DU student, who lost father in Kargil war, challenges ABVP

New Delhi, (IANS): A Delhi University student and daughter of an army Captain who died in the Kargil war has launched a social media campaign against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad – #StudentsAgainstABVP – that has gone viral on social media in the wake of the violence in Ramjas College.

Gurmehar Kaur in tweets on Saturday clarified that she supports the freedom of speech but not anti-national slogans.

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Kaur (@mehartweets) tweeted: “Am I fighting for people who support anti-nationals? NO! Who are fighting for? STUDENTS And our right to free speech, safe academic space.”

“Free of hate. Free to speak. Free to hold opinions. Free to learn. This is my nation. #studentsagainstabvp,” she said.

Kaur, a student of Lady Shri Ram college, is the daughter of late Capt Mandeep Singh, who died during Kargil war.

“Nationalism isn’t defined by whoever is in power. Nationalism is a feeling that comes from within. It’s love for the nation. It’s love for its people and it’s people include young students,” she tweeted.

Criticising the reactions that she is receiving over social media, Kaur in another tweet wrote: “Absolutely disgusted at the reactions in receiving from so called ‘nationalists’.”

The hast tag #studentsagainstabvp started by her has become viral in the social media and is getting wide support from students across India.

Earlier in the day, she said: “Don’t want my nationalism to be taught to me by some local goons.”

Kaur, on Wednesday, in a Facebook post wrote: “This profile picture is my way of protesting against the tyranny of fear. If you are a student in any Indian university, in any Indian state and you wish to protest against ABVP, then take a similar selfie and make it your profile picture. Use the hashtag #StudentsAgainstABVP and copy paste this message along with it.”

She has posted a profile picture holding a placard with a slogan: “I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP.”

“The brutal attack on innocent students by ABVP is very disturbing and should be stopped. It was not an attack on protestors, but an attack on every notion of democracy that is held dear in ever Indian’s heart. It is an attack on ideals, morals, freedom and rights of every person born to this nation. The stones that you pelt hit our bodies, but fail to bruise our ideas,” she wrote.

Clashes erupted between activists of the leftist All India Students Association (AISA) and the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) outside Ramjas College here on Wednesday, a day after the ABVP forced suspension of an event to be addressed by JNU student Umar Khalid, jailed last year for allegedly shouting anti-national slogans.