London: Rashmi Samant, the first Indian woman to be elected president of the Oxford University Student Union, has quit after the emergence of old social media posts that were deemed to be “racist” and “insensitive”. The posts, mostly on Instagram, included one with a play on words about the Holocaust and a photo of her visit to Malaysia with the caption “Ching Chang”. Both were deemed offensive by Jewish and Chinese students.
She also upset others by comparing imperialist Cecil Rhodes to Adolf Hitler in a Student Union debate, and for separating “women” and “trans-women” in an Instagram caption. Although Samant initially offered an apology for the social media posts, some of which dated back to 2017, in the form of an open letter, she quit as president-elect on Wednesday after facing continued criticism.
She announced her resignation on Facebook, writing: “In light of the recent events surrounding my election to the Presidency of the Oxford SU, I believe it is best for me to step down from the role. It has been an honour to be your President-elect.” Samant, an alumna of Karnataka’s Manipal Institute of Technology, was elected president of the student union last week. The student of MSc in energy systems at Linacre College received 1,966 of the 3,708 votes in the highest turnout for a student union election, Hindustan Times reported.