Sometime ago, a 20-something year old girl, daughter of an army martyr who lost his life in a terrorist attack in Jammu & Kashmir, had released a video holding placards where she, rather naively, declared that “Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him.”
She was trolled and allegedly received even death threats for this comment. It was argued that free speech was under attack if a 20-something girl can’t express herself through videos and placards. She received support and became a household name after relentless media coverage. Sportspersons who didn’t agree with her were trolled and abused by self-styled liberals. Ironically, disagreeing with her was made a crime.
You surely remember all this, right? It happened in February this year. The girl’s name was Gurmehar Kaur.
Not even eight months have passed and the same Gurmehar Kaur – who was made an icon for free speech and young India – has now been accused of doing exactly the same thing she complained of – issuing threats to youth just because she did not like something posted online.
The victims this time are a couple of young boys – younger than Gurmehar Kaur – who run a Facebook page named “Squint Neon” and ‘dared’ to post the following two memes that had images from the video released in public by Gurmehar:
he was threatened for these two posts pic.twitter.com/MZ3A00Knj8
— Jon Yadav (@AndColorPockeT) October 3, 2017
The memes were essentially a criticism of activism of Gurmehar Kaur. We at OpIndia.com too had criticized the misplaced idealism and partisan activism of Kaur back in March (though our focus was not on feminism or such issues). But since memes tend to go viral more than articles – just like videos of someone holding placards – perhaps Gurmehar thought it was time to act and nix the criticism.
The admins of the Facebook page, who posted the memes and earned wrath of the free-speech warrior Kaur, knew that their page was going to be mass reported by supporters of Gurmehar.
But they were shocked to find the following message by Kaur herself:
The admins – boys younger than Gurmehar – decided to go public with this ‘threat’ of Gurmehar and posted the following update on their page (now unavailable), rightly pointing out how a girl – who was painted as an icon and champion of free speech by the media – was now using various means to curb the freedom of expression of others:
Perhaps the young boys thought that the above public post will make Gurmehar realize that she was indulging in the same act – cyberbullying and attacking other’s free speech – that she accused her tormentors of indulging in.
But Gurmehar apparently had other plans.
Like a true left-leaning activist, she allegedly decided to attack the career and livelihood prospects of the boys. In a screenshot of messages allegedly sent by her, she is seen warning the boys with threats of defamation case, police action, and a destroyed career where they may not get admissions in good colleges and may even fail to get jobs:
The boys were spooked by the above message. Imagine you are not even out of college and someone says you will have your career destroyed.
They know that Gurmehar is now strongly entrenched in the left-liberal ecosystem. She was recently made a co-founder in an organization offering fellowships in areas usually hijacked by left-liberals. Politicians, journalists, activists, etc. who are part of the same left-liberal establishment that believes in having a mafia like control on institutions, were already supporting her organization:
— CPLIndia (@CPLFellows) September 12, 2017
Scared about their future, they unpublished their Facebook page and deactivated or restricted their social media profiles. They requested OpIndia.com not to publish their real names. They are terrified – to say the least.
Amidst all this, Gurmehar Kaur appears to have succeeded in her mission of getting the page off Facebook.
Rather tragically ironical that a girl who shot to fame due to being a victim of cyberbullying has now adopted cyberbullying as a tool to settle scores.
While the mainstream media will not find fault with their favorite girl for what she did, many in social media were upset at this naked display of power and arm-twisting:
Guy’s deleted his account. Chaitanya Kunte all over again. https://t.co/Nkj0QL7lMh
— Generally Speaking (@zeneraalstuff) October 4, 2017
This Gurmehar lady is such a sophisticated operator.
Such breathtaking hypocrisy, cruelty & ruthlessness – Born for Lutyens
— FoolishOfficer (@IndiaSpeaksPR) October 4, 2017
This is what fascist behaviour truly is. Claim victimhood but turn around and shut down meme makers. https://t.co/1e79utiw9J
— Sri (@cleanstrike) October 4, 2017
Some even made jokes and memes around the whole episode:
Hey @mehartweets never talk about FOE after today…
Cause he didn’t do it. Facebook did. Go sue facebook. https://t.co/Lp3bhotfku
— B M (@Brijxp) October 4, 2017
— Office of HMP (@OfficeOfHMP) October 4, 2017
After seeing all the information available on social media, Supreme Court lawyer Ishkaran Bhandari said that given the turn of events, it was Gurmehar Kaur who was more likely to be deemed as having committed a crime than the young boys. He said that the memes may not qualify as defamatory in a court of law, but what Gurmehar did can qualify as “criminal intimidation” under the Indian Penal Code (IPC):
— Ishkaran S. Bhandari (@Ish_Bhandari) October 4, 2017
Bhandari further offered to help the boys if Gurmehar files a complaint or if the boys decide to file a complaint against her for intimidation, however the boys are too scared to take on the left-liberal ecosystem. They did not provide an answer when OpIndia asked them. They said they will think about it but most probably their families will not like to take on the might of Gurmehar and her supporters
Gurmehar too has not responded about her next step at the time of filing this report, neither has she denied allegations nor expressed regret about her behavior.