MUMBAI: BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha on Tuesday demanded that the Jinnah House located at Malabar Hill be demolished and a cultural centre be constructed at the site. Incidentally, an unidentified woman tried to put up a ‘Gudi’ (flag) at the gate of the Jinnah House to mark the beginning of the Maharashtrian New Year on Gudi Padwa. Police said they promptly removed the Gudi.
Lodha, while speaking to the media, said that he had raised the issue in the Legislative Assembly and also wrote a letter to Union Defense Ministry to this effect. Lodha called Jinnah House a symbol of India’s partition and said it needed to be brought down.
It may be recalled that Pakistan had been demanding for several years that it should be allowed to open a consulate at the Jinnah House. Former Pakistan External Affairs Minister Khurshid Kasuri demanded last week that the house built by the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah at Malabar Hill be given to Pakistan to open its consulate in Mumbai.
The iconic Jinnah House is located opposite the official residence of the chief minister of Maharashtra on Malabar Hill in South Mumbai. Jinnah, after returning from England in 1936 with a law degree, constructed the bungalow. After partition, Jinnah left for Pakistan and his daugther Dina Wadia staked claim as the legal heir to the property. Since then, the property has been in the possession of the central government.