New Delhi, March 1: It has been more than a week since the violence has erupted in Delhi University campus with Ramjas College over canceling a seminar invitation to JNU students and a separatist-minded Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid after the protests led by ABVP. But now this incident has triggered a range of reactions and the war of words on social media, especially on twitter.
However, the social media campaign, "I am not scared of ABVP", started by Shri Ram College student Gurmehar Kaur firstly went viral. To condemn the violence on campus allegedly perpetrated by ABVP activists, Gurmehar's Facebook profile picture showed her holding a placard that 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".
Later, cricketer Virender Sehwag copied the idea of Gurmehar Kaur and posted his photo, holding a placard which read "I did not score two triple centuries, my bat did" on Sunday. Notably, the former India opener's tweet appeared to be in response to the student's earlier Facebook post that gained major traction on social media networks. In a video post, she had appealed for peace between India and Pakistan with messages on placards, one of which said, "Pakistan did not kill my dad, the war killed him'.
But Virender Sehwag later gave a clarification over his post saying, “My tweet was an attempt to be facetious rather than one to bully anyone over their opinion. Agreement or disagreement wasn't even a factor." Sehwag further said that Gurmehar had the right to express her views, but so did the Phogat sisters, wrestlers Geeta and Babita.
Earlier, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat had come out with their own statements criticizing Gurmehar Kaur on her stand on Pakistan. Reacting to the statement of Phogat sisters, known scriptwriter Javed Akhtar slammed them by tweeting, “If a hardly literate player or a wrestler troll a pacifist daughter of a martyr it's understandable but what's wrong with some educated folks”.
Referring to the comments of Javed Akhtar on Geeta and Babita Phogat, Mahavir Phogat fired Javed Akhtar by tweeting, “he spent his whole life to win a medal for country and people doesn't take a second to say them illiterate”. Phogat’s daughters Geeta and Babita had also reacted on the controversy surrounding Gurmehar.“Gurmehar Kaur’s view that her father was killed by war and not Pakistan was wrong for me. It’s against our nation and martyrs,” said Babita, a 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner.
Meanwhile, Madhur Bhandarkar also lashed out at Javed Akhtar and said, “Sir Lack of education has nothing to do with freedom of expression.I am a 6th fail student, still, nobody can stop me from expressing my views”.
On Tuesday, as Babita expressed her disappointment over Gurmehar's tweet, self-proclaimed film critic Kamal Rashid Khan aka KRK also entered the debate. Taking a dig at Babita, KRK tweeted, "Ye Lo ji @BabitaPhogat Jisko Theek Se Bolnaa Tak Nahi Aata, Usko Bhi Pata Chal Gaya Ki #GurmeharKaur is speaking against the nation. Lol!" Later Babita's sister Geeta also slammed KRK for his comments over the controversy.
There are more hundreds of such tweets which conveyed either in the favour of Gurmehar or against her. Everyone has the freedom of express but going against the country is not worth. The crores of people are illiterate but that doesn’t mean they can’t express themselves. The greatest batsman of the world Sachin Tendulkar is only 12th passed but he played for our country and made us proud.
Background: A small fight over an invitation to JNU students and a separatist-minded Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to speak at a seminar titled Cultures of Protest on February 21 has turned into big. Firstly, ABVP took objection over calling JNU students and protested heavily which later resulted in the seminar to get canceled.
However, students led by AISA had given a call for protest against cancellation of the event. They were to march from Ramjas to Maurice Nagar police station. As police did not file a FIR, Left-leaning student groups from JNU and DU protested outside Delhi Police headquarter near ITO. Delhi Police officials accepted that the issue could have been handled better and transferred the case to the crime branch. In the campus, ABVP also held a rally and claimed that during February 21 march at Ramjas, students and teachers had raised anti-national slogans.
Meanwhile, an LSR student and martyr’s daughter Gurmehar Kaur started a campaign “Students Against ABVP”, where she held a placard saying she is not afraid of the body. The campaign went viral on social media. However, a day after she started her campaign she alleged that she was threatened with rape. As soon as the police complaint was lodged by Gurmehar Kaur, police found that no ABVP members were involved in threatening her. Police confirmed that it was a leftist wing who threatened Gurmehar Kaur.
The trolling over twitter started and took the face of war with the words which involved several known persons of the country.