Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur, whose social media campaign against right-wing students’ organisation ABVP has stoked a debate on free speech, continued to draw both support and criticism on Tuesday. (LIVE UPDATES OF DU PROTEST)
The 20-year-old was mocked on Twitter by Olympic medallist Yogheshwar Dutt, who posted an image of Gurmehar along with Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden and a Black Buck.
Dutt’s tweet came a day after former cricketer Virender Shewag apparently mocked Kaur’s post that said: “Pakistan did not kill my father. War killed him.”
A student of the Lady Shri Ram College, Kaur has triggered a controversy after taking on the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which is affiliated to the ruling BJP’s ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and has been linked to the violence in Delhi University last week.
Kaur, whose father captain Mandeep Singh was killed in combat in militancy-hit Kashmir, has said she has been dubbed anti-national and threatened with rape for her campaign against the ABVP.
Kaur changed her Facebook profile picture after violent clashes in DU’s north campus with a picture of her holding a placard which read: “I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me. #StudentsAgainstABVP”.
Wrestlers Gita and Babita Phogat, the sisters who life inspired the movie Dangal, too seemed to be critical of Kaur.
“If you speak against nation, people will obviously not like it. Irrespective of gender, the person won’t be spared,” news agency ANI quoted Gita as saying.
Kaur’s stand was apparently criticised by actor Randeep Hooda, who retweeted the tweet by Sehwag. Hooda said in a tweet: “It was just very witty of Viru to come with “Bat mein Dum”. Can’t you see the irony? Defuse the situation not add.” He also said that “She (Gurmehar) is being made a pawn.”
But Bollywood lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar hit out at Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday for hinting that Kaur was being influenced by political rivals.
I don't about her but Mr Minister I know who is polluting your mind .— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) February 28, 2017
Re-tweeting a tweet by Hooda, Rijiju said, “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.”
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. https://t.co/gXHkAGi9sh— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 27, 2017
Faced with critcism, Kaur said she had shown enough courage and wanted to be left alone. “To anyone questioning my courage and bravery.. I’ve shown more than enough.”