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What is the controversy surrounding Jinnah House?

By Vikas
|

Jinnah House, once owned by Pakistan's founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah, is in the news once again after a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA demanded its demolition.

The 2.5 acres mansion in Mumbai's upscale Malabar Hills area is said to worth $ 400 million. There has been a long-standing proposal to convert it into a South Asian Centre for Arts and Culture.

The sprawling mansion, formally known as 'South Court', has long been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. It is being maintained by the Union Government since 1983. It was also the venue for the historic talks on Partition and creation of Pakistan in September 1944 and later in August 1946.

BJP's Mangal Prabhat Lodha has also urged the government to declare the Jinnah House an "enemy property".

Parliament recently passed the Enemy Property Bill, 2016 which says successors of those who migrated to Pakistan during Partition will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.

Jinnah's mansion in Malabar Hills

Jinnah's mansion in Malabar Hills

After Jinnah returned to Mumbai from England to take charge of the Muslim League, he built himself a palatial mansion South Court (Jinnah House) in Mumbai, which became his residence during the politically momentous decade preceding the creation of Pakistan.

Image courtesy - Youtube screengrab

Govt spends millions for its upkeep

Govt spends millions for its upkeep

The house, designed by Claude Batley, a British architect, was built in 1936 and is located at 2, Bhausaheb Hirey Marg, Malabar Hill. In 1948, it was leased to the British Deputy High Commission which occupied it till 1982.

Image courtesy - Youtube screengrab

Pak wants mansion to be made consulate

Pak wants mansion to be made consulate

Successive Pakistani governments have often expressed deep interest in acquiring the property free of charge for sentimental reasons.

Image courtesy - Facebook/Raj Anand Sharma

Mohammed Ali Jinnah

Mohammed Ali Jinnah

Jinnah, a lawyer and politician, was the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until the creation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947. He was Pakistan's first governor-general until his death. He is revered in the neighbouring country as Qayid-i-Azam and Baba-i-Qaum. He passed away on September 11, 1948, at the age of 71.

Jinnah's daughter, Dina Wadia, has earlier demanded that the mansion be handed over to her.

Born as Dina Jinnah, Dina Wadia's relationship with her father became strained when she expressed her desire to marry a Parsi-born Indian, Neville Wadia. Jinnah, a Muslim, tried to dissuade her, but failed. It is said that when Dina married Neville, Jinnah said to her that she was not his daughter any more.

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