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Jinnah's portrait because he was one of the donors: AMU on BJP MP's objection

Tuesday May 1, 2018 7:53 PM, & Agencies

Jinnah Portrait

Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Tuesday defended the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, hanging for decades, saying that Jinnah was a founder member of the University Court and a donor who was granted life membership of the student union.

"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. Traditionally, photographs of all life members are placed on the walls of the student union", AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai told news agency PTI.

Kidwai also said that Jinnah was granted membership before the demand of Pakistan had been raised by the Muslim League.

Kidwai said no national leader had raised any objection to the portrait even after Independence. These included Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, C Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Shafey said AMU student union has a long tradition of granting life membership to prominent people in politics, social and educational fields. "Their photographs were a part of the rich heritage of undivided India and no one ever thought of raising this issue before", he said while talking to PTI.

"The first recorded life membership by the student union was the one granted to Mahatma Gandhi on October 29, 1920. This was followed by a long list of luminaries including Rajagopalachari, Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, C V Raman and British writer E M Forster", he said.

The statement by one of India's premium university came in response to a BJP MP who has asked Aligarh Muslim University to explain why it displays a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In a letter addressed to the AMU Vice Chanceloor, BJP MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam had asked him to explain what the compulsion was of putting portrait of the "person who everyone knows was responsible for partition of India."

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