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India to take up racism issues with Britain when required: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister was responding to concerns raised by a BJP MP over racism that forced Indian-origin Rashmi Samant to resign as president of the Oxford University Students Union

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

India will take up with the UK when required the alleged incidents of racism in Britain, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. He also described India as the land of Mahatma Gandhi and said it can never turn its eyes away from racism.

Responding to concerns raised by a BJP MP over racism and cyberbullying that forced Indian-origin Rashmi Samant to resign as president of the Oxford University Students Union, the minister said New Delhi has strong ties with the UK and will take up such matters with great candour when required. “I note the sentiments of the House,” he said. “I do want to say that as a land of Mahatma Gandhi, we can never ever turn our eyes away from racism wherever it is. Particularly so when it is in a country where we have such a large diaspora,” he said.

Samant, the first Indian woman to be elected as president of the Oxford University Students Union, was forced to resign within five days of her appointment over several of her social media posts that were labelled anti- Semitic and racist.

BJP’s Ashwini Vaishnav said she was cyber bullied and her parent’s Hindu religious beliefs were publicly attacked by a faculty member. “As a friend of the UK, we also have concerns about its reputational impact,” he said. “What I do want to say is that we have strong ties with the UK and we will take up such matters with great candour when required.”

“We will raise it when required and we will always champion the fight against racism and other forms of intolerance,” he added.

~With inputs from PTI~