Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur, who found herself in the middle of an acrimonious debate over nationalism, was on Friday trolled again after a video of a young woman singing, dancing in a car was circulated on social media.
Several Twitter users were quick to assume the girl was the 20-year-old Lady Shri Ram College student, who launched a campaign against the ABVP after violence in the city’s Ramjas College.
Kaur was forced to leave Delhi after she was allegedly threatened with rape and her campaign triggered an ugly debate on free speech, with politicians also joining in.
The woman in the clip is not Kaur but as the video went viral, trolls followed. A news website even carried a story wondering if the woman was Kaur.
“It’s really shocking and shameful this is the reality of Gurmehar Kaur,” tweeted Ankur Jaiswal.
The video, like the Ramjas violence, turned into a Left vs Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad slugfest.
CPI (ML) Politburo member Kavita Krishnan accused the ABVP, of circulating the video to defame Kaur. “Look at the comments on Twitter. They are accusing her of being a Naxal. Some woman is simply dancing and singing in the car. What is the problem with that?” she said.
“Now the ABVP is slandering her character. This is the work of the same people who say girls drink in JNU. Their leaders had also talked about condoms in JNU. This is their mindset,”she said.
Police should take suo motu notice and ensure Kaur was not harassed, she said.
The ABVP, which is the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, the ideological parent of the BJP, denied the accusation.
“The ABVP does not do such things. It is becoming completely illogical. Social media is an unregulated space and it is the communists who are spreading anarchy in the name of freedom of speech and expression,” the student body’s media convenor Saket Bahuguna said.
There were many who also came out in support of the woman in the video.
“Even if this video was indeed featuring Gurmehar Kaur, does her drinking discredit her statement and thinking?” Gurmeet Arora tweeted.
A BJP youth wing member, Tajinder Pal S Bagga, spoke in support of Kaur. “People sharing fake video of Gurmehar is only hurting movement, it’s not going to prove anything. Also if it’s not real we don’t have right to attack anyone’s personal life.”
Kaur is in her hometown of Jalandhar in Punjab and has been provided security by the state police.
As Kaur’s campaign against the ABVP went viral, an old video in which she said war not Pakistan killed her father resurfaced and she was accused of being anti-national.
Kaur’s father Capt Mandeep Singh died fighting militants in Kashmir in 1999.