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Kargil martyr's daughter leads fight for free speech, posts go viral

I am not scared of ABVP" is the slogan amongst a section of the students in Delhi University's North Campus these days. And spearheading the cause is a Kargil martyr's daughter who has initiated a social media campaign that has gone viral.

Echoing the thoughts of hundreds of students, Gurmehar Kaur's video, titled "I am not scared," got an immediate response. Kaur, daughter of Kargil martyr Captain Mandeep Singh and a Lady Sri Ram College student changed her Facebook profile picture holding a placard which read "I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me. #StudentsAgainstABVP".

"The brutal attack on innocent students by ABVP is very disturbing and should be stopped. It was not an attack on protesters, but an attack on every notion of democracy that is held dear in every Indian's heart. It is an attack on ideals, morals, freedom and rights of every person born to this nation," she said in a Facebook status.

"The stones that you pelt hit our bodies, but fail to bruise our ideas. This profile picture is my way of protesting against the tyranny of fear," she added.

Kaur revealed that initially, she did not read much into the issue. "(But) after I came to know that even people who I knew were attacked at the protest, physically assaulted and given rape and death threats, it hit me how horrible the condition is. There is only one way of protesting that I know: it is through technology and media. This, for me, is a people's movement."

She added: "It is not about two political parties against each other. It's about students against a student-government organisation that does not believe in Democracy and uses violence to support its autocratic way of leadership. This is students standing up against goons and bullies to reclaim the university space that belongs to them."

The literature student's classmates and peers started sharing the post, prompting students from various universities across the country to change their profile pictures with the same placard, as the initiative went viral.

Kaur's Facebook post so far has 2,100 reactions, 3,456 shares and 542 comments.

Ramjas College had on Wednesday witnessed large-scale violence between members of AISA and ABVP workers. The genesis of the clash was an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on 'Culture of Protests' which was withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by the RSS student wing.
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