The campaign of a Kargil martyr’s daughter against the ABVP on Monday left several BJP bigwigs rattled as they reacted with controversial statements.
Leading the pack was Union minister Kiren Rijiju, who wondered who was “polluting” Gurmehar Kaur’s mind, while his party colleague from Karnataka compared the young girl with wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
Pratap Simha, BJP MP from Mysuru, tweeted, “At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand.”
— Pratap Simha (@mepratap) February 26, 2017
His tweet came as the campaign of Gurmehar Kaur went viral online with her photograph in which she said, “Pakistan did not kill my father. War killed him.”
To mock her, Simha also posted a photograph showing Dawood with the message, “I didn’t kill people in 1993. Bombs killed them.”
Rijiju, whose ministry Delhi Police reports to, also took to Twitter to take a dig at her.
“Who’s polluting this young girl’s mind? Strong armed forces prevent a war. India never attacked anyone but a weak India was always invaded,” the minister of state for Home Affairs said.
Talking to reporters, he later said, “One should not say things which could demoralise the countrymen and the forces.
Everybody has freedom but that does not mean that you raise slogans to weaken the country.”
Union Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, too questioned if freedom of expression meant raising slogans against India.
Choosing to ignore the violence committed by the ABVP, the RSS’s student wing, Prasad said, “Does freedom of expression mean raising slogans like Azadi for Kashmir, Azadi for Bastar.”
The AISA leader and former JNU Students’ Union vice president, Shehla Rashid, has denied students ever raised anti-India slogans on Ramjas College’s campus.
Curiously, none of the BJP leaders have either condemned the violence or the police high-handedness resulting in injuries for students and several journalists.
24-year-old Kaur, daughter of Kargil martyr Captain Mandeep Singh and a Delhi University student, had started a social media campaign “I am not afraid of ABVP” following the violence at Ramjas college. Her campaign has gone viral and received support from students across various universities.
She was later issued rape threats by BJP supporters on social media platforms.
(With inputs from PTI)