Gurmehar Kaur

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Gurmehar Kaur
Born (1996-09-24) 24 September 1996 (age 22) [1]
NationalityIndian
EducationPursuing English Literature at Lady Shri Ram College for Women

Gurmehar Kaur is an Indian student activist and author.[2] She is currently studying English Literature at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University. She is also an ambassador for Postcards for Peace, a UK based charitable organisation that helps eliminate any form of discrimination.[3] Gurmehar Kaur came to news as she was a part of the ‘Save DU campaign’ following the February 2017 clashes at Ramjas College between members of the All India Students Federation (AISF) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) when JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid Shora were invited for a campus seminar. Earlier, she was in news due to a video she released.

In October 2017, Time Magazine used the phrase "free speech warrior" in expressing their opinion of Kaur and included her in their "10 Next Generation Leaders" list for 2017.[4] She has authored a book, a memoir, called Small Acts of Freedom which was published in January 2018 by Penguin Random House.[5][6] She was also a speaker at the Harvard US India Initiative held in New Delhi in January 2018.[7]

Gurmehar Kaur (right) as a speaker at the Times Lit Fest 2017, an initiative by The Times of India, held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 26th November 2017.

Early life[edit]

Gurmehar Kaur was born to Rajvinder Kaur and Captain Mandeep Singh in Jalandhar.[1] She completed her education at Harvest International School, Ludhiana. Her father, Mandeep Singh, was one of the seven Indian army personnel martyred at 1:15am IST after a Rashtriya Rifle camp was attacked by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir on 6 August 1999.[8]

Controversies[edit]

Indo-Pak peace message video[edit]

On 28 April 2016, a video was uploaded to Facebook by Voice of Ram (Ram Subramanian), featuring Gurmehar Kaur.[9] The video was also uploaded to YouTube by Voice of Ram.[10] Gurmehar Kaur launched the #ProfileForPeace campaign in April 2016, advocating "peace" between India and Pakistan in the video. The video went viral[11] in February 2017, after Gurmehar came forward with a social media message against ABVP at Delhi University, a student federation belonging to the Sangh Parivar.[12][13] It attracted much controversy and ridicule, particularly a statement: "PAKISTAN DID NOT KILL MY DAD, WAR KILLED HIM"[14][15][16][excessive citations]

Gurmehar Kaur (left) at an Amnesty International event, Conversations 18', in New Delhi. Shehla Rashid (right) also pictured.

In 2017, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India Kiren Rijiju commented on her video that 'Some Political forces are behind her statements (Spoiling the minds of the students)'.[17] Former cricketer Virender Sehwag posted an image saying, "I didn't score triple centuries, my bat did".[18] Javed Akhtar also commented on this issue as he counterattacked on all those who were against Gurmehar.[19]

Gurmehar's mother showed support for her daughter clarifying that "Her message in the video should be seen in a larger perspective. What she actually wanted to say was that war always brings destruction. I never wanted her to look at people of Pakistan or any other country with hatred. Situations make people kill each other during a war." [20]

Save DU Campaign[edit]

She started Save DU campaign against ABVP in February 2017 in which she opposed the violence that erupted at the Ramjas College Campus after the lectures of Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were cancelled due to ABVP's protest.[21] She received death and rape threats for starting this campaign and later on she left the campaign.[22]

Books[edit]

  • Small Acts of Freedom by Gurmehar Kaur, Penguin Random House.[5][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Who is Gurmehar Kaur? What's the ongoing #SaveDU campaign all about? All your questions answered". 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Who is Gurmehar Kaur?". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  3. ^ "Who is Gurmehar Kaur? What's the ongoing #SaveDU campaign all about? All your questions answered". The Indian Express. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Santhanam, Radhika (2018-01-20). "Small Acts of Freedom review: Memories and reality". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  6. ^ "Gurmehar Kaur's 'Small Acts of Freedom' to be published soon - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  7. ^ "Home - Harvard US India Initiative". HUII. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  8. ^ Sehgal, Manjeet. "All about Gutmehar Kaur's Father Captain Mandeep Singh". M.indiatoday.in.
  9. ^ "Log In or Sign Up to View". www.facebook.com.
  10. ^ Voice Of Ram (28 April 2016). "Gurmehar kaur Soldier of peace" – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "Anurag Kashyap speaks on Gurmehar Kaur row, says social media is being used for political polarisation". Inuth.com. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Meet Gurmehar Kaur, the DU student and martyr's daughter who took on ABVP | delhi". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  13. ^ "Virender Sehwag Defends Himself Over Gurmehar Kaur Issue in 3 Tweets – NDTV Sports". Sports.ndtv.com. 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  14. ^ "Who Is The Indian Media's Latest Student Muse Gurmehar Kaur?". Timesnow.tv. 27 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Gurmehar Kaur's father died defending company HQ". The Indian Express. 28 February 2017.
  16. ^ Ghoshal, Arkadev. "Gurmehar Kaur's father is NOT a Kargil War hero... but he is a hero nonetheless". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Why Gurmehar Kaur is wrong and why it's dangerous to tag everyone who disagrees with her a 'troll'". Firstpost. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  18. ^ "Gurmehar Kaur straight bats Sehwag, asks if its ok to make fun of a fathers death". Indiatoday.intoday.in. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  19. ^ Akhtar, Javed (1 March 2017). "Javed Akhtar Says Gurmehar Kaur Trolled By 'Hardly Literate Player, Wrestler'". NDTV India. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Gurmehar Kaur's mother to India Today: It pains when she's called anti-national, proud of what she did : India, News - India Today". Indiatoday.intoday.in. 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  21. ^ "Delhi Police fails to identify suspects who threatened Gurmehar Kaur". Indiatoday.intoday.in. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  22. ^ "Rape threats: cops yet to identify suspects". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  23. ^ Kaur, Gurmehar (2018-01-01). Small Acts of Freedom. S.l.: Penguin Random House India. ISBN 9780143442318.

External links[edit]