In 36 placards, this girl has sent a powerful message to the world. She does not say a word but still harnesses the amount of energy she pursues. Young Gurmehar Kaur lost her father to a war. Years later, as she laments over his absence, she comes up with a video-selfie that conveys an influential message to the world.
Kaur lost her father – a soldier with the Indian Army – in the Kargil War of 1999. She was merely two years old, too young to comprehend worldly politics and facts. But at that young age, and over the years, she fostered a steady hatred towards Pakistanis, and Muslims in general.
In the video, she admits she once tried to stab a woman in a burkha, because of all the abhorrence. Her mother held her back and taught her the first lesson of compassion and forgiveness. She was told that it was war that killed her father and not a particular country. Over the year, Kaur has kept her fight alive – she contests for peace and humanity.
In the velfie, she produces placards – with a message on each – and takes us through her story. She tells us how she has very few memories of her father and more of what it feels like not to have one. For a very long time, she used to abhor Pakistan and Pakistanis because she thought they snatched her father. She was under the impression that all Muslims are Pakistanis. It took a while for her to let go of all the hate.
“It was not easy, but it was not difficult,” she writes.
She calls herself a soldier, just like her dad. “I fight for peace between India and Pakistan”.
Kaur asks the government of both the countries to “stop pretending and solve the problem”. If France and Germany can become friends after two world wars, then why can’t we, she asks.
This is not the first time someone has stepped forward to proliferate peace. The girl does not say anything extraordinary, but manages to give you goosebumps, nonetheless. The neighbouring countries are not warring, but their relations are not particularly ripe either.
Through her video, Kaur conveys a simple verity that is the powerful essence of peace – that war is easy, but amity takes time. And amity is what the world thrives for. That earth is the only habitable planet in our solar system, and toying with angst and loathing is futile.
The video is a must-watch.