Jinnah portrait row: Naqvi confident issue will be resolved sensitively

Jinnah portrait row: Naqvi confident issue will be resolved sensitively

Asserting that Muhammad Ali Jinnah is not a role model for Indian Muslims, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said he was confident that the “patriotic” Aligarh Muslim University administration and the students there would resolve the row over the Pakistan founder’s portrait with a "sensitive approach".

Minority Affairs Minister Naqvi also said things have “changed” in India after 1938 when Jinnah was accorded life membership of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students’ union.

He said the issue should be resolved keeping public sentiments in mind.

“Jinnah is neither an icon of India nor the ideal (role model) of Indian Muslims. The AMU administration and students there are patriotic and there is no question of raising questions over their patriotism,” Naqvi said.

“I am very much confident that the issue will be resolved with a sensitive approach,” he said.

The minister also pitched for not letting the controversy escalate further.

BJP MP from Aligarh, Satish Gautam, had yesterday asked the AMU to explain why it displays a portrait of Jinnah.

In a letter written to AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor, Gautam objected to the Pakistan founder's picture on the walls of the AMU students union office.

AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai had defended the portrait, apparently hanging there for decades, saying that Jinnah was a founder member of the University Court and granted life membership of the students union.