Last week, it was a proud moment for the entire nation when we learned that Rashmi Samant was elected president of the Student Union at Oxford University. She became the first Indian to become an elected president at Oxford.
However, one of the world’s finest and prestigious universities globally stands in cultural shame as accusations and allegations against Rashmi Samant have surfaced regarding her illicit activities online. She has been accused of making racist remarks in the past.
Considering how her victory was celebrated by many Indians, it also becomes vital to probe the subject further as and when new developments come up, and this is what we have discovered. Hence, it becomes relevant to investigate the discussion that happened on the campus, which eventually caused the postgraduate student to quit.
What Exactly Did Samant Do?
According to various sources, Samant has been criticized for making “insensitive” and “racist” comments online on her Instagram profile, which allegedly includes references to the Holocaust.
Also read: Rashmi Samant Becomes The First Indian Woman To Head Oxford Students’ Union, Makes History
Samant, who received 1,966 of the 3,708 votes in the election, wrote an open letter to the University and apologized for her inconsiderate and rather ignorant actions in the past. She said,
“Instagram was a campaign page so it got sent to everyone, you had to scroll down really far to see the posts. I don’t know who found them. I don’t want to judge others because I know how it hurts to be judged.”
The posts were circulated and criticized online immediately after her terrific win at the University, after which many demanded her to step down from the position. We were not able to access any of the said posts as they have been taken down now. She further said,
“I come to you with an apology and a willingness to learn. I earnestly seek your help in making amends for my mistakes.”
Some of the Remarks
In one of the pictures where she was posing in front of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial in 2017, she captioned – “the memorial casts a hollow dream of the past atrocities and deeds.”
She has explained that being a non-native English speaker who was young, she only tried to make a pun.
Similarly, in front of a Buddhist Temple in Malaysia, she captioned “Ching Chang,” which many South Asian students found offensive, although she later explained how she was referring to herself being a vegetarian in a predominantly non-vegetarian area.
What Can One Learn From This?
While Rashmi Samant’s election was contested considering the rightful low-tolerance policy for discrimination in the Oxford Students’ Union, Samant’s quit was a lawful move. However, it also brings in questions of the surmounting cancel culture and low-tolerance towards a willingness to learn.
Yet, it is also important to note that most leaderships come from a lack of self-reflection. Rashmi Samant’s case is a collective disappointment, but it also ensures that people running for power should probably be more careful and aware about political correctness and cultural sensitivity in public spaces and platforms
Image Credits: Google Images
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