Oxford is one of the oldest and most renowned universities in the world. It is one of those Universities which doesn’t require promotion to gather students. Students from different corners of the world comes here to study especially for their higher education. Even Indian students go there on regular basis to fulfil their desire of getting good education. Like most of the Universities worldwide, even Oxford has a student union which holds regular election. This union in turn addresses the problems and issues of the students in the campus. The election is highly competitive and a win in the Union election is equally prestigious.
This year, an Indian Hindu student Rashmi Samant pursuing MSc from Oxford University took chance of contesting student union elections. Hailing originally from Karnataka, she has graduated from Manipal University of Karnataka which has a good alumni base including CEO of various Multinational Companies including Nokia and Microsoft.
During the election, Samant raised the issue of colonization and have successfully conveyed her message that the colonizer was equally dangerous in comparison to Nazis and have caused serious human rights issue in the so-called third world nations. She won the prestigious student union elections and became the first Indian Hindu to be elected for the top post of the student union. However, she didn’t anticipate what was about to haunt you. A faculty member named Dr Abhijit Sarkar started a hate campaign against her. This Communist faculty as per his agenda have brought her parents into picture and have targeted her of being Islamophobe on the basis of their picture on Social Media with Shri Ram’s picture. Shri Ram is a god as per Hindus and is looked as an ideal man for whole Human kind by Indians and people from Indian origin worldwide. There was no reason to support the claim of Dr Sarkar that one who pray Shri Ram (Hindus) are against Islam. Yet Dr Sarkar continued his haunting against the president elect and led a negative campaign to undermine her win. He even tried to prove that since she is hailing from Karnataka, she is a bigot by explaining how Karnataka is a bastion of Islamophobic for Right forces desi forces who want to reinstate Sanatan Hindutva culture. Little did this faculty know that Karnata is one of the best places for business in the world with Bengaluru in its core. Also, the Sanatan Hindutva culture talks about inclusion of all and that’s why leave alone Islam and Christianity, those religions who otherwise have been wiped out from other parts of the world have survived here including Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahai. But the faculty didn’t stop. He directly stated that Oxford isn’t ready for a sanatani president which is a direct and clear example of Hinduphobia and an attack on Rashmi who won the elections on the merit.
Due to this hate campaign by the said faculty, others joined the movement and even after creating a history of being first Indian, first Hindu women ever to be elected as president of student Union; she had to resign. Not only that, she had to return to India and have to undergo online classes as she doesn’t find the campus safe anymore. Gravity of matter is so serious that even Indian parliament raised this issue. After much delay, finally the Oxford University have started an investigation in this racial abuse. Even for Oxford, it is shameful that a student doesn’t feel safe at its campus which has a such a rich history. On the other hand, Pt. Satish K. Sharma, director of the Global Hindu Federation has filed a police complaint on behalf of Rashmi Samant accusing Sarkar of inciting religious hatred and bullying and harassment before Thames Valley Police who also started the investigation. At a time when Indians and Hindus are doing so good in every part of the world, this bullying and harassment can’t be ignored and must come to a conclusion where no one else has to face such harassment.
Author: Adv. Shashank Shekhar Jha
Legal Editor, GoaChronicle.com