By Sharanya Gopinathan
Yaaas. Gurmehar Kaur was in the news all of February 2017 because in the aftermath of the protests at Ramjas College, Delhi, she put up an infamous picture on social media of herself holding a placard saying she wasn’t afraid of the ABVP. The right-wing took this and ran with it, and a stream of people smeared her for being an “anti-national martyr’s daughter” who had dared to have an opinion.
Cricketers, actors and Union Ministers all had something to say about her, and a lot of it was nauseating. At the time, we reported on how Gurmehar Kaur was suddenly having to deal with the entire nation’s daddy issues, as a stream of men wondered aloud who had “polluted” her young mind. People from all ends of the spectrum dissected her motivations and backing, and a BJP MP named Pratap Sinha even compared her to Dawood Ibrahim.
Gurmehar Kaur has excitingly taken back control of the narrative around her, basically by just taking the idea of that narrative and her identity by the horns. On Sunday, she published a blog post entitled I Am. It would be pretty lame if anyone else posted a blog post with that title, but given the peculiarly bizarre case of Gurmehar Kaur, it works.
She basically smashes a lot of things that needed smashing from her. She asserted her identity as an individual beyond being her father’s daughter by talking about who she really was, what she does everyday, and what she likes and believes in. She addressed Union Minister Rijiju’s infantilising dig about her mind being “polluted” by someone, she took on the trolls who attacked her so persistently, and had a bit left over for the media organisations that turned her into just a headline and opinion poll. Most importantly, the post ends with the line, “I am not your Martyr’s Daughter”.
It’s really very nice, both as a piece of writing and because of what it stands for, which is of a woman asserting her identity beyond her ties to the men in her life and making sure her story is told through her own lens. Happily, only comments approved by the moderator can go up on the post, which means that there are trolls out there burning up in futile, pathetic rage right now at their inability to talk rubbish on it.
Check out Gurmehar Kaur’s blog post here.