Baba Ramdev with Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Baba Ramdev (left) with Prime Minister Narendra ModiReuters

The National Students' Union of India (NSUI) has warned that it would call for a country-wide protest if any action is taken against it for burning the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other individuals on Tuesday.

The Congress-affiliated NSUI burnt a multi-headed effigy of the PM along with several others like Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, Asaram Bapu, Nathuram Godse, Sadhvi Prachi, Baba Ramdev, and JNU Vice-Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar as Ravan on the occasion of Dussehra. The incident occurred at Sabarmati Dhaba inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in south Delhi.

The students' union burnt the effigy to protest the RSS ideology being imposed on students and educational institutions across the country, but it has not gone down well with the vice-chancellor of JNU.

"The effigy burning incident at JNU was brought to our notice. We are investigating the matter and examining all relevant information," tweeted the vice-chancellor.

On the other hand, the NSUI has threatened to call for a nation-wide protest if any action is taken against it.

"We will launch country-wide protests if any action is taken against us after the probe. We have done nothing wrong," NSUI leader Sunny Dhiman told IANS. "The Vice Chancellor is indulging in witch-hunting of Dalits and Muslims, instead of protecting their rights," he added.

Dhiman said that effigy-burning is not something new in JNU with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's effigy being burnt in the past.

"No one raised any objection when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's effigy was burned. They are selectively targeting us this time. We chose the day of Vijayadashami as it was on this day that BR Ambedkar adopted Buddhism and RSS was founded," said Dhiman.

"We wanted to give them (BJP) a message that their discriminatory politics of gau-raksha politics will not work anymore," he added.

The NSUI leader also said that India is not North Korea and one didn't need permission to protest in a democratic country.