Noting that the Indian government cannot put fetters on a citizen’s right to make use of his own land in any manner without causing hindrance to anyone, the Madras high court permitted erection of a bust-size statue of K Muthukumar, who committed self-immolation in Chennai last year protesting the alleged killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Justice K Chandru, rejecting the government’s objections to the statue, said: "If the argument of the special government pleader is accepted, then for putting up the picture of one’s own parents or forefathers in private patta lands, they should move the authorities for permission. The government is trying to clutch a non-existing power."
The judge said: "Muthukumar, a Tamil youth abortively terminated his life for a cause which was dearer to him on January 29, 2009, at Chennai. The incident shocked the state. Muthukumar’s last testament was widely publicised in all newspapers. There were meetings to condone his death and he was adored for the spirit of sacrifice."