NEW DELHI: Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel today jumped to the defence of sportspersons under fire for their comments criticising DU student Gurmehar Kaur, saying the country is proud of them and they shouldn’t be treated as “illiterates”.
“PLEASE DON’T CALL OUR PLAYERS ILLITERATE. You’re a champion in your field & they are champions in their own field. India is proud of them!(sic.),” Goel tweeted.
His tweet was apparently in response to veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar’s comment, “If a hardly literate player or a wrestler troll a pacifist daughter of a martyr it’s understandable but what’s wrong with some educated folks.”
The 20-year-old Kaur has been subjected to intense trolling on the social media over her stance against RSS- backed students body ABVP and a video campaign advocating peace between India and Pakistan.
Former cricketer Virender Sehwag, Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt, wrestler sisters Geeta and Babita Phogat and their father Mahaveer Phogat took to the social media to question Kaur’s views, attracting ire of the noted lyricist.
Dutt had also slammed Akhtar’s remarks saying, “You may have authored poems and stories but even we have made history for India on the world stage”.
“It is not necessary to be highly educated to be a patriot or be a martyr or for that matter have an opinion on something. I felt right I said it, it has nothing to do with my education,” he told reporters. (AGENCIES)