Delhi University protest as it happened: Umar Khalid, missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed's mother join students at Mandi House

Twenty-four-year-old Gurmehar Kaur, whose social media campaign against the ABVP has gone viral, got caught up in a Twitter war on Monday with ex-cricketer Virendra Sehwag and actor Randeep Hooda who called her a 'political pawn'.

FP Staff March 04, 2017 18:10:10 IST
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Delhi University protest as it happened: Umar Khalid, missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed's mother join students at Mandi House

Highlights

12:26 (ist)

ABVP hopeful of huge turnout at rally, says teachers will also support

According to a report in News18 - Hindi,  ABVP has expressed hope that a huge number of students and teachers will join their protests against the alleged "anti-India" stand of the Left-leaning student groups.

The report also said that another rally, called by the Left students' groups, is likely to take place post the ABVP's 'Save DU' march.

10:39 (ist)

I have no intent to enter politics: Gurmehar Kaur

The 20-year-old Lady Sriram College student, who suddenly found herself in the eye of a storm that just refuses to die down, has again reached out to the media to try and clarify her stand.

Kaur, who lost her father in the Kargil war, says that she is "saddened" by the whole thing taking an ugly turn, while all she wanted was to voice her opinion. She also clarified that she never had any intentions of joining politics, as reported in The Hindustan Times.

Kaur also refused to be further dragged into the controversy, after which she allegedly recieved death and rape threats and was blatantly bullied online. "“I just gave my opinion, and I never expected the whole thing to take such a turn. I had a really bad time. I am not in a state to talk about it, and I cannot take it anymore,” Kaur told the national daily.

11:37 (ist)

Lady Shri Ram College faculty backs Gurmehar Kaur 

The English department of Lady Shri Ram College, where Gurmehar Kaur is a first year student, has unanimously issued the following statement:

We, the faculty members of the English Department, Lady Shri Ram College unequivocally and strongly support our student Gurmehar Kaur and her right to express her opinion on issues that embroil our university. It is immensely gratifying to us as her teachers that she has responded sensitively, creatively and bravely to events in her immediate context rather than seek the safe refuge of silence. We feel that it is the bounden duty of educational institutions to nurture sensitive, responsive and critical thinking students without the fear of violent retaliation. We are proud that Gurmehar has fulfilled her duty as a young citizen of this country. The threats of violence and brutality that she faces are absolutely reprehensible. Responses on social media by public figures such as Virender Sehwag and Randeep Hooda are shameful trivialization of the intimidation that Gurmehar faces at the hands of violent mobs whose viciousness the university has recently witnessed. We fervently appeal to the good sense of the public and to institutions of redressal to help restore our faith in law and justice in our country and let our young citizens think and articulate without fear of intimidation.


- Rita Joshi, Madhu Grover, Rukshana Shroff, ArtiMinocha, Maya Joshi, ShernazCama, Mitali Mishra, Arunima Ray, DiptiNath, Maitreyee Mandal, JanetLalawmpuii, Ngangom Maheshkanta Singh, Karuna Rajeev, Wafa Hamid, Jonathan Varghese, TaniyaSachdeva, Rachita Mittal.

09:44 (ist)

Bullies Rijiju and Sehwag need lessons on argument to overcome troll mentality

Gurmehar Kaur's father gave his life in the service of his country. Kaur asked a very fundamental question: how many more fathers will have to do this. She asks why politicians on both sides are unable to come to an agreement and create peace despite the last seventy odd years of Indian Independence.

All ideas are open for debate including those that Kaur has. But one must debate the idea by attacking the idea and not the person. That's the key difference. "Trolling" is the common parlance that once uses to attack a person and not the idea that he/she expressed. Trolling will invite rebuke, whereas attacking an idea will generate an argument, and therefore, will lead to a debate.

These are just examples of how you engage with an idea. What Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and cricketer Virender Sehwag did was attack Kaur for having an opinion in the first place rather than engaging with her in the numerous (like we mentioned above) decent ways. They decided that attacking her personally for her opinions might be a good idea.

09:35 (ist)

Current debates pigeonhole her into being 'martyr's daughter', not as student with a voice

What happens when the daughter of a former soldier voices opinions that aren’t as palatable for the groups seeking support for their patriotic cause? At the moment in India, it looks like the daughter of a former soldier is only permitted to have political opinions of a particular hue, and otherwise things turn spectacularly nasty, as in the case of Gurmehar Kaur.

The very present absence of her father in all these discussions, even in those that congratulate her for her strong position, is also a problem. The fact that some of the public can’t seem to recognise her capacity for independent thinking – that she is framed either as the “brave daughter of her great dad” or a clueless kid falling in with the murky anti-national crowd – means that she is constantly infantilised. Disturbingly, the logical follow-up is visible in tweets that assign her a new mommy and daddy (according to one Twitter user, they should be Barkha Dutt and Arvind Kejriwal).

Meanwhile, it would be nice if the public would stop giving Kaur unsolicited advice about how to be an apolitical humanitarian. It would be wonderful if members of the government indulged less in amateur ESP (“What is Meher thinking now and who is making her think it…hmm”) and focus instead on the urgent issues – the rape threats and appalling vitriol that Kaur is having to deal with. Surely there has to be a way to see Kaur for the brave individual she is. Here’s wishing Kaur a world in which speaking up doesn’t require quite so much bravery. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Mar 04, 2017 - 17:56 (IST)

Missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed's mother says there was no help from the govt

Mar 04, 2017 - 17:19 (IST)

A DU student recounts how the cops assaulted her

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/a-du-student-r%E2%80%A6-assaulted-her-3315210.html/embed

Mar 04, 2017 - 16:59 (IST)

This govt has singled out students and universities as its single largest enemy: Umar Khalid tells Firstpost

Mar 04, 2017 - 16:57 (IST)

Nandita Narain, DUTA president, at the students' protests

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/nandita-narain…dents-protests-3315148.html/embed

Mar 04, 2017 - 16:54 (IST)

Umar Khalid addresses the crowd at Mandi House

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/umar-khalid-ad…in-mandi-house-3315136.html/embed

Mar 04, 2017 - 16:37 (IST)

Protesting students

Mar 04, 2017 - 16:35 (IST)

Security deployed at Mandi House

Mar 04, 2017 - 16:24 (IST)

DU and JNU students return: Anti-ABVP slogans chanted at Mandi House

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/watch-du-and-j…at-mandi-house-3315094.html/embed

Mar 04, 2017 - 16:23 (IST)

Delhi University and JNU students return to protest against ABVP hooliganism

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/watch-du-and-j…vp-hooliganism-3315050.html/embed

Mar 04, 2017 - 16:19 (IST)

Ramjas, as an issue, has not lost focus: DU student

Abinash, a second-year Literature student from Ramjas says that currently the university students are divided into the binaries of nationals and anti-nationals. "This will not simmer down. A lot of apolitical crowd from the campus have taken stand against their (ABVP) violence. That's the larger achievement."

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/we-are-stuck-i…tudent-abinash-3315088.html/embed

Twenty-four-year-old Gurmehar Kaur, whose social media campaign against the ABVP has gone viral, got caught up in a Twitter war on Monday with ex-cricketer Virendra Sehwag and actor Randeep Hooda who called her a "political pawn".

Gurmehar Kaur, a Delhi University student, had started the campaign 'I am not afraid of ABVP', following the violence at Ramjas college, which went viral and received a massive support from students of various universities.

She posted her pictures on Facebook holding different placards including 'I am not afraid of ABVP' and 'Pakistan did not kill my father but war did'.

While the literature student's classmates and peers started sharing the post, prompting students from various universities across the country to change their profile pictures with similar placards, Sehwag shared an image of his holding a placard saying, "I did not score two triple centuries. My bat did."

Delhi University protest as it happened Umar Khalid missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmeds mother join students at Mandi House

Gurmehar Kaur.

While many Twitter users criticised Sehwag for comparing a cricket match to a war, many others including Randeep Hooda cheered Sehwag for his remark, saying, "She (Gurmehar) is being made a pawn."

"Really sweet of you to encourage the hate I've been receiving. Makes me feel happy that I adored your work Delhi University protest as it happened Umar Khalid missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmeds mother join students at Mandi House Pawn? I can think. I don't support violence perpetuated on students? Is that so wrong (sic)," Kaur said in a series of tweets in reply to Hooda's comment.

The Twitterati reacted negatively to the actor's remark prompting him to get into a damage control mode.

"What's sad is that the poor girl is being used as political pawn...It absolutely wrong..have a feeling it's not limited to that in interpretation (sic)" he tweeted.

"Don't call me a Martyrs (sic) daughter if that bothers you. I never claimed anything otherwise. You can call me Gurmehar," she tweeted.

Kaur, daughter of Kargil martyr Captain Mandeep Singh has approached the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) alleging that she has received "rape threats" allegedly from members of the ABVP after she initiated the campaign against the RSS' student wing.

Ramjas college had last week witnessed large-scale violence between members of the Left-affiliated AISA and the ABVP.

The genesis of the clash was an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on 'Culture of Protests' which was withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by the ABVP.

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