Gurmehar Kaur has been in the spot light over the last few days. But what’s all of it about?

Who is Gurmehar Kaur?

Gurmehar Kaur was born to Cpt. Mandeep Singh who was killed after a Rashtriya Rifles camp came under militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 1999. Kaur was merely 2 years old.

Years later, as part of an initiative called ‘Voice of Ram’, Kaur explained in a silent video that she supports peace between India and Pakistan.

Who said what?

What started as an innocent attempt at peace got messier as people started to take notice. And then it was a snowballing effect.

One of Kaur’s statements in the video came in the spotlight and got caught up in controversies. She says, “Pakistan did not kill my father, war killed him.” While Kaur was praised by some and many congratulated her bravado, several deemed her unpatriotic.

Twitter didn’t hold itself back either. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India Kiren Rijiju said “Who’s polluting this young girl’s mind?” He added that “freedom of expression is not a license to shout anti-national slogans in campuses. Criticize the government but don’t abuse the motherland”. While Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi tweeted “Against the tyranny of fear we stand with our students. For every voice raised in anger, intolerance and ignorance there will be a Gurmehar Kaur”.

Various celebrities couldn’t hold back either. While Javed Akhtar stood for Gurmehar, Virender Sehwag made a meme about it which showed him holding a placard that said ‘I didn’t score two triple centuries, my bat did’.

In no time, Kaur received threats of murder and rape in heaps and has led to her leaving Delhi for the moment.

Even though we know Kaur fights for peace, blaming hundred of killings on an abstract term called ‘war’ and pardoning Pakistan isn’t fair to those who laid down their lives. However, this entire matter shouldn’t have become as huge as it did.

But after all, one’s Freedom of Speech is another’s offence and that’s all we can say about it.

Author: Zainab Haji

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