It is only in India that brave assertions become national liability. Gulmehar Kaur’s case is a stark example of this. The politicians and others have been trolling her. The twenty- year- old Gulmehar was only expressing herself and can someone see sense in what she was saying? The girl is scared and she has requested everyone to leave her alone after she received threats from all over. How can placing a placard become a threat to national unity as some of the comments on twitter have pointed out. She is being bullied and threatened for being brave and speaking her heart out. Finally, due to all this she is leaving the city.
What is this Democracy like? That Gurmehar Kaur was trolled by anonymous trolls, isn’t worrying? What is worrying is that so how some of the most powerful and influential men in the country, a parliamentarian, a Union minister and even a cricketer and actor, have expressed their disapproval of what she has said, called her a terrorist, ridiculed her views and refused her agency. No one even mentioned one word defending what’s her Constitutional right or condemned the threat that she faces. Doesn’t it show that a culture of goondas is being promoted by the system.
It is unbeleivable that soon after Kaur’s post on social media, BJP MP Pratap Simha compared her to Dawood Ibrahim saying “at least Dawood didn’t use his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand”. Simha’s reaction was to a post by Kaur from May last year, where she made a case for peace with Pakistan. Rather than condemning his party colleague’s vicious jibe, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju tweeted asking, “Who is polluting this young girl’s mind?” He went on further to state that it is her job to study, why is she getting into all this. Instead of Kiran Rijiju providing protection to her and assuring her safety, he dished out unsolicited advices. Look at Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has scented a plot to lead young minds astray.
Gurmehar Kaur has broken no laws. Nor has she slandered any individual on a public platform. The 20-year-old student of English literature at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University is the daughter of late Captain Mandeep Singh, who fell fighting militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Kaur started a social media campaign after the violence in Ramjas College on February 22. The campaign began with Kaur changing her Facebook profile picture to her holding a placard that read: “I am a student of Delhi University and I am not afraid of ABVP.” For her post, she has received graphic threats on social media, the more innocuous among which include “a fate worse than Nirbhaya (the December 2012 gangrape and murder victim)”, advice to “just die” and been called “worse than Hitler”.
The Delhi University is usually a microcosm of the political narrative playing out in the country. It reflects as to what is the culture at the national level. It has become increasingly clear that politics of intolerance and bullying is taking over liberalism and citizen’s right to speech.the question is are we evolving as a country or going back to the medieval times where dissent was not allowed. More so a dissent from a women?