Recent unrest broke out at Aligarh Muslim University is nothing but the sheer display of impunity granted to right-wing vigilante groups by none other than ruling dispensation of BJP/RSS, both in the state of Uttar Pradesh and at the centre.
Since the advent of this government, the activities of vigilante Hindutva outfits like Hindu Yuva Vahini and likens have been raised enormously and openly patronized by BJP lawmakers.
Continuing on their nefarious design to attack seats of higher learning and disrupt their otherwise academic and harmonious environment, after JNU, BHU, HCU, TISS, FTII etc. they now choose AMU as their latest target.
But, the student and non-student fraternity (Teachers, Non-Teaching Staff etc) have powerfully resisted their attempt in the leadership of AMU Students Union and during resistance, some of the leaders have been brutally injured by the police crackdown on democratically marching students.
More power to AMU Students’ Union for taking a strong stand against foul bigotry and venomous partisanship deployed by BJP and its allies for cheap electoral gains. This time they played their game around the portrait of MA Jinnah, that’s hanging in the AMU Students’ Union office since 1938. They must remember that by distorting history, the historical facts can’t change and will remain so. Similarly, the fact that Vinayak D. Savarkar, the apologist whom they celebrate, wrote twice the mercy pleas to British Crown and also promised his loyalty towards Kingdom in exchange of his personal freedom, will remain fact till time immemorial.
It’s pretty clear that since the BJP has lost last two by-polls Phoolpur and Gorakhpur, it is now under pressure to preserve his winning image and public trust by saving the Kairana Lok Sabha seat going into by-polls. And, for this very reason, there’s a hard time in BJP camp to find issues to prove their worth before electorate. Since they have been failed on various fronts from Jobs to health to education, they are now in need to make the issue out of some non-issue. They are trying to repeat their last tactic- divide and rule by spreading hate between communities.
Recent Jinnah portrait row and the ugly events orchestrated on an otherwise peaceful seat of learning, AMU, are the direct consequences of the intentional instigation of their ground workers by BJP MPs Subramanian Swamy and Satish Gautam.
One, Subramanian Swamy harbours the tendency to utter non-sense against the minorities and educational institutions like JNU, in India.
Post partition, no Indian Muslim has ever eulogized or subscribed to Jinnah or his ideology and those who found Jinnah convincing had left Indian soil back in 1947. But ironically, political stalwarts of BJP itself like LK Advani and Jaswant Singh praised Jinnah and advocated his stature as a distinguished secular leader of the Indian Freedom Movement.
At this juncture, 71 years post-partition, our country must realize that the tragedy of partition can’t be simply blamed on Jinnah alone and actually could be averted if some bipartisanship would have been displayed by congressmen of the time and Hindu nationalists by keeping aside their ambitions, to find out the midway. Historically, Mahatma Gandhi has promised to Maulana Azad that partition will do on my corpse, but he too has failed to deliver his promise or convincing the other congressmen like Patel, Nehru etc. The prime reason of partition was the discriminatory sentiment prevailed in the large chunk of political figures who were not comfortable giving Muslims an equal and respectable political role in New India and in their aspiration to be in leading role, they fall in line with two nation proposal.
If, leaders including Nehru and Patel would have displayed some flexibility to come on consensus and Nehru specifically could have toned down his ambitions, then the face of India definitely would have been different from what we are witnessing and the bloodshed of millions following partition could also be averted.
But, we definitely can’t reverse back and course correct the history and what has happened in the past is past and we should move ahead keeping it in the archives of history. We must realize that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, all carry the collective burdens of our painful past and also the beautiful common heritage. We can’t seclude ourselves from that very remains that our forefathers left for us.
So, what should be the deployment strategy to carry forward? Can’t we learn from European example? After long held bloody civil war of Europe, the Europeans realized that the war and animosity couldn’t bring anything else than the destruction and started re-integration of Europe on a common welfare understanding. Similarly, we must start to foresee the possibilities of integrating the subcontinent on the lines Europe have been integrated and reconstituted. We must forget all our animosity towards each other and start afresh to build and preserve our collective, common heritage.
The subcontinent really doesn’t need war or hate but the progress in our ordinary lives that only could bring by fighting our real miseries counting Hunger, Poverty, Malnutrition, Diseases, Unemployment, Corruption and so on, the list is un-ending. We must not become prey to the divisive agenda deployed by the evil nexus of Industrialists & Politicians to make us forget the real issues and fight on historical nonsense. We must question them on their wrongdoings and ask for their electoral promises that not have been fulfilled. We must ask them about their skyrocketing wealth and unleashed impunity that make them clean even after involvement in serious financial and criminal offences.
O, My fellow countrymen, these are the people looting our rich heritage and wealth, which were referred by ‘Sardar Bhagat Singh’ as ‘Bhoore Angrez’ or Black Britons. We need to unite at this moment to resist their divisive agenda and to throw them out of our country like we did to Britons.
Author is research fellow at Aligarh Muslim University.