The slugfest over last week’s violence at Delhi University’s (DU) Ramjas College snowballed into another nationalist-versus-liberal confrontation, with Kargil martyr’s daughter and DU student Gurmehar Kaur coming under fierce attack from the nationalists yesterday for her social media post condemning the ABVP and an earlier post in which she said ‘war, not Pakistan,’ had killed her father.
Alluding to social media post and comparing Kaur to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim (see pix), BJP Member of Parliament from Mysuru, Pratap Simha, tweeted: “At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand.”
Reiterating his initial post, Pratap Simha re-tweeted other memes (images) with similar analogies. The initial tweet came after Gurmehar Kaur launched a campaign against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). It juxtaposed two pictures of Kaur and Dawood with headings ‘Soldier’s Daughter’ and ‘Policeman’s Son.’
Though this tweet went on to attract a backlash from a section of Twitterati, his other tweets regarding the same issue were endorsed by a good number of his followers. For instance, for the initial tweet on Feb. 26, which he shared on Facebook from the page ShankNaad – there were largely unfavourable comments against the tweet by the BJP MP, all by the so called ‘liberals.’
Hours later, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju waded in with a tweet suggesting Kaur was being influenced. “Who’s polluting this young girl’s mind? A strong armed force prevents a war. India never attacked anyone but a weak India was always invaded,” Rijiju tweeted, drawing sharp reactions from a section of the Twitterati that criticized him for undermining her freedom of expression. Again the ‘liberals’ and ‘Leftists’ at work.
Some even asked why he was questioning Gurmehar’s opinion endorsing peace between India and Pakistan, while being silent on ABVP’s role in the student clashes at Ramjas College. Talking to reporters, he later said, “One should not say things which could demoralise the countrymen and the forces. Everybody has freedom but that does not mean that you raise slogans to weaken the country.”
24-year-old Kaur, daughter of Kargil martyr Captain Mandeep Singh and a Delhi University student, had started a social media campaign “I am not afraid of ABVP” following the violence at Ramjas College. Her campaign has gone viral and received support from students across various Universities.
Kaur lodges complaint
Yesterday, Kaur lodged a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) after she alleged that she was being harassed online with rape threats. DCW Chief Swati Maliwal said that she would write to the Delhi Police Commissioner to immediately arrest those who had harassed Kaur. “The security of Gurmehar Kaur and her family is now the responsibility of Delhi Police.”
Sehwag joins issue
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag, who was known for his explosive batting during his playing days, joined the issue and shared a picture on Twitter holding a placard that read, “I didn’t score two triple centuries, my bat did,” along with the message, “Bat me hai Dum! #BharatJaisiJagahNahi” (see pix). His tweets too drew bouquets and brickbats.
BJP MP Pratap Simha yesterday defended his tweet and said he would not delete the post.
He told reporters, “I have not compared Gurmehar Kaur to Dawood Ibrahim. I used a metaphor to suggest Dawood did not use the crutches of his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand. Kaur is not the only daughter whose father was martyred. What is the message she is sending by saying, “Pakistan did not kill my father, war did.” How can she exonerate Pakistan? Whose bullet killed her father then? is the question anyone will ask.
The MP tweeted: “Dear Media, I have simply reposted the FB post of ShankhNaad and I stand by it. My constituency is facing drought, show us the way to get Azadi from it.”