Nearly a year ago, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi had turned into the centre of political slugfest, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being accused of suppressing dissent. Similar to Kanhaiya Kumar, who gained prominence after JNU row, the student fraternity has now found a new face – Gurmehar Kaur. The 20-year-old daughter of Kargil martyr has emerged at the centre of controversy emanating from Ramjas College. A day after the college administration cancelled a programme where JNU leader and sedition-accused Umar Khalid was scheduled to speak, Gurmehar took to social media to express her dissent.
In a series of Facebook posts, she uploaded her photograph carrying a placard which said, “I am a student of Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me.” In her subsequent post, Gurmehar revealed that she is the daughter of a Kargil martyr. She further said, “Pakistan did not kill my dad. War did.” With this she stirred the hornets nest and whole political arena of Lutyens Delhi went into tizzy. Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu backed ABVP, stating that it is a nationalist organisation. Hitting out at the student fraternity who have rose in protest, Naidu said, “Right to freedom does not give you the right to offend. Freedom does not mean you can abuse your own motherland, of advocate its disintegration. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to advocate the freedom of Jammu & Kashmir.”
Naidu dismissed the argument that Centre is curbing freedom of speech. “In this nation, you can call the Prime Minister a donkey. Is this lack of freedom of speech? But we cannot allow you to break up the nation to preserve your right,” he added. Hitting out at the Congress for supporting students who are at ideological loggerheads with Centre, Naidu said, “This is the same situation as JNU. And Congress, which has not yet digested the defeat of 2014, wants to use every opportunity to defame Modi government. Subversion of rights has only been practiced by Congress regimes. Who imposed emergency in the nation?”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley condemned the violence at Ramjas College. However, he also criticised the alleged slogans of ‘free Kashmir’ raised at the varsity. Jaitley lashed out at the Leftist students, accusing them of being averse to hearing the point of view of the masses. “Any idea which thinks in terms of disintegration of (the) country, is something I abhor. Within the framework of upholding the sovereignty of (the) country, we can ideologically differ but free speech does not permit you to assault the sovereignty of the country.” “The separatists and the ultra-Left are speaking the same language in certain university campuses. So they must be willing to allow others with a different opinion to put a counter viewpoint,” he further added.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi came out in absolute support of Gurmehar, hailing her valour to take on right-wing forces. “Against tyranny of fear we stand with our students. For every voice raised in anger, intolerance and ignorance, there’ll be a Gurmehar,” he said on social media. Rahul had earlier too backed the Leftist students of JNU, after Delhi Police had imposed sedition charges against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for organizing a programme where the alleged anti-India slogans were raised.
CPI(M) general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP accused Centre of using ABVP to unleash Right-wing frenzy across college campuses.
“This is an effort to impose fundamentalism on universities. Why no action is being taken against ABVP goons who are threatening the students?” he said, while speaking to NDTV. “BJP is for free speech, but only of those who only talk of shamshan-kabristan, hum paanch humare pachees and Kasab,” Yechury further added.
But all these political hue and cry is a hogwash, the real issue lies elsewhere. “Pakistan did not kill my father, the war killed him” was what Gurmehar said exactly one year ago during Kargil diwas and she was praised for her maturity at that time but this time she took the wrong step. Her sentiment expressed at that time is not wrong per se except that these kind of sentiments exists in Utopian world. These kind of sentiments can be expressed within the safe confines of a college campus but not in the real world. Even if we go by her statement then also it was a wrong assumption that Pakistan didn’t killed her father war did because any war happens due to ideologies. Ideologies lead to war. Now the ideology behind war that Pakistan wage is just religion and the ideology behind the war India is forced to fight to defend itself is patriotism. Half of her statement turns false even as Pakistan endorses the other half technically. Pakistan till date has not owned its involvement in ‘Kargil War’ besides not owning the bodies of their dead soldiers. It maintains that it was a militant attack. Neither has Pakistan confessed to date about its involvement in Mumbai terror attacks or Pathankot terror attack or hundreds of such state sponsored terror attacks. It is quite open secret that these militants want Kashmir to be ceded from India and Gurmehar’s father died defending that Kashmir only. He wanted Kashmir to remain integral part of India and the comrades of Gurmehar is demanding ‘azaadi’ of Kashmir, how ironical?
One should remember that India never waged a war on Pakistan. It only defended itself every time. Even if we go by Gurmehar’s logic of having peace with Pakistan then we have to give Kashmir to them. But will it guarantee peace in the long run? Not at all. Pakistan will increase its demand to give it Punjab and then it will go for Himachal and the list will continue and a day will come when Pakistan will gobble our nation with no sight of that elusive peace we all seek. Bleeding India with thousand cuts is the state policy of Pakistan. It’s the only policy it is sincerely adhering to disregarding poverty, chaos, un-development in its own turf. It is a terrorist state harboring terrorist like Osama bin Laden, Hafeez, Dawood Ibrahim etc. It is sponsoring terrorism even at the cost of being hurt by the same home grown terrorism. It’s the typical case of cutting your nose to spite your face. In this case the face it wants to spite is India.
If we keep offering our nation to Pakistan to win peace and a day will come when this ‘azaadi’ brigade no longer will be allowed the right to study, let alone the freedom of speech and expression they are defending, demanding and exploiting all at the same time. No right to study, no right to show their face and certainly no right to preach their ideals as they will be among womenfolk of defeated ‘Kafir’ nation to be raped, mutilated and humiliated. And know what? The enemy will do all this with religious sanction and promise of heaven after life!
By Nilabh Krishna