Mumbai, March 8 (IANS) Randeep Hooda has been at the receiving end for bullying Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur on social media, and the actor has clarified that he was not aware about the issue as well as about the threats to her.
The actor also went on to say that his views were misconstrued, and they were neither gender nor religion specific.
“I didn’t know who this girl was.. I saw a tweet by Sehwag (former cricketer Virender Sehwag) and I often laugh at his jokes. He makes pretty funny jokes about all kinds of things. And I just laughed at it and left it. I didn’t see the connotation in it then I got some messages, and that some prominent journalists are making comments on it, conversing on it,” Randeep said here.
He added: “I went back to Twitter, and quickly went on to internet and saw what was happening on it. I could put two and two together and I immediately said that don’t politicise this poor girl’s point of view. And then those two words were taken (out of context), for ‘poor’ they said that you are misogynist and ‘girl’ they said you are a sexist. I said ‘Hey if it was a boy, I would have said the same thing’.”
Kaur, a student of Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College, had posted on Facebook a photograph of herself holding a placard that read: “I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me”, following violence in Ramjas College in Delhi University last month.
The post went viral online. She also held a poster, saying ‘Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him’.
Following this, Sehwag on February 26 posted his image holding a placard which read: “I did not score two triple centuries, my bat did,” and said: “Bat me hai Dum! Bharat Jaisi Jagah Nahi (Bat has power! no place like India)”. Randeep had applauded the post with a clapping emoji on Twitter.
The actor says “let me clarify that I was not aware of any threats to her at all, and when I did become aware of it I immediately issued a statement and clarified, saying that it was not directed to her at all. Violence is wrong, and violence against women is a heinous crime. The traitors should be brought to justice and made an example of in a very severe way so that doesn’t happen again. I don’t think that has happened, what the authorities are doing.”
He also pointed out that he was misjudged by just one post, as he said: “By that time the narrative was set and I was labelled and put in a box”.
The actor feels as a celebrity he should have been more careful.
“Considering the present situation in our country today, I think I should have been a bit more careful before expressing my opinion. As an actor, I faced such problems before and I might have to face it in future but for a young person like her (Kaur), going through so much (fuss on social media) must have been traumatic and she should not have to go through it.”
Randeep said that he has got brickbats on social media in the past as well for voicing his opinion. He also asserted that their families were also subjected to threats for their personal opinions.
The “Sarbjit” star also pointed at the bigger problem – faceless trolling.
“They should look into it very seriously because it is becoming a bigger issue and it is getting out of hand day by day. I have got brickbats from this side and from that side. I am inviting them. Maybe I can sit with them and have a conversation with them and try and find a solution.”
He talked about the issue at the press conference of “MTV Big F” – the show which marks his TV debut.