After India was beaten comprehensively by Pakistan in its opening match of the T20 WC, several news reports poured in from corners of the country suggesting that several Islamists across college campuses and residential areas cheered for the neighboring terrorist nation. Some burst crackers while a few chanted slogans of ‘Azaadi’.
However, it’s not a new phenomenon – it has happened for decades and the root cause of it can be traced back to the way few radical elements across the country have kept alive the memory of Pakistani leaders and their beliefs. In Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur District, there is one such monument that is still fueling the idea of Pakistan amongst the populace.
There is a monument named ‘Jinnah Tower’ situated on the Mahatma Gandhi Road, inside the city. The Jinnah Tower is also colloquially referred to as “Tower of Harmony”, as local publications insist it being a ‘must-visit’ place when roaming around in Guntur.
The Jinnah Tower and its popularity amongst the Muslims can be gauged by the fact that even the Pakistani government through its official Twitter handle, has endorsed the landmark.
“#Jinnah Tower is a landmark monument in the city of #Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. It is named after the father of #Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and is located on Mahatma Gandhi Road of the city as a symbol of peace and harmony. #QuaidEAzam #JinnahKaPakistan” tweeted the Pakistan government.
#Jinnah Tower is a landmark monument in the city of #Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. It is named after the father of #Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and is located on Mahatma Gandhi Road of the city as a symbol of peace and harmony. 🇵🇰 🇮🇳#QuaidEAzam #JinnahKaPakistan pic.twitter.com/GxZEtyaAE8
— Government of Pakistan (@GovtofPakistan) December 26, 2017
Why was Jinnah Tower built?
It is stated that Jinnah Tower was constructed soon after the visit of Judaliyaquat Ali Khan, a representative of Jinnah, during the pre-independence era. Ali Khan was felicitated by Lal Jan Basha, the grandfather of the late Telugu Desam Party MP, S M Lal Jan Basha, and got the Jinnah Tower built in honor of the Muslim League leader.
As per another story, according to Amaravati Voice, “…two Municipal chairmen, namely; Nadimpalli Narasimha Rao and Tellakula Jalaiah, even though, they were chairman during different periods, they played their role in their respective period towards the construction of the Jinnah Tower as a symbol of coordination and tranquility,”.
With an Islamist leader that gave the two-nation-theory still revered so highly by the public of the region, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when Islamists celebrate the victory of Pakistan – a country that exports terrorism to India and spends its entirety of existence, looking for ways to antagonize its neighbour.
Another controversy in Guntur:
This is not the first time that district of Guntur has been embroiled in controversy. Earlier this year in March, it was alleged by the BJP that a huge Christian cross-shaped structure was allegedly constructed by evangelists in Edlapadu, Guntur district, where footprints of Sita devi once stood.
BJP Andhra Pradesh national secretary Sunil Deodhar had tweeted about the incident, “See huge illegal Cross in Edlapadu, AP where once foot prints of #SitaMaa existed. Carving of Lord Narasimhama exists at back. In Guntur Dist Christian mafias have created havoc. @BJP4Andhra & @friendsofrss protested but the administration tacitly supported. #Encroachment4ChristInAP”.
See huge illegal Cross in Edlapadu, AP where once foot prints of #SitaMaa existed.
Carving of Lord Narasimhama exists at back.
In Guntur Dist Christian mafias have created havoc.@BJP4Andhra & @friendsofrss protested but administration tacitly supported.#Encroachment4ChristInAP pic.twitter.com/WAfFgVYMD6
— Sunil Deodhar (@Sunil_Deodhar) March 2, 2021
CM Jagan Mohan Reddy and his minority appeasement:
Under CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, Andhra Pradesh has become a hub of conversion activities. Meanwhile, the Islamists are given leeway, as they sweetly indulge in their trance of Pakistan love. The only community left, that is, the Hindus, are struggling and face an existential crisis.
Last year, in the budget presented by Buggana Rajendranath (Minister for Finance in the Andhra government), it was announced that honorarium for Imams was to be enhanced to Rs 10,000 per month and for Mouzzans to Rs 5,000 per month.
Hindu religious sites have long been a victim of exploitation by political forces, from the invasion by radical Islamists, to current day ‘secular’ governments. However, Pakistani leaders like Jinnah, still have a space in the public, showing the true duplicity of the government.
Asking the Jagan government to take action on the Jinnah Tower will be as worthless as asking for Presidential elections in the Congress party. Thus, the centre should take the onus and intervene. It should make sure that such symbols and landmarks are obliterated, and for good. We have enough Indian freedom fighters to idolize and revere.