The London based human rights body South Asia Solidarity Group (SASG) has deplored the barbaric attack by Hindutva goons, on Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) which injured several students, some of them seriously, on Wednesday 2nd May.
A statement issued by SASG said that “The fact that Jinnah’s photograph, along with those of several other leaders of that period, has been hanging in a corner of the AMU Students Union Hall since 1938, and Hindutva goons are suddenly protesting against it 80 years exposes their motives — to polarise the atmosphere in the country and garner Hindu votes for the ruling BJP in the 2019 general elections. Before attacking AMU students, these Hindu-supremacists should have questioned their leader L. K. Advani and read the book by BJP founder Jaswant Singh both of whom praised Jinnah. Their shamelessness knows no bounds.”
The statement goes on, “They want to take away people’s rights to dissent and freedom of expression and this is why they are targeting academic institutions — first they attacked JNU and now AMU. It is deplorable that the Uttar Pradesh police have supported the attackers, who belong to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Hindu Yuva Vahini.
“Whether one hates it or loves it what has happened in the past cannot be undone or erased from history. Hindutva goons cannot change historical reality. The fact remains that it was the Hindu-supremacist V.D.Savarkar who formulated the ‘two nation theory’ and demanded partition 16 years before Jinnah, and Jinnah unlike Savarkar, fought for India’s freedom and, as a lawyer, defended the great anti-imperialist Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
“Freedom of expression, dissent, especially in academic institutions, must be protected from Hindutva onslaught at any cost.”
SASG have hailed the determined protests of the AMU students against the attacks of the Hindu Yuva Vahini thugs, noting that they are inspiring secular and progressive students across India and the hashtag #StandWithAMU is trending on Indian social media. They particularly saluted the courage of AMU women students whose hostel gates were locked (as in many other Indian Universities such as Benaras Hindu University) and who courageously broke the locks and joined the protests.. They also highlighted the recent news that Hindu students at AMU protected their Muslim co-students while the latter were doing namaz underlining the secular approach of the students which the fascist RSS seeks to undermine. Earlier the RSS had failed to set up a branch in the campus.
SASG also condemned the shocking incident at St Stephens’s College in Delhi in which the cross outside the chapel was defaced and vandalised, with the words ‘mandir yahin banega’ (‘a temple will be built here’) scrawled on the door.