A 20-year-old student from Delhi University (DU) has been receiving rape threats on social media, according to reports.
Gurmehar Kaur, a student of Lady Shri Ram College, has been viciously attacked by right-wingers for starting an online campaign against ABVP, the student wing of India's ruling political party, which clashed with students and journalists in a city college on Wednesday.
Kaur took a stand against the issue and came under the face of attack. “I have been getting a lot of threats on social media. I think it is very scary when people threaten you with violence or with rape,” she told a local television station.
It all began when Kaur, who's also the daughter of a martyred Indian soldier, put up this post on Facebook. Her placard read: “I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me. #StudentsAgainstABVP”.
"The stones that you pelt hit our bodies, but fail to bruise our ideas. This profile picture is my way of protesting against the tyranny of fear," she wrote in the status.
The campaign went viral in no time with several students putting up similar posts and calling out the threat posed by ABVP.
Another of Kaur's posts read: "The brutal attack on innocent students by ABVP is very disturbing and should be stopped. It was not an attack on protesters, but an attack on every notion of democracy that is held dear in every Indian's heart. It is an attack on ideals, morals, freedom and rights of every person born to this nation."
She also put up a series of placards with the #StudentsAgainstABVP hashtag.
One came under particular attention. It read: Pakistan did not kill my Dad. War killed him. (A reference to the 1998 Indo-Pak war in Kargil in which her father Captain Mandeep Singh lost his life.)
Kaur came under a facetious attack from former India cricketer Virender Sehwag, who's become some kind of a Twitter star of late, as well as a Bollywood actor who called her a "political pawn".
Twitter erupted. Lot of support poured in for Kaur and she was lauded for being "strong".
You're welcome to call me what u want. She's no "poor girl" or "pawn." She's a strong, thinking adult who speaks her mind, handle patriarchy https://t.co/cKhgAumFcf
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) February 26, 2017
A martyred soldier's daughter knws more abt nationalism than those 'patriotic' TV champs targeting her,so spare her your gyaan @mehartweets
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) February 26, 2017
Kaur herself objected to being called a pawn. She said: "I can think."
And clarified that people needn't call her a martyr's daughter.
Don't call me a Martyrs daughter if that bothers you. I never claimed anything otherwise. You can call me Gurmehar.
— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) February 26, 2017
More sadly, she even admitted to liking the aforementioned actor's film.
A wave of anti-ABVP protests has swept DU colleges.