Kanpur, May 4: Adding his voice to the growing din over the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said Jinnah was the nation’s enemy. “No one has a place in their heart for nation’s enemy, never had, never will have,” he added while evading a direct question on his party member and Cabinet colleague Swami Prasad Maurya’s outburst that Jinnah was a national hero and those who did not know history should read textbooks first. Maurya was in Kanpur on Thursday evening for a gram sabha chaupal and he stayed the night in the industrial city. When pressed for a comment on his colleague’s opinion, he said it was a party matter and would be resolved within the BJP.
Meanwhile, AMU students have continued their protest, asking how Jinnah’s portrait had suddenly become an issue, reported The Indian Express. “Jinnah picture being removed is a non-issue. Jinnah bharat ka itihas hai par musalmanon ki aastha nahi. (Jinnah is part of India’s history but Indian Muslims have no faith in him),’’ said AMU Students’ Union (AMUSU) secretary Mohammad Fahad. But, he added, “We have assembled here to expose this politics and how right-wing people entered the campus with an intention to disturb the peaceful environment. Police are also with them. They beat, detained us illegally but let them go free. They registered FIR only after we held protests.” The protesters demanded action against members of the Hindu Jagran Manch who had stormed the campus on Wednesday, demanding that Jinnah’s portrait be removed immediately. Two FIRs have been filed in the Tuesday incident. While the police FIR says that five people entered the campus with ill intentions, the one filed by AMU Students’ Union mentions 20 people. Investigation is on.
A couple of days ago, Swami Prasad Maurya had said, “Jin mahapurushon ka yogdaan rashtra ke nirmaan mein raha, unn par ungli uthaata hai koi toh ghatia baat hai (It is shameful if fingers are pointed at someone who contributed to nation-building).”