By Vasundhara Chauhan
Gurmeher Kaur, a 20-year old LSR student, is now trending as a political pawn and it is simply shameful. Does a student in India no longer have the freedom to say what they think and stand up for what they believe?
The difference in the ideology of two opposite student union parties namely ABVP and RSS lately led to a string of violent events on the North Campus of Delhi University.
The two-day seminar organized by Ramjas college took a violent turn when ABVP protested against it because of the involvement of JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid who, according to the ABVP members were involved in JNU anti-nationalist slogans. The whole situation got out of hands when some of the members of ABVP attacked the students who were in support of the seminar. Allegedly, many students and few teachers were injured during the assault.
Now, this is where Gurmeher Kaur comes in the scene. The 20 year old, daughter of a martyr and student of LSR college took a stand for the safety of students in the universities and other academic institutions and made it very clear that she is not afraid to speak up against violence and that she is not afraid of ABVP with a picture she posted on the twitter.
Gurmeher was praised for taking a stand as a student in India and everything was okay. There was no chaos until one fine day our king of wits, Shewag paaji decided to be funny and posted a picture on twitter where he can be seen holding a placard saying- “I didn’t score two triple centuries, my bat did.”
Randeep Hooda found it really ‘witty’ and retweeted it. Now, this seems witty at first but if you really look for Gurmeher Kaur on the google you’ll find an older video where she can be seen with a similar placard which said, Pakistan didn’t kill her father but the war did.
Our smartass tweeples noticed the similarity and called out Randeep Hooda and Virendra Sehwag for being insensitive and mocking a 20-year-old. Things got heated up and next thing we know Randeep Hooda is explaining his intent to Barkha Dutt, Rana Ayyub and several others including Gurmeher herself who obviously didn’t find Randeep and Veeru funny.
Meanwhile, Gurmeher gets rape threats from ABVP members for speaking up against the hooligans, and everyone somehow figured that it was Randeep and Sehwag’s fault.
While all of this was happening, the union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju thought that someone’s polluting “this young girl’s mind” and went on to tweet, “Who’s polluting this young girl’s mind? A strong Arm Force prevents a war. India never attacked anyone but a weak India was always invaded.”
Gurmeher Kaur has since withdrawn from the campaign and apparently has left the city for now because of all the unnecessary facade and the rape threats. She tweeted, “I have been through a lot and this is all my 20-year self could take.”
Everyone is talking about who said what, pointing fingers at each other but nobody is talking about the truth: A student stood for something she believed in, and thereafter she was praised, talked to, talked about, mocked, trolled, etc. Sadly, the motive with which it all began, changed in the process and a students’ movement turned into a political facade right in front of our eyes.
Even if she is from AAP, which it is now being portrayed as (we don’t know yet), rape threats and violence by ABVP is not justified. And someone speaking against it should be taken in just that spirit.
It is thus really sad how political parties are using a 20-year girl as a pawn for demeaning each other. If only such mud-hurling stopped in our country in the name of nationalism. But that is some far fetched wishful thinking for right now.