The past week has seen the Indian Twitterverse in chaos with celebrities spanning industries and strata as well as the junta taking extreme sides on the issue of anti-nationalism, following a Kargil martyr’s daughter’s social media campaign against college violence. Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of the late Capt Mandeep Singh, had been running a poster campaign on social media demanding an end to violence on campuses, allegedly by ABVP students.
WATCH VIDEO | Gurmehar Kaur Withdraws Save DU Campaign: Here’s What Happened
While there were some voices that supported her, especially university students, she faced a lot of brickbat all across funnily enough not for the current campaign, but an old screenshot of a video she’s done for Voice of Ram, where she holds a placard saying, “Pakistan didn’t kill my dad, the war did.”
After social media and offline lashing and even rape threats, Kaur withdrew herself from the campaign expounding on her decision through a series of tweets. “I’m withdrawing from the campaign. Congratulations everyone. I request to be left alone. I said what I had to say.. I have been through a lot and this is all my 20 year self could take :)” she tweeted Tuesday morning.
Soonafter, several bigwigs tweeted out to her, reassuring her that she had taken a stand for something she’d believed in, and she should be proud of that. As expected, many are also from the Congress or the party’s supporters.
WATCH VIDEO | Kargil Martyr’s Daughter Says ‘Not Scared Of ABVP, Ready To Take Bullets For Country’
Relax. You did just fine. Whether we may agree with your opinion or not, will always stand up for your right to have and express views. https://t.co/xh5UmQgPeq
— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) February 28, 2017
Against the tyranny of fear we stand with our students.For every voice raised in anger, intolerance &ignorance there will be a Gurmehar Kaur
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 27, 2017
@mehartweets standing up to bullies is required and you did that! Your father would’ve been proud of you like all of us! More power to you!
— Anshul Trivedi (@anshultrivedi47) February 28, 2017
Very shameful for democratic India: we can not digest genuine outburst of a young girl @mehartweets and try to torture her publicly. SHAME.
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) February 28, 2017
There’s a girl who has the guts of fictional Rupali taking a stand in DU. More power to Gurmehar Kaur.
— Ravinder Singh (@_RavinderSingh_) February 27, 2017
Hounding of & threats to @mehartweets by Sanghi trolls tells how effective she is. Like her father, she is a brave person. More power to her
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) February 26, 2017
WATCH | Virender Sehwag Tweets Following Kargil Martyr’s Daughter’s Anti-ABVP Post
Gurmehar Kaur is withdrawing from the campaign. Rana ji ko follow back tak nahi diya, sab mehnat bekaar :(
— The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) February 28, 2017
@mehartweets dont see it as a withdrawal. you have shown courage,m spunk and dignity and made your point. More than.
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) February 28, 2017
— roshanabbas (@roshanabbas) February 28, 2017
But there are two sides to everything and for every positive comment, there is a troll. This was no different. But what is interesting to note that the problem here doesn’t seem to be with the placard she’s holding up now, but one singular placard she had held last year in a video. The question this raises is that is it really right for everyone to haul up someone over a statement made a year ago and take it out of context? The video was meant to be a peace message between India and Pakistan, questioning the government of both countries.
So, all those who rallied against Kaur, calling her an anti-national, they seem to be reacting to the old photo, and as far as the new one is concerned, there is very little that’s being said or opined over. Maybe that should say something about our propensity – including that of our beloved celebrity intellectuals – to simply lambast or ridicule without thinking things through.