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Business News/ News / World/  London School of Economics student claims of discrimination due to ‘Hinduphobia’
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London School of Economics student claims of discrimination due to ‘Hinduphobia’

An Indian student of London School of Economics, Karan Kataria, claimed of facing discrimination when he was disqualified from fighting for the General Secretary post for being a 'Hindu nationalist'

Karan Kataria is currently pursuing Masters in Law from London School of EconomicsPremium
Karan Kataria is currently pursuing Masters in Law from London School of Economics

An Indian-origin student from the Law School of London School of Economics, alleged that there is discrimination on the basis of religion and anti-India rhetoric prevalent on the campus.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Karan Kataria, a Lawyer pursuing Masters in the LSE campus and running for the General Secretary of the LSE Student Union, claimed that he was disqualified from fighting for the General Secretary post for being a "Hindu nationalist".

"I have faced personal, vicious, and targeted attacks due to the anti-India rhetoric and Hinduphobia. I demand that the @lsesu is transparent about its reasoning. I will not be a SILENT victim of Hinduphobia," he alleged in a tweet.

A statement, that Kataria shared on his Twitter account, read that, earlier, he was elected as the cohort's Academic Representative and also as a Delegate to the National Union for Students in a short period.

He further stated that his friends and classmates motivated him for running the election but, "Unfortunately, some individuals could not bear to see an Indian-Hindu leading the LSESU and resorted to vilifying my character and very identity in what was clearly in line with the alarming cancel culture which is uprooting our social communities".

"Despite receiving immense support from students of all nationalities, I was disqualified from the General Secretary election of the LSE Student Union. The allegations against me ranged from being homophobic, Islamophobic, queerphobic, and Hindu Nationalist. Following it, multiple complaints were lodged against me. Many false accusations were made to discredit my image and character when, to the contrary, I have always advocated for positive change and social harmony," Kataria added.

Calling the research's decision a "gross violation of the principles of natural justice," Kataria said the campus conveniently disqualified him without hearing his side of the story or revealing the votes that he received.

He also claimed that on the last polling day, Indian students were bullied and targeted for their national and Hindu religious identities.

"The students raised this issue, but the LSESU brushed it aside by not acting against the bullies. The silent treatment of the students' complaints about such unacceptable behaviour also justifies the accusation of Hinduphobia against the LSESU," Kataria said in a statement.

He also urged the LSE leadership to support him and ensure justice prevails in the interest of all students. "Let us uphold the values of Dr BR Ambedkar's alma mater and ensure that all voices are heard on this big, diverse campus," the statement read.

Meanwhile, on Monday (Local Time), another LSE student Tejashwini Shankar alleged that she was being targeted for supporting Kataria in the students union election. She also claimed that she was being targeted based on her religious identity.

"I have been targeted and taunted based on my religious identity and for supporting a friend in the student union elections. The Student Union refuses to take appropriate action," she tweeted while sharing a video message.

"Hi, I'm Tejashwini, a graduate student at the London School of Economics and I am making this video to bring to light some of the unfair and undemocratic practices by the LSESU over the last couple of weeks. Student union elections have been happening on the LSE campus and Karan Kataria, a friend of mine, was campaigning for the post of General Secretary. In the last year's elections, a malicious rumour was put out calling him Queer Phobic, and Islamophobic and alleging that he's a Hindu nationalist, this message soon caught on and I and a few others who were campaigning for Karan were bullied, and harassed and targeted both on campus and online," Shankar said in the video message.

"I have filed complaints with the SU regarding the same and calling out the messages for defamation and harassment and I'm yet to receive a response. But the SU has very promptly responded to other complaints and rumours and successfully disqualified Karan from his candidature of the General Secretary. This is bullying and harassment at the highest level of international institutions that pride itself on inclusivity and diversity and I very strongly condemn the inaction by the LSE regarding the same," she added.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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Published: 04 Apr 2023, 08:00 AM IST
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