An annual list published by Time magazine has featured Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur among 20 other Next Generation Leaders for 2017. The list that hails Kaur, the daughter of an Army man who was killed during the Kargil war, as a “free speech warrior” includes others such as The Daily Show host Trevor Noah.
Love and peace for the win always. https://t.co/2w4YWgM4Qd
— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) October 12, 2017
Responding to congratulatory messages on Twitter, Kaur tweeted: “Love and peace for the win always.”
Sometime ago, a 20-something year old girl, daughter of an army martyr who lost his life in a terrorist attack in Jammu & Kashmir, had released a video holding placards where she, rather naively, declared that “Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him.”
She was trolled and allegedly received even death threats for this comment. It was argued that free speech was under attack if a 20-something girl can’t express herself through videos and placards. She received support and became a household name after relentless media coverage. Sportspersons who didn’t agree with her were trolled and abused by self-styled liberals. Ironically, disagreeing with her was made a crime.
You surely remember all this, right? It happened in February this year. The girl’s name was Gurmehar Kaur.
Not even eight months have passed and the same Gurmehar Kaur – who was made an icon for free speech and young India – has now been accused of doing exactly the same thing she complained of – issuing threats to youth just because she did not like something posted online.
The victims this time are a couple of young boys – younger than Gurmehar Kaur – who run a Facebook page named “Squint Neon” and ‘dared’ to post the following two memes that had images from the video released in public by Gurmehar:
he was threatened for these two posts pic.twitter.com/MZ3A00Knj8
— Jon Yadav (@AndColorPockeT) October 3, 2017
The memes were essentially a criticism of activism of Gurmehar Kaur. We at OpIndia.com too had criticized the misplaced idealism and partisan activism of Kaur back in March (though our focus was not on feminism or such issues). But since memes tend to go viral more than articles – just like videos of someone holding placards – perhaps Gurmehar thought it was time to act and nix the criticism.
The admins of the Facebook page, who posted the memes and earned wrath of the free-speech warrior Kaur, knew that their page was going to be mass reported by supporters of Gurmehar.
But they were shocked to find the following message by Kaur herself:
The admins – boys younger than Gurmehar – decided to go public with this ‘threat’ of Gurmehar and posted the following update on their page (now unavailable), rightly pointing out how a girl – who was painted as an icon and champion of free speech by the media – was now using various means to curb the freedom of expression of others:
Perhaps the young boys thought that the above public post will make Gurmehar realize that she was indulging in the same act – cyberbullying and attacking other’s free speech – that she accused her tormentors of indulging in.
But Gurmehar apparently had other plans.
Like a true left-leaning activist, she allegedly decided to attack the career and livelihood prospects of the boys. In a screenshot of messages allegedly sent by her, she is seen warning the boys with threats of defamation case, police action, and a destroyed career where they may not get admissions in good colleges and may even fail to get jobs:
The boys were spooked by the above message. Imagine you are not even out of college and someone says you will have your career destroyed.
With the inputs from opindia.com and newslaundry.com