Jinnah portrait row: In Pakistan, Mani Shankar Aiyar says first proponent of two nation theory was Savarkar

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Suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar courted a new controversy by attributing the two nation theory to Hindu Mahasabha founder VD Savarkar. Amid the row over Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait at the Aligarh Muslim University, Aiyar said that Savarkar was the one who invented the term Hindutva and tried to divide people on religious lines.

“Present situation in India is an aberration. In 1923 a man called V D Savarkar invented a word which doesn’t exist in any religious text, ‘Hindutva’. So the first proponent of the two nation theory was the ideological guru of those who are currently in power in India,” ANI quoted Aiyar as saying at an event in Lahore.

Responding to the attack by BJP for admiring Jinnah, Aiyar clarified, “I referred to Jinnah as the Quaid e Azam and the hysterical Indian TV anchors are demanding to know how an Indian can go to Pakistan and say this. I know many Pakistanis who called MK Gandhi as Mahatma Gandhi, does that make them unpatriotic Pakistanis?”

The BJP has slammed Aiyar in the wake of the row. BJP President Amit Shah was the first to criticise Aiyar.
On Saturday, Shah said Congress and Pakistan have amazing telepathy.

BJP Spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Aiyar’s statement reveals the true feeling of the Congress.

Of late, Jinnah is in the news in India. In Aligarh, some groups have protested against the portrait of Pakistan’s founder at the office of Aligarh Muslim University student union’s office.

The matter hit the headlines after BJP’s Aligarh MP Satish Gautam questioned the portrait’s presence in the AMU student union office.

On Thursday, 28 students and 13 cops were injured in a clash which broke out between AMU students and the police.

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