Dr. Abhijit Sarkar, the Oxford faculty member who led the Hinduphobic campaign against Rashmi Sawant, found himself embroiled in controversy today with several old misogynistic tweets resurfacing in light of the recent controversy. The campaign resulted in the resignation of the first female Indian student to be elected as President of the Oxford University Student’s Union
In his misogynistic tweets, Dr. Sarkar targets famous Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut with his weird and vulgar tweets. In a tweet dated January 3, 2021, Sarkar accuses Kangana Ranaut of sending “special pictures” to a fellow actor with whom Ms. Ranaut has publicly feuded with. Sarkar then goes on to accuse Ms. Ranaut of sending the same “special pictures” to the “leader of your political party”.
Understanding Sarkar’s motivation and the context behind this tweet, it is an obvious assertion to make that Sarkar was indirectly accusing Ms. Ranaut of trafficking disrobed pictures of herself, not only to an actor, but also to political figures. However, this highly vulgar tweet can be considered “mild” when compared to another tweet he targeted towards Kangana Ranaut.
In another tweet dated September 22 last year, Sarkar dropped all pretense of decency and decided to target Kangana for a tweet exposing the behavior of big actors towards actresses in Bollywood.
In her tweet, Kangana was showing support to fellow colleague who bravely spoke out against sexual harassment by a Bollywood director. On such a sensitive tweet focusing on the important issue of sexual abuse, Dr. Abhijit Sarkar smugly sent a shockingly vile and vulgar reply to Ms. Ranaut’s tweet.
Sarkar also directly attacked Payal Ghosh herself during this time, sending her a tweet accusing her of being paid off by a political party. Sarkar held no regards for the feelings of Payal Ghosh, and even if being critical of Ms. Ghosh was somehow justified, Sarkar did not use his scientific mind to question what exactly was wrong with Payal’s story. What Sarkar did was to rely upon his innate misogyny to smear women whom he knows nothing about.
Dr. Sarkar is also a noted Hinduphobe. He considers the act of eating beef, a very strict religious and cultural prohibition for Hindus, as an act of “progress”. A person who believes that Hindus need to eat beef in order to “progress” forward.
The reference to 1857 is also very interesting, possibly signaling that Dr. Sarkar does not take issue with the cow and pig fat in the use of British muskets, which was one of the primary catalysts for the 1857 War of Independence.
Furthermore, on February 16, he shared a post in Bengali with Goddess Saraswati photo in it and wrote, “I remember when I was a kid I broke several Saraswati idols by thrashing them on the floor. I have been aggressively anti-religion from childhood you see.”
The Rashmi Sawant inident
Rashmi Samant – the woman from Karnataka who had become the first female Indian elect of Oxford University Student’s Union, had to resign her post after being abused, bullied and targeted for being a Hindu and over her views against colonisation.
In a coordinated attack by leftists and the anti-Hindu propagandists, Rashmi Samant’s old social media posts were dredged up, accusing her of being racist, anti-semitic, Islamophobic, transphobic. Her Hindu roots were attacked too.
Even her parents were dragged into it and she was painted as an anti-Muslim just because of her place of residence and faith. Samant was elected to the prestigious post on February 11 and within a week, she had to tender her resignation after facing a barrage of online criticism and abuse.
The controversy erupted after Cherwell, a weekly student newspaper published by Oxford, reported that Rashmi had commented on an image on Instagram of herself in Malaysia with the words “Ching Chang”, a pun involving the Holocaust. In another post, Rashmi had allegedly drawn a comparison between Former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (present-day South Africa) Cecil Rhodes and Adolf Hitler in a Student Union presidential debate. Bizarrely, Samant was also accused of separating ‘women’ and ‘transwomen’ in a caption.
Besides this, Rashmi was also targeted for being a devout Hindu. One of the faculty members in Oxford – Dr Abhijit Sarkar had even dragged Rashmi’s parents into the controversy, attacking them for having a Lord Shri Ram display picture on their social media accounts while claiming that Rashmi’s student council elections were funded by Prime Minister Modi.
He had even accused Rashmi of being Islamophobic by alleging that she came from coastal Karnataka, which the faculty member termed as “a bastion of Islamophobic far-right forces”.
Following the controversy, netizens from across the world had demanded the dismissal of Hinduphobic faculty Abhijit Sarkar and had trended hashtag #DismissAbhijitSarkar on Twitter.