Gurmehar Kaur controversy! Nationalism Vs Freedom of expression
The daughter of a martyr who was just another student in the Delhi Universities ‘ Lady Shri Ram College, suddenly becomes a household name. The protest against the behavior of ABVP on college campus has led Gurmehar to become famous overnight. Gurmehar Kaur who calls herself as ambassador of peace trapped herself in the controversy. After the Ramjas College campus violence incident involving AISA, ABVP and the college authorities, Gurmehar Kaur had expressed her opinion or a dislike for the ABVP brigade by showing a picture with placard in her face book profile picture. The picture read, ‘I am not afraid of ABVP………’.This led to the controversy between the supporters of the action by ABVP and their opposers. It was reported that she later received rape threats and life threats for her views. Though, lately she has withdrawn herself from the controversy stating but the incident has surely led to a detailed debate on the subject of nationalism.
With the incident became popular the video uploaded by her on YouTube last year saying that her martyr father was killed by war and not by Pakistan. The idea behind her YouTube video was to advocate peace among the two neighboring nations, to ridicule idea of war and establish peace this way. Though, the thought to establish peace must be appreciated but in the scenario of such fragile international politics, peace remains an idea only. I condemn the threats she has received and would favor the appeal that the police should give her protection but it is tough to support her amateur war-peace idea.
People had different logics about her peace video and some celebrities also got trapped into due to trolling her on the comment. May be they were trying to bring out the hidden logic in her statement their way which she could not understand. Further, the incident was given a political flare by the opposition parties by standing along her or against her. IT was speculated if she was another opportunist politician in the making!
In India, the educational setup produces non analytical candidates who lack rational thinking and the power of debate. The country has a tradition of blind followers making their opinion about various social issues without thinking about the implications. Many unrests in the recent times have been of such kind where the masses walk behind a slogan shouter. There have been cases when most of the protestors did not exactly know what was the topic about.
While reading on this campus controversy, we went into gasping about where our country is headed? What would be the near future? Support of anti national sentiments by the political parties is not justified. One must remember that our country has diverse cultures whereas regionalism, communalism, Casteism are major threats to the federal structure of our country. Any effort or sentiment promoting these forces must be suppressed in order to maintain the unity and integrity of the nation. Further, while making statements about any issue, we must look into the detailed consequences and should match with the national sentiments.