After a BJP leader raised the issue of Rashmi Samant, the Indian student who quit as the president of the Oxford University’s student union last month after uproar over some of her past comments and statements that were labeled as “racist” and “insensitive,” Foreign Minister Dr. S Jaishankar said in parliament today that India “can never ever turn our eyes away from racism.” India will raise such issues with Britain “when necessary,” according to the minister.
Ashwini Vaishnav is an Odisha-based BJP Rajya Sabha member. She recently informed the upper house’s Foreign Minister: “I want to bring the attention of the House to a shared global concern about racism. There appears to be a continuation of attitudes and prejudices from the colonial era especially in the UK.”
More About Oxford University Issue:
“Her diversity should have been celebrated but instead of that, she was cyberbullied to the point that she had to resign and even the Hindu religious beliefs of her parents were publicly attacked by a faculty member and that also went unpunished. If this is the kind of treatment that happens at the highest institute like Oxford what is the message that goes out to the world?” Mr Vaishnav said.
Rashmi Samant, who originally comes from Udupi in Karnataka, was chastised for a few of her posts on social media shortly after being elected to the Oxford Student Union. This included a holocaust mention in a message from a trip to the Berlin Holocaust Memorial in Germany in 2017 and an Instagram description or caption on a photo of herself in Malaysia that stated “Ching Chang,” which angered Chinese students.
She was also castigated for a marketing post caption that differentiated between women and trans women, prompting the Oxford LGBTQ+ campaign to demand her dismissal.
Mr. Jaishankar responded to the Rajya Sabha member by saying, “As the land of Mahatma Gandhi, we can never ever turn our eyes away from racism. Particularly so when it is in a country where we have such a large diaspora. We’ve strong ties with the UK. We’ll take up such matters with great candor when required.
“We will monitor these developments very very closely. We will raise it when required and we will always champion the fight against racism and other forms of intolerance.”
“In light of the recent events surrounding my election to the Presidency of the Oxford SU, I believe it is best for me to step down from the role. It has been an honor to be your President-elect,” Her statements published in “The Oxford Student” which she wrote on Facebook last month.