The in-charge of the foreign affairs department of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Vijay Chauthaiwale in conversation with Republic on Monday, condemned the racial attack on Rashmi Samant at Oxford University. In his statement, he pointed out that this kind of treatment with the democratically-elected representative of Oxford's student union was indeed saddening.
"She was accused of so many things, all of which according to me was a part of the racially motivated attack on her, " he said while reiterating the words of External affair Minister S Jaishankar that India is against racism, especially this kind of attack and explicit threat in an institute like Oxford. "It should be condemned at all levels," he added.
He further stated that the apprehensions related to her past posts on social media could have been discussed, and debated, instead of being dealt with, the way it was.
On Monday, after BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha Ashwini Vaishnav raised concern in the Rajya Sabha over Oxford University racism row, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar noted that as a land of Mahatma Gandhi, "we can never turn our eyes away from racism”.
"We've strong ties with the UK. We'll take up such matters with great candour when required,” said EAM Jaishankar. Highlighting that the entire episode will be monitored very closely, he stated, "We will raise it when required and we will always champion the fight against racism and other forms of intolerance."
The racism claims in the University of Oxford, UK came just days after Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle made explosive allegations against the British royal family about the same issue. Shaking-up the world's perspective about Queen Elizabeth II and her family that both Harry and Meghan addressed as "the Firm", Meghan told American presenter Oprah Winfrey that there were 'concerns' about the couple's baby Archie's skin colour. While speaking for the first time after entirely quitting the UK royal family, Meghan said that discussions within the members were relayed to her by Harry.
An alumnus of Manipal Insitute of Technology (MIT), Karnataka, Samant announced her resignation in an open apology letter as a response to the backlash she received surrounding the controversial statements she made in the past. After announcing the decision on Facebook, the graduate student reading for an MSc in energy systems, with a focus on sustainability, at Linacre College at the university, deactivated her social media accounts.
She had scored a landslide win in the election last week when she received 1,966 of the 3,708 votes cast for the post amid a large turnout. However, in the apology letter, she claimed to have “alienated people within our wonderful student community to the extent that they deem me unfit to be the leader they rightfully deserve.” The Udupi-born student also apologised for “unintentionally” hurting anyone’s emotions but reportedly claimed that she was unfairly targetted as a ‘conscious attempt’.