The All India Students Federation (AISF), in an attempt to express its anger and frustration against Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, organised a protest where they had put a punching bag with PM Modi’s image at Kochi’s Marine Drive and asked passersby to either kick or punch the bag if unhappy with the government or they can hug the bag if they agree that the present government has done well. Around 500 people participated in the protest to express their opinion and, according to reports, not even a single person hugged the PM’s effigy agreeing with the protest.

While in a democracy, it is the right of each and every citizen to express what he or she feels about the government, going to such an extent where you are asking people to virtually kick or punch the effigy of the Prime Minister doesn’t seem right. Yes, the AISF was within its right to burn the effigy if they felt like but punching and kicking is a tad too much. That too in Kerala.

Talking about their protest, AISF Ernakulam district president MR Harikrishnan said they organised the protest because they feel the situation in the country is pathetic. The AISF Ernakulam chief also cited rising fuel prices and denying proper aid to flood-hit Malayalees during the recent deluge in the state, which has made people angry.

All right, you have the right to protest and express your anger, but that it could have been done by organising a rally or raising slogans against the government or the Prime Minister, but organising one where you ask people to punch the PM’s effigy face could have also incited violence in the already politically-charged country.

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Further speaking about the protest, Harikrishnan said they wanted to come up with a different campaign to protest against the government. Knowing that a similar protest had also taken place in the United States against its President Donald Trump, they decided to go ahead with this. Harikrishnan added that they did not want to hurt Modi or target him but he represents the government.

The protest which took place last week though ended peacefully but it could have incited violence knowing the fact that there are more Modi supporters in the country than his haters and organising such a protest where it could
have hurt somebody’s sentiments, the protest could have turned violent.

Following the protest, the Sangh Parivar has now lodged a complaint against AISF Ernakulam District Secretary Aslaf Parekadan and accused him of sedition. Reports said that he is receiving alleged threat calls from Sangh Parivar members, which should not be the case. Lodging a complaint against somebody’s conduct is one’s individual right but trying to take law and order into one’s hands is not a valid counter-attack.

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Parekadan said he has the right to protest against the government peacefully since he is not satisfied with the government’s performance. He said he is now being tagged as a terrorist and even being passed with comments like go to Pakistan. Well to this, people should be ready to face counters like these but issuing threat is vehemently condemnable.

The Sangh Parivar has asked Parekadan to apologise to the PM and Sangh Parivar for organising such a protest. In response to Sangh, Aslaf Parekadan has posted a video on Facebook and explained his right to go for this move.

On the apology issue, once again it’s an individual’s or group choice and right to decide whatever they want, therefore, getting an apology on a threat should not be the way for any organisation but any group or individual who wants to express their disagreement with the government or its head, there could have been some other way to protest rather than inciting and provocating people, especially by organising it against a political figure, who has a massive following, and is the head of the country.

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