When 20-year-old Gurmehar Kaur spoke up against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Facebook for disrupting a seminar at Ramjas College in Delhi University, she had not anticipated the nationwide controversy and angry backlash that her comments would lead to.
Caught in the middle of the furore and unnerved by the incessant and often vicious trolling that included death and rape threats, Kaur on Tuesday announced that she was withdrawing from the campaign against ABVP.
Back at home with her family in Jalandhar, Kaur told Hindustan Times that she was unhappy at the way the reaction to her comment had taken an ugly political turn.
"The issue on which I spoke went out of hand," she said. "I would like to clarify that I do not want to enter politics... I just gave my opinion and I never expected the whole thing to take such a turn. I had a really bad time. I am not in a state to talk about it, and I cannot take it anymore."
I would like to clarify that I do not want to enter politics.
Kaur also talked about how she and her family were being "harassed" by the media.
"It is not acceptable that people get to see my house, the place I stay, in the newspapers," she told HT. "I am through with this. I came here from Delhi to get some rest, but the media is hounding me here too. I am unable to go outside and nobody is able to come in either."
I came here from Delhi to get some rest, but the media is hounding me here too.
Kaur was not present at the protest march held on Tuesday at Delhi University. Earlier, she had tweeted:
I'm withdrawing from the campaign. Congratulations everyone. I request to be left alone. I said what I had to say.. (1/2)— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) February 28, 2017
I have been through a lot and this is all my 20 year self could take :)— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) February 28, 2017
Seeking some peace and quite now, Kaur said that she was contemplating writing an article about her experiences.
Two women constables of the Punjab Police have been stationed at Kaur's residence in Jalandhar for her protection.
A year ago, Kaur had shared a video on social media in which she appeals for peace between India and Pakistan. Her father, Captain Mandeep Singh, was killed in the 1999 Kargil war.
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