Lessons from Gurmehar episode: Girls, don’t speak your mind, our netas, stars HATE freedom of speech

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New Delhi, Feb 28: It was not something that happened within the four walls of a house. That is the beauty of social media -- you say something and the world is there to witness it. We all got to read and thereafter many among us reacted too, when an articulate minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet, a retired star cricketer and Bollywood actor decided to troll a young woman on social media.

The woman in question is Gurmehar Kaur, the 20-year-old Delhi University student, who decided to protest against the alleged violence unleashed by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on students affiliated to left-wing organisations on her Facebook page recently.

Gurmehar Kaur

The moment Gurmehar decided to speak her mind on social media -- with a strong message against the violent incident that occurred on Ramjas College campus recently -- all hell broke loose. From trolling by former Indian star batsman Virender Shewag on Twitter to questions raised on her 'love for the nation' by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju --Gurmehar's name has become the most uttered word in all television channels. The unabated attack on her did not stop at that, the brave girl has also received rape threats on social media.

Gurmehar's episode has once again highlighted why Indian men don't like women speaking loud and clear. Either they ignore their views or get so outraged that they go ahead and warn them with rape threats. It is not just our regular men in question, even our ministers and stars don't like women speaking on sensitive issues. After all, men are ruling the nation (remember how Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav and their likes vehemently oppose 33 percent reservation of women in Parliament).

This kind of opposition is nothing, but deep-rooted patriarchy in our society. Perhaps that is why not any well-known woman personality has come out in support of Gurmehar. Because supporting her means welcoming trouble of grave consequences.

After enduring constant bullying, Gurmehar too has decided to back off from her lonely fight. In fact, the 20-year-old student, whose father Captain Mandeep Singh died during the Kargil war, has decided not to be a part of a protest rally hosted against the ABVP by left-wing groups from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University on Tuesday.

That is how India silences its 'female' voices when the prime minister is regularly talking about one of his pet projects -- Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.

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