Daughter of fallen Indian soldier divides the nation, gets support from Pakistan
Gurmehar Kaur, 20, is like any other daughter of an Indian soldier who died fighting in Kashmir. What makes her different is the fact that she refuses to blame Pakistan for her father’s death.
The student a college in Delhi, who was two years old when her father was killed, recently posted a message on social media “Pakistan did not kill my dad. War killed him”.
Her message of peace went viral but also outraged certain section of society in India. Even some celebrities, cricketers and mostly supporters of the ruling party, Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party or the BJP, have been attacking her on a daily basis. Even some central ministers chose to jump into the fray.
A minister of the state government of Haryana, ruled by the BJP, said those supporting Gurmehar should go to Pakistan. Television channels across India are debating freedom of expression in the wake of this episode.
Gurmehar has been subjected to online abuse and even rape and death threats. She is now seeking police protection and has reportedly fled Delhi, where she was going to college.
There have been messages of support though, not just within India, but also from across the border in Pakistan. Inadvertently, or otherwise, Gurmehar divides India today, but ironically unites the region.