Monday, February 27, 2017

Do cricketer Sehwag, actor Hooda believe all Muslims are Pakistanis?, wonders Gujarat human rights activist

Clips from Gurmehar Kaur's video
By Our Representative
In an unusual investigation, Gujarat human rights activist Pratik Sinha has revealed that top cricketer Virendra Sehwag and actor Randeep Hooda have been unusually critical of Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur for a video she posted on social media, where she explains how she came off the impression as a six-year-old child that all Muslims are Pakistanis.
Belonging to Jalandhar, Kaur is daughter of Captain Mandeep Singh, martyred in the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan. In the video, the young student, who was two when he died, recalls how, when she was six, she hated Pakistan Muslims because she thought all Muslims were Pakistanis, one reason why at that small age, she “tried to stab a lady in a burkha” because she thought she was “responsible” for her father’s death.
“My mother held me back and made me understand that Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him”, she recalls, adding, “It took me a while to know, but today I do.”
“I have learnt to let go of my hate”, she points out, adding, “Today, I am a soldier too, just like my dad. I fight for peace between India and Pakistan, because if there was no war between us, my father would still be here…Majority of regular Indians and Pakistanis want peace, not war.”
Made on April 28, 2016 and published a few days later, Kaur’s four-and-a-half minute video, which went viral, has been watched by over 1.5 million people on the Facebook page it was initially posted on, apart from tens of thousands of times on other platforms such as Youtube, Sinha reveals.
“In this video, she held 36 posters, one after another, with handwritten messages on them wherein she narrated her story of how she lost her father, how she used to hate Pakistan, Pakistanis and Muslims, and how she overcame her hate”, says Sinha.
“The 13th poster out of the 36 posters read “Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him”, states Sinha, adding, it is this one “became a bone of contention” following the recent Akhil Bharariya Vidyarthi Parishad “attack” on a Ramjas College seminar last week and she spoke out against the attack.
Sehwag, who has been a staunch Modi supporter, made fun of the student, came up with a poster on his hand, which reads, “I didn't score two triple centuries, my bat did.” Hooda, another Modi lover, joined in the action, applauded Sehwag, and in a series of tweets, said, Gurmehar was a ‘poor girl’ being used as a front for a political message: “What's sad is that the poor girl is being used as political pawn and it seems you are a party to it...”
BJP MP Pratap Simha virtually broke all boundaries, making fun of Gurmehar, comparing her with gangster Dawood Ibrahim, who posed as saying, “I didn’t kill people in 1993, bombs killed them”, adding, “At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand.”
Sinha, who is also a social media buff, comments, “These tweets kicked off a new round of vicious trolling and abuse, with many Modi supporters whom the Prime Minister himself follows on Twitter, getting into the act. Unfortunately, Sehwag, Hooda and the trolls completely overlooked the context in which she held up that 13th poster.”
Meanwhile, top scribes have taken strong exception, especially to Sehwag and Hooda – Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt. In a series of tweets, Gupta said, “Sad, from you, big-hearted stars. Nobody's patriotism needs certificates, and hers has stamp of her father's supreme sacrifice”.
Critical of Hooda, Gupta rubbished Hooda’s claim that Kaur was a “poor girl”, defending her in the following words: “She's no poor girl or "pawn. She's a strong, thinking adult who speaks her mind.” He advises Hooda to “handle” his “patriarchy”.
Dutt tweeted, “So when a girl speaks she is being ‘used’? How patronising (and sexist) to assume” that Kaur “doesn't have a mind of her own, but that you do”.

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