On a day that India celebrated Dusshera by burning effigies of Ravana and metaphorically declaring the victory of good over evil, NSUI-affiliated students in JNU decided to burn the effigy of India’s PM Narendra Modi casting him as Ravana. Besides Modi, the effigy had faces of BJP president Amit Shah, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Sadhvi Pragya, Nathuram Godse, Asaram Bapu and JNU vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar.
The video has since gone viral creating a major furor in the BJP. The NSUI has gone a step further by issuing a statement that says that they do not support effigy burning though it is their democratic right to express their protest. The Congress party has stoutly backed their student wing.
The question is should Congress be fanning fires of hate against a constitutional high post? Is the Cong justified in invoking the principle of freedom of expression? Is this a cheap political stunt and can fanning hate ever be called ‘freedom of expression?’