Sehwag says his tweet on DU student misinterpreted, Tharoor criticises him
Former India batsman Virender Sehwag, whose tweet trolling Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur triggered an outrage on social media, claimed on Tuesday that his post intended for “plain fun” was misconstrued.Universities Under Attack Updated: Mar 01, 2017 01:22 IST
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag, whose tweet trolling Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur triggered an outrage on social media, claimed on Tuesday that his post intended for “plain fun” was misconstrued.
However, Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt and wrestler sisters Geeta and Babita Phogat,joined the bandwagon of celebrities who took to social media to question the views expressed by Kaur, the daughter of an army martyr.
Kaur, 20, started the campaign ‘I am not afraid of ABVP’ following last week’s violence at Delhi’s Ramjas College that involved the students’ group affiliated to the ruling BJP’s ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
The campaign went viral and received massive support from students of various universities. Kaur also received the support of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, among others.
She posted her pictures on Facebook holding different placards, including one that said ‘Pakistan did not kill my father but war did’.
But Sehwag posted an image of his holding a placard saying: “I did not score two triple centuries. My bat did.”
After his post created a social media storm, Sehwag clarified: “My tweet wasn’t intended for Gurmehar. It was plain fun but people construed the other way.”
Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda, who had joined Sehwag on Monday in the Twitter war with Kaur, wrote an open letter titled “Don’t hang me over a laugh” after he too was at the receiving end for allegedly bullying the literature student.
Kaur withdrew from her social media campaign after receiving rape threats even as her campaign against the RSS-backed students’ group triggered a massive controversy and reignited a debate on free speech.
“I am heartbroken...These are the people you yell for in matches and they troll you at the expense of your father’s death,” Kaur told ANI on Monday, referring to Shewag’s tweet.
To anyone questioning my courage and bravery.. I've shown more than enough— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) February 28, 2017
Amid the debate over Kaur blaming war, and not Pakistan, for the death of her father in militancy-hit Kashmir, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor voiced regret over Sehwag’s attempt to “trivialise a serious issue like war”.
“I am disappointed that my cricket hero Virender Sehwag chose to enter the wholly politicised debate over Gurmehar Kaur’s words by saying “I didn’t score two triple centuries, my bat did,” Tharoor said on Facebook.
“...But who are we, who have not endured what Gurmehar did at a tender age, to substitute our worldly-wise realpolitik for the idealism of a 20-year old student? Viruji, it does not do justice to the memory of the martyr for any of us to be insensitive to the feelings of his family, however emotional their words may be, since they, not us, have suffered the brunt of the loss, and is their prerogative to react to that loss,” said Tharoor, who is the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on external affairs.
“Your seemingly witty counter to her is not only wrong, it is also trivializes a serious issue concerning war, loss, and deeply personal emotions that are felt only by those who have suffered,” he said, adding: “Do not let cynics exploit the power of your words to silence a young woman’s idealism.”
First Published: Feb 28, 2017 22:35 IST