Rashmi Samant, an ex-president of the Oxford University Student Union and a Hindu activist, recently unveiled her book titled ‘A Hindu in Oxford.’ The book recounts her inspiring journey from Udupi, India, to the prestigious University of Oxford. It covers her election as the first Indian female President of Oxford SU, and the challenges she confronted due to a barrage of bullying and harassment.
What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!
At 22 years of age, as the first Indian Female President of the Oxford University Students Union, my historic election victory rapidly transformed into a distressing nightmare of bullying, harassment, & threats. It was declared that… pic.twitter.com/yWcoUYM9C4
— Rashmi Samant (@RashmiDVS) August 5, 2023
A Remarkable Journey:
In March 2020, Rashmi Samant’s dream came true as she received acceptance to the renowned University of Oxford for her Master of Science in Energy Systems. Despite the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, she embraced her academic journey with determination. Alongside her studies, Rashmi also aimed for the position of the Oxford University Students Union President. She gathered support for her platform of decolonisation and inclusivity.
Trials And Tribulations:
As Rashmi celebrated her historic win as the ‘first Hindu President of the Oxford Students’ Union,’ her life took an unexpected turn. Accusations of racism, anti-Semitism, and transphobia bombarded her.
This resulted in relentless hate mail and even death threats. A History faculty member controversially declared that the university wasn’t ready for a Hindu President. Rashmi’s experience transformed into a distressing nightmare of bullying and harassment.
Standing Strong Against Hinduphobia:
Rashmi Samant bravely shared her ordeal on Twitter, describing how she faced challenges to her rightful position due to prejudices. She highlighted her advocacy against the Udupi washroom case, where Hindu women were victimized by their Muslim peers. Undeterred by intimidation from the Karnataka police, Rashmi committed to utilizing the proceeds from her book to assist Hindu individuals in combating societal injustices.
A Resilient Response:
In the face of ongoing trolling and attempts to discredit her struggles, Rashmi Samant remained steadfast. She criticized those aiming to manipulate context to whitewash real crimes. She also shed light on the presence of student clubs like the Oxford India Society, Oxford Hindu Society, and Oxford South Asian Societies, which she claimed were influenced by Hinduphobic sentiments.
Context is written by people who use X and know how to weaponise systems in the war of setting narratives that whitewash real crimes. If its reported enough as unhelpful, it gets taken down.
The Oxford India Society, Oxford Hindu Society and Oxford South Asian Societies are… https://t.co/Bw0l6uLdQc
— Rashmi Samant (@RashmiDVS) August 8, 2023
A Message of Empowerment:
Rashmi Samant’s journey from a small town in India to the global stage of Oxford University reflects her resilience and determination. Her book, ‘A Hindu in Oxford,’ encapsulates her fight against adversity. This includes attempts to erase her experiences. Despite facing the peak of cancel culture, Rashmi remains unwavering in her commitment to speaking out against bullies and prejudices.
Rashmi Samant’s ‘A Hindu in Oxford’ stands as a testament to her strength and unwavering spirit in confronting adversity. Her journey serves as an inspiration for individuals facing similar challenges. It reminds us that overcoming obstacles can lead to meaningful change. As her book becomes a voice against bullying and Hinduphobia, Rashmi continues to advocate for a more inclusive and just society.