Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pratap Simha on Sunday compared Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of an Army captain killed during the Kargil war, to Mumbai serial blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim. On Twitter, Simha posted juxtaposed images of Kaur and Ibrahim with a caption that read, “At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his [policeman] father’s name to justify his anti-national stand”.
The Mysuru-Kodagu MP’s post is a reference to Kaur’s silent video campaign made in 2016, calling for an end to state-sponsored conflict between India and Pakistan. “Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him,” she said. Simha’s post has Ibrahim holding a placard that reads, “I did not kill people in 1993, bombs killed them.”
Kaur’s more recent campaign against the right-wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s violence at Ramjas College in Delhi led viewers to her campaign against state-sponsored conflict. In the older campaign, she had said, “I also remember how much I used to hate Pakistan and Pakistanis because they killed my dad. I used to hate Muslims too because I thought all Muslims are Pakistanis.”
While her campaign against the violence in Delhi got mixed responses, reactions from cricketer Virendra Sehwag and actor Randeep Hooda escalated the controversy on the internet. On Sunday, Sehwag had published a post that showed him holding a placard that read, “I didn’t score two triple centuries. My bat did.” Hooda had said Kaur’s campaign “reeks of political usage of a man’s child who died defending the line drawn.”
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju also raised doubts about the campaign. “Who is polluting this young girl’s mind?” Rijiju posted.
Journalist Shekhar Gupta criticised Sehwag and Hooda. “Nobody’s patriotism needs certificates and hers has stamp of her father’s supreme sacrifice,” his Twitter post said.
The 20-year-old had said she has received rape threats in response to her campaign.