Satyam Surana, an Indian student at the London School of Economics (LSE), has alleged he was targeted and called a ‘fascist’ while campaigning for this year’s student union elections.

Satyam was in the news last year when he defiantly picked up a Tricolour off the ground during an attack on the Indian High Commission in the United Kingdom by Khalistani elements.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Pune-born Satyam alleged a campaign was initiated against him hours before the voting for the student union elections began. He also alleged that his opponents associated him with the BJP, and labelled him a ‘fascist’ to boycott him.

HOW IT BEGAN

Elaborating on the sequence of events, Satyam said the elections at the London School of Economics were announced in February and early March this year, after which he filed his nomination for the post of general secretary.

From March 14 to 15, we noticed that my posters were being ripped off, and torn. We complained to the authorities. After we replaced our posters, on the 16th, we saw that some posters were defaced. There were crosses on my face, it was written ‘anyone but Satyam’. I was cancelled out,” Satyam said.

“On the 17th afternoon, there were messages in all groups of LSE, claiming, ‘This Satyam Surana is a BJP supporter, he is a fascist person, an Islamophobe, transphobe.’ The messages were so seditious and contentious of the Indian government and the current establishment,” the student said.

Satyam alleged that the radical elements also screenshotted his posts on X, where he had merely praised the BJP government, but his posts were used with a malicious agenda to call him a “fascist.”

Speaking about his manifesto for the student union elections, Satyam said it spoke of addressing the genuine issues on campus.

“With my entire team, I went through the entire campus. We were reaching out across departments and explaining our policies. I had a very well-written and well-drafted manifesto, which was not at all political. It said how things need improvement at LSE, how there is a need for a grievance redressal portal, and to have subsidised food on campus. We were getting support and people were saying that they would vote for me,” Satyam said.

The student also said his photo with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (clicked when he was invited by Fadnavis during his India visit) was used to associate him with the BJP.

“I was called a Neo-Nazi supporter, Right Wing, outside of campus. See, when the message heading was circulated as the right wing outside of campus, it is very clear that the campaign was dictated and planned by the left wing,” he said.

Satyam also claimed those who targeted him were the ones who could not digest the success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thus resorting to such false and malicious propaganda.

“The people of the international community are not aware of what is going on in India. Every international person looks up to India and the current Prime Minister as a stalwart, legendary politician. Our Prime Minister has the highest approval rating in the entire world, we have shown what we can do during Covid, and we are emerging as the third-largest economy. But, sadly, these groups who can’t digest this fact are spreading not misinformation, but disinformation,” Satyam said.

THE RESULT

Satyam said he could not go past the finish line despite gathering enough support in the initial phase of his campaigning.

He further said that the campaign left a huge impact on him and his life at the campus, even after the elections were over.

However, he also acknowledged the support he received from those who stood by him.

Recalling last year’s attack on the Indian High Commission in London, Satyam said, “Somewhere around early October, I was in the news because I picked up the national flag outside the Indian High Commission among the Khalistani protestors.”

He further said that he was targeted for referring to Khalistanis as ‘terrorists’ in one of his posts.

Published By:

Vani Mehrotra

Published On:

Mar 27, 2024

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