She became the face of the battle against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) soon after her social media campaign went viral. However, on the day of DU Fightback march called by the United Universities Communities, attended by over 2,000 students and teachers, she was missing.
Gurmehar Kaur left Delhi for Jalandhar on Tuesday morning, reportedly overwhelmed by the negative response that poured from different social media platforms.
In few of her last tweets, Gurmehar said, “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 also tweeted, “The campaign is about students and not about me. Please go to the March in huge numbers. Best of luck. To anyone questioning my courage and bravery. I’ve shown more than enough.”
Gurmehar’s supporters said the young woman was taken aback by the responses to her campaign.
“She did her bit by taking a stand but it became difficult for her to handle the attention. She is just a 20-year-old. I spoke to her this morning and she told me that she was overwhelmed with whatever happened. She stays away from her family and she felt the need to be with them, which is why she left. Since her campaign went viral she was being hounded by the press which intimidated her,” an English teacher from Lady Shri Ram College for Women said.
Ram Subramanian, founder and director of the Handloom Picture Company and the man behind the ‘Voice of Ram’ video, where Kaur spoke of her martyred father and her perceptions about Pakistan and war, said that the mixed responses were too much for her to handle. This video has been at the heart of the storm, with many using her stance on war to brand her “anti-national”.
“The really heavyweight trolls got to her... She was targeted by actors like Randeep Hooda, Virender Sehwag, sitting politicians including minister of state home affairs and supporters of ABVP and BJP. When prominent personalities tweeted hurtful things, it affected her,” he said.
He also said that Gurmehar was taken aback by the responses that questioned her father’s martyrdom.