Oxford University: The first bastion of far-Left Hinduphobia – Rashmi Samant

Vivek Agnihotri

Rashmi SamantThe Oxford Union ironically claims to champion free speech by declaring itself as the “Last Bastion of Free speech”, whilst actively using its reputed platform to spread and support selective propaganda and gagging of indigenous voices. – Rashmi Samant

Discriminations against Indians, especially Hindus, is nothing new in the UK. Signs of “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish”, were a common sight a few decades ago, but thanks to the work of anti-racist campaigners, racism has decreased in English society. Yet, discrimination against those from the “Orient” still lingers on in certain institutions and is augmented by a hierarchy of racism. In this hierarchy, Islamist scholars and activists are often free to propagate their worldview but Hindus are not. Worse still, if global Indians or Hindus speak about discrimination, they are gaslit, ostracised, and delegitimised.

If we take the University of Oxford as a microcosm of the British establishment and its propagation of the hierarchy of racism, it is evident how any Indian or Hindu voice that disagrees with the neo-imperial “woke” worldview is disproportionately shut down. The latest drama in this saga involved the Oxford Union that yielded to pressure from the anti-indigenous neo-colonial lobby to sideline a discussion about the well documented ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Kashmir. The same Oxford Union allows figures such as Steve Bannon and the Islamist Medhi Hassan to speak freely.

Only recently, acclaimed filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri was publicly de-platformed at the very last minute from speaking at the Oxford Union despite the event being confirmed well in advance. The typical red tape of “We are sorry, we had a problem with the double-booking of the venue” was used to mask what has increasingly become a worrisome threat to free speech. The Union ironically claims to champion free speech by declaring itself as the “Last Bastion of Free speech”, whilst actively using its reputed platform to spread and support selective propaganda to the tune of gagging indigenous voices.

The filmmaker was on “The Humanity” tour which has been the central theme of his film, The Kashmir Files. The film portrays the history, plight and persecution of the indigenous people of the Kashmir Valley in the Indian subcontinent, the Kashmiri Pandits. The community is experiencing genocide at the hands of radical Islamist elements in the Valley that are funded and supported by the Pakistani regime and other non-state actors that qualify to be categorised as full-fledged terrorist outfits. They practice a policy of “Convert, Flee or Die” towards the indigenous Kashmiri Pandits and so far it has been successful in drastically altering the demography of the Valley from a former Hindu majority region to a Muslim majority region.

The atrocities have continued with impunity, including a targeted killing of a Hindu Kashmiri Pandit teacher on the same day that the Oxford Union chose to humiliatingly de-platform and disenfranchise one of the leading voices for the Kashmiri Pandit at their reputed debate platform. In the past, the Union has repeatedly platformed terror sympathisers and the one-sided narrative that justified the Kashmiri Pandit genocide and completely whitewashed their plight for decades. The actions of the Union and their hierarchical racism are criminal as it makes them party to the efforts of muffling one of the most gruesome human rights violations known to mankind.

I can personally testify and attest to the inherent bias, colonisation and hierarchical racism practised institutionally at Oxford as a lifetime member of the Oxford Union, a graduate of the Oxford University and the first Indian woman to be elected to the office of the president of the Oxford University Students’ Union in February 2021. I was harassed, bullied, vilified, demonised and hounded out of the office and berated for my indigenous faith and upbringing by the same vile elements of the university which are today cancelling the voice of the Kashmiri Pandits. I had to fight tooth and nail for six months to get some semblance of normalcy back in my life and such incidents only remind me of my fight against the deep-rooted institutional bias. The only tragedy is that these elements have successfully weaponised tenets of social justice and racial equality to act as gatekeepers of the mainstream narratives whilst in reality, they are re-inventing the same wheel of discrimination that the establishment has been historically notorious for.

However, Oxford, like other British institutions, has a few voices fighting for the truth and the rights of the indigenous Indians. Yet, even if they are successful within the university, they are shut down by far-Left-racists in other domains. For example, a group at the university researched Hinduphobia and discrimination against Indians in the UK and for daring the research they were mobbed by a group of Khalistani and Stalinist racists. The anti-Semitic and Hinduphobic columnist Amrit Wilson, then, wrote a racist diatribe against Indian groups and made death threats to young anti-racism scholars. Worst still, the editors of Byline Times, the publishers of Amrit’s diatribe, knew about the racism and death threats and still published her racist diatribe anyway!

Identity comes at the cost of bias, cancellation, harassment, death threats and violent persecution of those at the bottom of the racial hierarchy of the current world order. Period. – Firstpost, 2 June 2022

› Rashmi Samant is a former president-elect at the Oxford University Students’ Union. She is a human rights activist.

Oxford Union Debating Chamber