Gurmehar Kaur might or might not be a political pawn, but her stand on DU violence is anything but apolitical

Gurmehar Kaur says she stands against ABVP. By what logic is that not a political statement?

Gurmehar Kaur is a name most of you by now must be very familiar with. For the few who are not, she shot to fame first with her video on Indo-Pak peace and how people in both the countries look forward to an equation of love and peace. The 20-year old is now back in news after she held a placard ending with #StudentsAgainstABVP via Twitter and given the fire that was already burning in Delhi University over the issue, her message went viral.

First off, she is the daughter of a Kargil martyr and it cannot be expressed in words how each of us Indians feel umpteen amount of gratitude towards not just her father but every soldier who gets martyred in war. Also, she is a young woman who has the full right to express what she feels and whoever dares to threaten her with rape shall face the direst of consequences. Now, that that’s clear Kaur has kicked off quite a debate with this very evidently politically-driven hashtag created by her.

Gurmehar Kaur/Twitter

Gurmehar Kaur/Twitter

All seemed to be going hunky-dory till the point Sehwag pointed out via a witty tweet how her point about how Pakistan did not kill her father and war did does not fit into common logic. Randeep Hooda retweeted Sehwag and also made a point about she being used as a political pawn and all hell broke loose. Gurmehar stood up in her defence and this exchange followed.

One cannot help but notice how indeed saying Pakistan did not kill her father but war did is very skewed as logic. It’s a kind of twisting of words that barely gives out any meaning. What Sehwag’s tweet did was in no way bringing down her father’s sacrifice or questioning her nationalism but questioning the kind of weak logic the video stood on. Indo-Pak peace is desired by most of us but does that justify saying in a war with Pakistan, Pakistan did not kill our soldiers? Nevertheless, Hooda faced a good amount of social media slur and Shekhar Gupta has been at it for longer than anyone with an unending series of tweets.

Now, that we are done introducing you to a summary of the exchange that took place it’s difficult to totally ignore the fact that her profile pic led hashtag campaign gives out a highly political message. Gurmehar Kaur stands against the ABVP which is a political body and asking students to be against a student body, no matter run by which party, is nothing but political. What happened at Ramjas college was a clash. Clashes involve both sides, and in this case in all probability there were outsiders who came and added to trouble. it’s easy to pull off something like that when a mob is already in place. Kaur took a stand against ABVP and she has every right to take one, but it’s nonetheless a political stand.

Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt both seem to think Randeep and Sehwag’s opinion stems from them thinking Gurmehar Kaur does not have a mind of her own and somehow that seems so far stretched that one cannot help but wonder where that even came from. She has the right to say what she feels and to hold placards and star in videos. To make this a sexism and patriarchy issue is just bizzare and also goes out to show that if it was a guy in her place would Barkha Dutt, Rana Ayyub or Shekhar Gupta not stand up in his defence?

Violence against students or against anybody as a matter of fact is not acceptable and when Hooda says that Kaur’s statement could have an interpretation that’s a lot more stretched than just standing up for students, he might just be making sense.  The whole debate that Kaur has now taken centre-stage in is political. So much so that those slamming Hooda also brought in how he belonged to a state with a poor sex-ratio and that his mother is from the BJP. So much so that all her supporters have already assumed and even tweeted out to her about how her rape threats must have come in from the ABVP or the RSS, since every account on social media sending out rape threats belongs to either of these two.

All in all, whether or not Kaur is a pawn we cannot yet tell, but her stand is in no way apolitical and simply student-centric. That’s the kind of oversimplification nobody can get away with, irrespective of their gender or background.