Gambhir bats for Gurmehar, Sehwag plays defensive

Cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday came out in support of Delhi University (DU) student Gurmehar Kaur, who is in the eye of a storm over free speech, even as Virender Sehwag defended himself after facing a backlash for ridiculing her.

Taking a strong stand, Gambhir asserted that mocking or "ganging up" on Kaur, a martyr's daughter, for her views on the "horrors of war" was "despicable". Freedom of expression is absolute and equal for all, he tweeted.

Gambhir's views are in stark contrast to former cricketer Sehwag's opinion on the issue. Incidentally, the duo opened innings for Team India for a long time.

Kaur has been subjected to intense trolling on the social media over her stance against RSS-backed students outfit ABVP and a video campaign advocating peace between India and Pakistan.

In a series of tweets, Sehwag defended himself, claiming that his social media post in reply to Kaur was an "attempt to be facetious" rather than one to bully anyone over their opinion, adding that agreement or disagreement was not even a factor.

"She has a right to express her views and anyone who threatens her with violence or rape is the lowest form of life. Everyone has a right to express their views without being bullied or threatened. Gurmehar Kaur or the Phogat sisters," Sehwag tweeted.

Gambhir, in his statement, said he has utmost respect for the Indian Army, however, the recent events have left him with a sense of disappointment.

The freedom of expression is absolute and equal for all!

High time we learnt that and practised it daily in every sphere of life. pic.twitter.com/iMfIanQyh1

— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) March 1, 2017
"We live in a free country where everyone is entitled to their opinion. If a daughter who lost her father puts up posts about the horrors of war with the intention of achieving peace she has all the right to.

"It is not an opportunity for everyone to show how patriotic they are and gang up on her to mock her. She is entitled to her opinion just as every other citizen is. Everyone may or may not agree with it but mocking her for it is despicable," Gambhir said.

Kaur, a student of Lady Shri Ram College, affiliated to Delhi University, is the daughter of Captain Mandeep Singh who was killed in a militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district on August 6, 1999, four days after Pakistani troops withdrew from Kargil.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel