Lady Shri Ram College, one of the most prestigious of all the colleges across the country, saw itself becoming a major part of the entire national, anti-national debate. When an LSR student, Gurmehar Kaur, decided to speak against an issue that immediately affected her, she was targeted, trolled, heckled.
Gurmehar, a simple 20-year-old, started a campaign, #IamnotafraidofABVP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and called others to join in. The campaign simply invited the students across India to change their display images.
Gurmehar KaurI am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me. No student organisation has the right to take the law in their hands.
What followed was a tremendous response to Gurmehar’s call to action which led to many students changing their profile pictures across social media becoming a part of the silent protest.
What was justified – an army of youth dismantling property across Delhi’s north campus or a student expressing her views?
Gurmehar was called all sorts of things, ‘sickular’, ‘gaddaar’ and ‘libtard.’
But in the aftermath, it left some of the ELSAs, LSR girls scared – scared to express their views in public.
An LSR student What bothers me is why is our freedom of speech and expression being hampered. Why is this space, where we can be vocal about our opinion, is being curbed?
These questions are bothering most ELSAs after a college, which is not even part of the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU), became the centre of the whole protest. So much so that Gurmehar Kaur was being dubbed an anti-national.
Another LSR student Universities after universities are being targeted to delegitimise any dissent that is taking place. This is a systematic attack and it will not suppress us.
What did touch hearts was how the faculty of LSR came out in support of Gurmehar Kaur. They released the following statement.
Gurmehar was dubbed an anti-national. But what does Gurmehar represent? Gurmehar represents what the Delhi University teaches lakhs of students who come from different parts of the country. Gurmehar represents how we are taught to be fearless. Gurmehar represents the courage to stand against hegemony. So if we call her an anti-national, are we questioning what University of Delhi is teaching us?