The Gurmehar Kaur episode started with her opposing ABVP which she alleged to have indulged in violence at the Delhi University. This soon morphed into a debate over nationalism with the fact of her being a Martyr’s daughter and a supposed pacifist being used by the Left to validate her arguments and attack the Right.
Now this whole movement is threatening to take a dangerous turn by snowballing into a communal and even separatist matter. Twitter users were shocked to see such kind of statements being issued in support of Gurmehar:
As a Sikh I support Gurmehar Kaur. Hindu’s have always opposed Sikh’s and committed their genocide.
— Simranjit Singh Mann (@SimranjitSADA) March 1, 2017
This handle, purportedly of pro-Khalistan leader Simranjit Singh Mann, has been tweeting pro-Khalistan and pro-Afzal statements (incidentally the same group that gets support from leftist unions) even before this controversy broke out:
— Simranjit Singh Mann (@SimranjitSADA) February 9, 2017
— Simranjit Singh Mann (@SimranjitSADA) February 11, 2017
This was picked up by various individuals who were concerned about the direction Gurmehar’s movement was heading:
And here comes the religious angle. https://t.co/9CQ8I77xlu
— gab.ai/siddhartha (@siddhartha_gab) March 2, 2017
The kind of people in whose interests Gurmehar episode is playing up pic.twitter.com/gAtZrKmSoA
— Thought Gun (@ShootinThoughts) March 2, 2017
— kanimozhi?? (@kanimozhi) March 1, 2017
Leftist & AAP succeeded In what they were trying to do . Maligne nation’s sovereignty and given voice to separatists like khalid and https://t.co/E6Epj2rmmq
— abhishek kumar (@abhitryst) March 2, 2017
A ploy to bring in religion so as to divide those who remained united under the banner of nationalism. https://t.co/6RlxG0B2Ff
— Hemant Bijapurkar (@bija_hem) March 2, 2017
Apart from such individuals at the fringes, Gurmehar Kaur is also receiving support from various mainstream Sikh groups around the country. Various Punjab leaders, especially from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Sikh organisations like Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee (DSGMC), Dal Khalsa, Istri Jagriti Manch Punjab and Sikh Sewak Society International have spoken out in support of Gurmehar.
Even the head of Akal Takht Gyani Gurbachan Singh has thrown his weight behind her by claiming that the entire Sikh community stands behind her. Referring to her as a Sikh girl, he asked the AAP government of Delhi to take strict measures against the people allegedly threatening her, failing which he warned that the Sikh community won’t be mute spectators. Not just in Punjab and Delhi, but various Sikh organisations in cities like Lucknow and elsewhere are rallying behind Gurmehar.
Though such organisations have the democratic and constitutional right to support her, the issue has now unwittingly taken a communal colour. Furthermore, by reducing it to Gurmehar’s religious identity, which was never in question by those who disagreed with her, her supporter are promoting a sectarian view of looking at things.