The staunch support that Gurmehar Kaur, the young daughter of a Kargil martyr got from her college, the Lady Shriram College, in New Delhi was the silver lining in the ordeal she suffered for standing up against the ABVP violence in Ramjas college.
The beleaguered student was lauded by her teachers unequivocally- “for expressing her opinion creatively and bravely and fulfilling her duty as a young citizen of this country.”
Below is the full text of their statement
We, the faculty members of the English Department, Lady Shri Ram College unequivocally and strongly support our student Gurmehar Kaur and her right to express her opinion on issues that embroil our university. It is immensely gratifying to us as her teachers that she has responded sensitively, creatively and bravely to events in her immediate context rather than seek the safe refuge of silence. We feel that it is the bounden duty of educational institutions to nurture sensitive, responsive and critical thinking students without the fear of violent retaliation. We are proud that Gurmehar has fulfilled her duty as a young citizen of this country. The threats of violence and brutality that she faces are absolutely reprehensible. Responses on social media by public figures such as Virendra Sehwag and Randeep Hooda are shameful trivialization of the intimidation that Gurmehar faces at the hands of violent mobs whose viciousness the university has recently witnessed.
We fervently appeal to the good sense of the public and to institutions of redressal to help restore our faith in law and justice in our country and let our young citizens think and articulate without fear of intimidation.
Public figures and leaders mock her on social media
The support she drew from her teachers was in sharp contrast to the criticism she invited from many public figures and central ministers.
As a result of the alleged rape and death threats she received, Kaur withdrew from the protest, tweeting that this is all her 20 year-old self can take but urged others to go there in large numbers. She reiterated that the protest was mainly about students and not about her.
But the debate that erupted after her simple statement does not show any sign of dying down.