India to take up UK racism matters when required: Jaishankar

ANI
·2-min read
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar

New Delhi [India], March 15 (ANI): India will champion the fight against discrimination and will take up the matters of racism against Indian students with the UK, said the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

"We will raise it whenever required and we will always champion the fight against racism and other forms of intolerance," the Minister said.

Jaishankar's response came after a question by an Odisha BJP MP Ashwini Vaishnaw, where he expressed "shared global concerns about racism". Vaishnaw stated that there "appears to be a continuation of attitudes and prejudices from the colonial area especially in the United Kingdom".

The Odisha MP alleged that Rashmi Samant, a student from Karnataka and former president-elect of Oxford University Student Union, was "cyberbullied to the point that she had to resign (from the post)." "Even the Hindu religious beliefs of her parents were publicly attacked by a faculty member," he said.

"As land of Mahatma Gandhi, we can never ever turn our eyes away from racism wherever it is. Particularly so when it is in a country where we have such a large diaspora. As a friend of the UK, we also have concerns about its reputational impact," Jaishankar said while speaking in the Upper House.

"We have strong ties with the UK. We will take up such matters with great candour when required, he added assuring that New Delhi will monitor these developments "very very closely."

Interestingly, the comments came days after India summoned British High Commissioner over an "unwarranted discussion" in the British Parliament on agricultural reforms in India.

According to media reports, Samant was the first Indian woman to be elected as the president of the OUSU and was due to begin in June. She had won the election in February, winning 1,966 out of a possible 3,708 votes.

She resigned days after surrounding some of her past remarks on social media. (ANI)