By Anju Agnihotri Chaba
May 2, 2016
In a video of over four minutes, Jalandhar-based 19-year-old Gurmehar Kaur — whose father Captain Mandeep Singh was killed during the war in 1999 — has conveyed the message through a series of 30 placards written in English, with no voice but sombre music playing in the background. Watch the touching video here.
She was just two years old when he died and has very few memories of him. “I also remember how much I used to hate Pakistan and Pakistanis because they killed my dad”, she has written on a placard. She believed all Muslims are Pakistanis and consequently used to hate Muslims too. She was six-years-old when she tried to stab a lady in a Burqa because she thought she was responsible for her father’s death.
Don’t brand her an Islamophobe just yet. Her mother who held her back and make her understand that it was not Pakistan, but the war that killed her dad. Eventually she let go of her hate, which — she writes on the placard — was “neither easy nor difficult.” She has questioned that if she can do it, why can’t everyone else? She claims to be a soldier just like her dad, but that she fights for peace between India and Pakistan.
“There are people who often say that Pakistanis and Muslims are responsible for killing several Indian soldiers. And since Pakistanis are mostly Muslims, they often — without thinking — call Muslims the enemy of our country. But I want peace because if there was no war between us, my father would have been here,” she writes in the video.
She said she has made this video because she wants the “governments of both countries to stop pretending and solve the problem”, and has questioned the calibre of leadership of both nations. She has cautioned that “we cannot dream of becoming a first world country with third world leadership”. She has cited the examples of France and Germany — who made peace after two world wars — and Japan and USA who put their past behind to work for progress.
She has demanded that the two countries should talk, and that there’s “state-sponsored terrorism, enough state sponsored spies, state sponsored hatred” and that enough people have died on both sides of the border.
She ends the video with a placard saying “enough is enough”, following it up with “I wish to live in a world where there are no Gurmehar Kaurs who miss their dads.” The final placard says #ProfileForPeace.
The video has been shared over 23,000 times on Facebook to overwhelmingly positive responses.