vice-president, is not only a slur on Ansari but also amounting to slur over the very prestige of the office of the vice-president.
 Meanwhile, subsequent to the unsavoury incident in AMU, it is learnt, stringent sections like 307 of IPC were slapped against the students of the university. Those opposing the portrait of Jinnah remained silent when Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped in to attend Nawaz Sharif’s family wedding in Pakistan on way from Afghanistan. The silence of the Yuva Vahini and the likes is enigmatic.
The whole narrative of communal forces is to synchronise the concept of nationalism with Hindutva. Blending nationalism with Hindutva is to polarise the society with an eye on 2019 elections.

Comments

Firoz Bakht Ahmed said…
It is heart rending and very unfortunate to see in the TV debates, some apologists for defending Jinnah, the man, who took 40 per cent of India away from us on religious plank. The unnecessary imbroglio at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) where some people are hell bent in not taking off the Jinnah frame, has not only let the image of the majestic institution down but has once again brought the entire Indian Muslim populace under scanner vis a vis their loyalty to the nation. When such things happen, they crib that their loyalty is questioned and that they are asked time and again to provide their certificate of loyalty. But, it is true that their so called leaders, are misleading them and more dangerous than the portrait is the Jinnah mindset towards which the young Indian Muslim mind is pulled to.
Seven decades after the vivisection, the Jinnah ideology is though dead and defunct, however, its ashes with some ambers can still be seen in some conflagrant and divisive leaders mindset like — Asaduddin Owaisi, Azam Khan and the spokes persons of the bodies like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). Besides the Jinnah mindset can be traced in the actions of Kashmiri separatists and those refusing to accept yoga or “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, as part of their national heritage.
All this trouble started when Aligarh BJP MP Satish Gautam objected to Jinnah’s portrait and sought an explanation from AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor for hanging his picture on the wall of the student union’s hall. This was followed by Hindu Yuva Vahini’s 48-hour ultimatum to the AMU to remove Jinnah’s image. Hindu Yuva Vahini is an outfit founded by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. They tried to gate crash into the university for fulfilling their demand. The group, marching towards the Bab-e-Syed gate, started shouting slogans and entered the campus. It was then that the clashes broke out, forcing the police to resort to baton charge injuring the AMU students. Hindu Yuva Vahini’s demand for the Jinnah portrait removal was right but the method was riotous and wrong. The AMU students stated that the Hindu Yuva Vahini brigade came with a design to indulge in violence and arson.

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