Jinnah Tower of Guntur: should be renamed after former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

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By Our Special  Correspondent, Syed Ali Mujtaba, Copy Edited By Shafaat Khan, TIO:  Kadapa March 20: Buoyed by the success of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the four assembly elections, the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP has reiterated the demand for renaming the ‘Jinnah Tower’ in Guntur.

About the origins of ‘Jinnah Tower’, one story is that a representative of Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, visited Guntur in the pre-Independence era. He was felicitated by Lal Jan, the grandfather of the former Rajya Sabha member, S. M. Laljan Basha who is said to have built a tower to commemorate the leader of the Muslim League.

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According to another narrative, two Municipal Chairmen, Nadimpalli Narasimha Rao, and Tellakula Jalayya were responsible during their respective terms of office for the construction of the ‘Jinnah Tower,’ as a symbol of peace and harmony.

“In Guntur, a tower is named after Jinnah. He was responsible for the killing of lakhs of Hindus during the partition of ‘Akhanda Bharat (undivided India)’, and the persecution of Hindus in Pakistan. The BJP demands that the name of Muhammad Ali Jinnah be removed from the tower in Guntur,” The Andhra Pradesh BJP co-in charge Sunil Deodhar said on Saturday.

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Speaking at Ranabheri in Kadapa, Deodhar said, isn’t against Muslims or Islam, but fundamentalism and appeasement politics and alleged that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is not willing to rename the tower because he fears losing his vote bank.

He demanded that the ‘Jinnah Tower’ in Guntur should be renamed and suggested the tower can be renamed after APJ Abdul Kalam, former President.

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Last year in December, the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP had submitted a memorandum to the Guntur Municipal Corporation Commissioner Challa Anuradha to rename ‘Jinnah Tower’ after the name of former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

The tower was erected on six pillars that open to a dome, typical of the then Muslim architecture in the early twentieth century. According to the State Archaeology Department, the tower could be brought under the list of protected monuments since it has a history of more than 60 years.

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The tower that was in a state of neglect and was crumbling recently got repaired and painted in tricolor by the Guntur Municipal Corporation (GMC).

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Curated by Maham Abbasi

Syed Ali Mujtaba

Syed Ali Mujtaba

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a Sr.Journalist, Author based in Chennai, India. Writes frequently for the USA based News Portal, TheIndiaObserver. He is author of the book Soundings on South Asia, New Dawn Press (2005). He can be reached at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com or TIO, at Mediaiss@Gmail.com

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