Two days after mocking Delhi University student and daughter of a war martyr, Gurmehar Kaur for her campaign against the right-wing students’ group ABVP, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag on Wednesday said that he did not intend to bully her.
Sehwag took to Twitter to admit that he was only trying to be humorous and that “agreement or disagreement wasn't even a factor”.
My tweet was an attempt to be facetious rather than one to bully anyone over their opinion. Agreement or disagreement wasn't even a factor.— Sehwag Sehwag (@Sehwagsehwag) March 1, 2017
In a series of tweets, the former Indian batsman hit out at all those who had issued death and rape threats against Gurmehar, calling those who threatened her with violence as “the lowest form of life.”
Sehwag also argued that she has a right to her own opinion, just like everyone else.
Everyone has a right to express their views without being bullied or threatened. Gurmehar Kaur or the Phogat sisters.— Sehwag Sehwag (@Sehwagsehwag) March 1, 2017
She has a right to express her views and anyone who threatens her with violence or rape is the lowest form of life.— Sehwag Sehwag (@Sehwagsehwag) March 1, 2017
Sehwag’s series of tweets come a day after Gurmehar Kaur withdrew her campaign against ABVP. She had started the campaign following student violence at Ramjas college last week. She had posted a picture of herself with a placard that read, “I am a student of Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me.”
After the post went viral, social media users dug up a-year-old video of her where she notes war killed her father (a Kargil martyr) and not Pakistan.
Sehwag’s statement on Wednesday comes after he received criticism from many including senior politicians, celebrities and journalists for his earlier tweets, which showed him carrying a photoshopped placard in his hand which read, “I didn’t score two triple centuries, my bat did,” while the tweet read, “Bat me hai Dum ! #BharatJaisiJagahNahi.”
Support for the DU student also came from cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who published a video on Twitter together with the statement, “The freedom of expression is absolute and equal for all! High time we learnt that and practised it daily in every sphere of life.”