LSE Hinduphobia: More students come out in support of Karan Kataria

| Updated: 04 April, 2023 5:45 pm IST
More students come out in support of Karan Kataria

After The New Indian conducted an exclusive interview with Karan Kataria, a law student at the London School of Economics, in which he narrated how he was unfairly ousted from the LSE Students’ Union election for General Secretary, more students have shown their support for Kataria. These students revealed that a group of Indian students were bullied and isolated for campaigning for Kataria. This unfortunate incident exemplifies the widespread cancel culture present on many campuses today.

Tejashwini Shankar, also a graduate student from the London School of Economics, posted  a video to highlight the undemocratic practices that have taken place during the LSE Students’ Union for General Secretary elections on campus. “As a graduate student from the London School of Economics, I am putting out this video to bring attention to the undemocratic practices that have taken place by the LSE Students’ Union over the past few weeks. The Students’ Union elections have been ongoing on campus, and a friend of mine, Karan Kataria, was running for the position of General Secretary.”

She explained that on the last day of the elections, a malicious rumour was spread, alleging that Kataria was queerphobic, Islamophobic, and a Hindu nationalist. This rumour quickly spread, and those who campaigned for him were subjected to bullying, harassment, and online attacks.  Unfortunately, on the last day of the elections, a malicious rumor was spread accusing him of being queerphobic, Islamophobic, and a Hindu nationalist. This rumor quickly gained traction, and those of us who were campaigning for him were subjected to bullying, harassment, and online attacks,” says Shankar

Shankar filed a complaint with the Students’ Union about the matter, calling out the messages for defamation and harassment. However, she has not yet received a response. Shankar strongly denounced the inaction by the LSE Students’ Union, stating that this kind of bullying and harassment is unacceptable in an international institution that values inclusivity and diversity. “I have filed a complaint with the SU regarding this matter, calling out the messages for defamation and harassment. Unfortunately, I am yet to receive a response. Although the SU has promptly responded to other complaints about the rumors, they were successful in disqualifying Karan from running for the position. I strongly condemn the inaction by the LSE SU, as this kind of bullying and harassment is unacceptable at an international institution that prides itself on inclusivity and diversity,” says Tejashwini Shankar”

On Monday, Karan Kataria, a law student at the London School of Economics, expressed his disgust and anguish over the university administration’s decision to disqualify him from the LSE Students’ Union election for General Secretary. Kataria has accused the administration of deriding him with distasteful commentary, including accusations of being queerphobic and Islamophobic, as well as falsely linking him to a Hindu extremist group.

Speaking to The New Indian from the UK, Kataria expressed disgust and anguish while objecting to expressions like psychological counselling being used by the UK.

“You see, they first disqualified me. Then they had a gall to tell me i need conselling…There’s a limit to be subjected to such humiliation on the campus,” he said.

Kataria has demanded that the university review CCTV footage to reveal the truth about his disqualification, and has threatened legal action if the ban is not lifted. He has also called for the LSESU and the Returning Officer to denounce the hateful messages and smear campaign against him.

Kataria’s candidacy had initially received overwhelming support from fellow students across nationalities, particularly those from Asian, African, and other developing countries, who resonated with his humble farming background. However, as the election drew nearer, he was subjected to a barrage of hate messages targeting his religion and nationality. Despite notifying the LSESU and the Returning Officer about the hateful messages, no public denouncement has been made.

 

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