NEW DELHI: Amid a raging debate over Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur blaming war and not Pakistan for the death of her Army officer father in the Kargil war, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday voiced regret over cricketer Virender Sehwag's move to "trivialise a serious issue like war".
"I am disappointed that my cricket hero Virender Sehwag chose to enter the wholly politicised debate over Gurmehar Kaur's words by saying "I didn't score two triple centuries, my bat did," Tharoor said on Facebook.
"Not everyone might agree with an idealist student's comment: "Pakistan did not kill my father, war killed him."
"But who are we, who have not endured what Gurmehar did at a tender age, to substitute our worldly-wise realpolitik for the idealism of a 20-year old student? Viruji, it does not do justice to the memory of the martyr for any of us to be insensitive to the feelings of his family, however emotional their words may be, since they, not us, have suffered the brunt of the loss, and is their prerogative to react to that loss," said Tharoor, who is Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs.
"Your seemingly witty counter to her is not only wrong, it is also trivializes a serious issue concerning war, loss, and deeply personal emotions that are felt only by those who have suffered," he said, adding "Do not let cynics exploit the power of your words to silence a young woman's idealism."
"You are too young to join the old men who are pouring cold water on Gurmehar's hopes and dreams."
Tharoor reminded Sehwag of his words said during a convocation ceremony at Jamia Millia Islamia where he was presented with a degree.
"You said then that this degree was more important to you than your triple hundred.
"I hope, Viruji, that you will now revisit what that degree stands for, and what is expected not only from a public figure of your standing but also from an evolved, educated mind," he said.
"I admire that Gurmehar has the courage of her convictions and is willing to stand up for them. In time, she will learn the importance of nuance in the way she expresses herself, so as not to incur this kind of criticism. Meanwhile, let us give her the moral support her family's sacrifice deserves," added the Thiruvananthapuram MP.