New Delhi: Opposition parties rushed to the defence of a Kargil martyr’s daughter after she came under harsh criticism today from BJP members for her campaign against violence in the name of nationalism.
One BJP MP, Pratap Simha of Karnataka, compared Gurmehar Kaur to wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim, while Union minister Kiren Rijiju suggested her mind was “polluted”. One person, on Facebook, threatened to rape her.
“You may not like what the person thinks but…mindless threats, trolling emanating from people whom the Prime Minister of India follows (sic). This is the worst form of state intimidation and this is not how democracies and democratic countries function,” said Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari.
The 24-year-old Kaur’s social media campaign, promoting free speech and condemning violence in the name of nationalism, has also won her massive support and caught the imagination of many young people.
In her campaign, she has blasted the ABVP, the RSS-aligned students wing, for instigating violence at New Delhi’s Ramjas College last week.
“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,” Kaur said in a Facebook status.
Taking on the Delhi University student, Simha tweeted, “At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand.”
To mock her, Simha also posted a photograph showing Dawood with the message, “I didn’t kill people in 1993. Bombs killed them.”
Rijiju also took to Twitter to take a dig at her.
“Who’s polluting this young girl’s mind? Strong armed forces prevent a war. India never attacked anyone but a weak India was always invaded,” the minister of state for Home Affairs said.
Talking to reporters, he later said, “One should not say things which could demoralise the countrymen and the forces.
Everybody has freedom but that does not mean that you raise slogans to weaken the country.