An Indian politician and vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Maharashtra, Mangal Prabhat Lodha has demanded that a residence owned by Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Mumbai be demolished and that a cultural centre be built in its place. This is another instance of animosity, abhorrence, hate and revulsion as expected from the activists and extremists of BJP. Before, a large mass of Hindu volunteers demolished the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the city of Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh on December 6, 1992.  

The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had built a house in south Mumbai, formally named South Court, in 1936 at an (then) exorbitant price of Rs200,000. The historic building was also the venue for the turning point talks on the Partition of India in September 1944 between Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi. After partition of India, Jinnah moved to Karachi and requested Nehru, the then Indian Prime Minister to allot his house to any foreign consulate. Nehru agreed to Jinnah’s request and offered him a monthly rent of three thousand rupees. Unfortunately, Jinnah died in September 1948 before the deal could be finalised. As a personal favour to Jinnah, Nehru did not declare the property an enemy property. The premises remained vacant until 2003, when a part of it was given to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to be used for cultural activities and yet in same condition.  

The path adopted by BJP to demolish ancient structures in wake of Muslim enmity would lead them towards destruction. There are several historic monuments in India constructed by Muslims including Taj Mahal Agra, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, and Humayun’s Tomb Delhi, Diwan-e-Khas in Fatehpur Sikri. The first Indian Highway was built by Sher Shah Suri. If all these are stigma for them then they should start to demolish all of India to fulfil their dream of Hindutva as soon as possible. 

ENGR MANSOOR AHMED,  

Faisalabad, March 29.