An Indian student has claimed that he was disqualified from the London School of Economics Students’ Union elections as a result of a deliberately orchestrated smear campaign because of his Indian and Hindu identity.
Karan Kataria, who is from Haryana and is studying for a postgraduate law degree at the leading university in London, said he was motivated by the support of his peers to contest the post of General Secretary of the LSE Students’ Union. However, he was disqualified last week over what he believes are baseless allegations and without being given a chance to fully state his case.
“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,” said Mr Kataria.
The 22-year-old student comes from a middle-class farming background and describes himself as a first-generation university-level graduate in his family. Soon after arriving in the UK for his Master’s from the LSE Law School last year, he was elected as his cohort’s Academic Representative and also a delegate to the UK’s National Union for Students (NUS).
“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. … Instead of identifying and punishing the wrongdoers who initiated this hateful campaign… the LSESU conveniently disqualified me without hearing my side of the story or revealing the votes I received,” said Mr Kataria.