Kolkata: A Facebook post by a 20-year-old daughter of a Kargil martyr, Captain Mandeep Singh, has been in the midst of a storm with the the whole country talking about it including sports persons. If actors like Randeep Hooda are part of the team that hasn’t taken Gurmehar Kaur’s post in the right spirit, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag and wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat too have expressed their views on the issue. However, Sehwag has clarified that his Tweet which has a picture of his with the placard that reads, “I didn’t score two triple centuries, my bat did,” was not meant to hurt Kaur, a first-year-student of Lady Shri Ram College. Speaking to India Today, Sehwag said, “My tweet wasn’t intended for Gurmehar. It was plain fun but people construed the other way.” Hooda, too after facing a backlash has clarified his stance.
Gurmehar reposted a video on Facebook in which she pointed out that it was not Pakistan but war that killed her father which created a huge storm. She also expressed her ire against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the wake of the pandemonium in Ramjas College, Delhi where students from the ABVP have clashed with members of the Left-backed All India Students Association (AISA). Members of the ABVP had objected to the Ramjas College decision to invite Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to a seminar organised by the college’s literary society. Khalid has been in the news because of the JNU episode that took place last year when some students including Khalid were charged with involvement in anti-national activities for taking part in a programme to protest against the execution of the mastermind of the Parliament attack, Afzal Guru.
The Phogat sisters from Haryana, who have been in the news of late after the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal created box-office history, have shared their views on the issue. “What I felt was wrong in her message was when Gurmehar said ‘Pakistan did not kill my father, war killed him.’ I felt that was wrong and I tweeted about it. I think that’s like speaking against our country because 7 army men were martyred in Nagrota last month. Where did the terrorists come from? Obviously from Pakistan, which supports these terror attacks on India. That is why her father died because of that,” Babita told India Today.
Her sister Geeta seconded her and even supported Sehwag. “Virender Sehwag was absolutely correct because when cricketers lose a match we don’t blame their bats for it we blame the players. We win and lose matches not out bats and the same applies to Gurmehar’s statements as well. For us our country is our priority. Whatever Gurmehar has said – about the problems which women face in our country – we are with her on those matters. She is right on her part on a lot of issues but one wrong thing which she said (about Pakistan) has courted controversy,” Geeta said.
Meanwhile as per media reports, Gurmehar seems to have had enough of the drama and has opted out of so-called chaos taking place in the North Campus of the Delhi University. But she would always remember the memories of this sudden jump to limelight for being honest and straight forward. For Sehwag, clarifications are fine, but one wouldn’t be naive enough not to understand and analyse the exact motive behind your tweet. Spare this girl who has lost her father and who in some way appeals to both India and Pakistan not to indulge in war that leads to deaths on both sides of the border. Nevertheless, she has paid a heavy price for airing her views, even facing rape threats. Sad!