Home / Articles / Hamid Ansari, Jinnah’s Portrait and turmoil in AMU

Hamid Ansari, Jinnah’s Portrait and turmoil in AMU

Hamid Ansari, Jinnah’s Portrait and turmoil in AMU

 

Ram Puniyani

Recently (May 2018) Hamid Ansari, the ex-Vice President of India, was invited to Aligarh Muslim University to honor him with life membership of AMU Students Union (AMUSU). He had due security with him, still the Hindu Yuva Vahini-ABVP activists could reach near his place of stay. The pretext of the armed protesters was that Jinnah’s portrait has been put up to please Ansari and that they will not allow Jinnah’s portrait in AMU. The usual violence followed few arrests of Vahini volunteers, most of them let off. This has been followed by series of statements from Yogi Adityanath, who incidentally is also the founder of this Hindutva group, saying that portrait will not be allowed, Subramaniam Swami questioned as to who will teach a lesson to AMU! The students of AMU are on the protest against the violence unleashed by Vahini and ABVP.

Too many angles to the story! First of all how come the armed volunteers of Vahini and ABVP reach near the place where Hamdi Ansari was put up? One recalls that every occasion there has been an attempt to humiliate this distinguished scholar, diplomat who held the high office. His photo of not saluting the Republic day parade, hinting he is disrespecting, was made viral only to bring in the realization that he was following the rule book as only President takes the salute and no one else. When he was given farewell Modi hinted at his being a Muslim, being attached to issues related to Muslims in a very humiliating way. In this light he being targeted is just the continuation of what RSS combine has been doing to Ansari so far.

How come someone recalled that Jiannh’s portrait is there and on that pretext the armed volunteers sneaked into AMU campus? Has the portrait been put up yesterday? The portrait has been there from 1938, as AMU students Union conferred a rare honor on him by giving him life membership of AMUSU. The statement is that Jinnah divided the country, so how can be we celebrate, him was the slogan. The role played by Jinnah in the freedom movement is not a linear one and is not uniform. He began as a part of the movement and was part of it in the beginning. He has to his credit being the Chairman of Reception committee which welcomed Gandhi on his return from South Africa. He was the one who fought the case, in which Bal Gangadhar Tilak was given the death sentence and it is due to his legal brilliance that he could save the life of Tilak. He was also the lawyer for the young revolutionary, Sardar Bhagat Singh and to cap it all he entered Hindu Muslim unity pact with Tilak (Lucknow, 1916). India’s nightingale Sarojini Naidu called Jinnah as the ‘ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity’.

There is another side to the story also. He dissociated from national movement once Gandhi launched the non cooperation movement in 1920, in which for the first time average people of the country were involved. This movement laid the foundation of the biggest ever mass movement in the history of the World. Jinnah was a constitutionalist and he felt involving average people in the struggle against British is unwarranted. Similarly he opposed Gandhi’s role in Khilafat movement and gradually dissociated from active involvement and left for London to practice law. The second major flaw which transformed Jinnah, who was basically secular, was his associating with and leading of Muslim League. Muslim League was given the status of being the representative of Muslims by British. This is a basically motivated exercise by British as Muslim League began from the Nawabs and Landlords, with feudal values inherent in it down to the core. His role as a leader of Muslim League and his Lahore resolution of separate country for Muslims, Pakistan, is what made him a communal leader. To blame him alone for partition of the country is a distorted presentation of history of modern India. The process of partition was begun by the British who pursued the policy of ‘divide and rule’. This was supplemented by communalists from both Hindu and Muslim. Savarkar was the first one to articulate that there are two nations in the country, the Hindu and the Muslim. As per this understanding the country belongs to Hindus so Muslim nation will have to remain subordinate to Hindus. This is where Jinnah falls in the communal trap and the logic he puts forward is, if there are two nations in the country, so why not two countries? So why not Pakistan?

Jinnah that way has been the subject of various biographies and interpretations. His August 11 1947 speech in Pakistan Constituent Assembly , stated that people are free to follow their own religion, state will not interfere in that, elaborates his secular values. Advani quite late in his life after having launched biggest attack on secular values by demolishing Babri Mosque; realized that Jinnah was secular. He called Jinnah Secular and paid with his career as RSS combine has built on the understanding of ‘Hate Jinnah’, have presented Jinnah as a symbol of Indian Muslims, Jinnah as a symbol of India’s enemy Pakistan!

With this AMU episode Hindu nationalist politics is killing many birds with a single stone. First, to target Hamid Ansari, whom they can’t approve of as his credential is thoroughly secular. Second is to create yet another divisive issue in the form of portrait of Jinnah, to add on to other emotive issues manufactured so far. And thirdly to intimidate the AMU campus in line with what has been done in JNU, Hyderabad universities to name the few.

One can say the Ghost of Jinnah, who can be called as ‘Secular soul in Communal body’ will keep visiting us, and RSS combine through its efforts will keep propping up divisive issues one after the other!

 

About admin

Check Also

Civil and Military judicial systems: Need for bridging the gap

Military judicial systems, the World over, are known for delivering swift, speedy and credible justice during extraordinary times. Especially so when the routine of the run judicial system is unable to deliver justice due to any of the accepted multiple genuine reasons. Post 9/11 setting threw up such extraordinary environment when circumstances had rendered the normal judicial channels ineffective, particularly when it came to punishing hard core terrorists. This situation prevailed for about fifteen years and none of the terrorist was awarded meaningful penalty for heinous crimes, it was often observed that those arrested on these accounts were promptly granted bail and were repeatedly caught committing same crimes again and again. Under these conditions National Action Plan was formulated to counter terrorism and military courts were setup for a limited time. These courts served the purpose and award of meaningful punishments to had core terrorists helped in quelling the waves of terrorism promptly.Military courts were established for two years and during this period civil judiciary was expected to fix its weaknesses and be able to re-takeover the task. However, it failed to do so, so the military courts were asked to carry out the task for another two years; this period is to end in January 2019. However, civilian courts are still no better than what they were in January 2015. It is yet another testimony of the lack of faith in the country’s criminal justice system and the sheer ineptness of political system to reform it. Reasons that led to setting up of military courts continue to persist. And it goes to the credit of swift action by military courts alongside military operations that terrorism is on its fag end. Certainly Army’s Judge Advocate General’s team will have to answer many question, as to why pointed out technical gaps and procedural voids were not plugged-in during the trial proceedings. While at the same time, PHC bench needs to account for basing such decision mainly on technicalities, while mainly ignoring the substance matter, and that too in case of heinous crimes. There are many rungs between capital punishments and outright acquittal and one does not have to go berserk to jump straight from capital punishment to acquittal option without preferring to choose from whole assortment of lower degree punishments. Under the circumstances remanding the case for retrial should have been a win-win situation for all sides. Hopefully, a worthwhile solution would be found out. Army needs to undertake capacity enhancement of its JAG branch to avoid recurrences. And PHC should avoid outright choking of one of the parliament approved and constitutionally established judicial sub-system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *