Indian-Origin Prof On Strike In London Over Racism

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Priyamvada Gopal, an Indian-origin professor has gone on a strike against King’s College, London, alleging racism. She has refused to supervise students till the “long festering sore” is addressed by the college, reported Indian Express.

What happened?

The 51-year-old is a Cambridge University fellow. She specialises in post colonial literature. Gopal alleged that she was subjected to “consistent racist profiling and aggression by porters”.

Gopal has instances to prove her allegations. She said that the staff members address her as ‘madam’ instead of ‘Doctor’.

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“My attempts to raise this with Fellows & with its management verbally and in writing have failed to elicit any changes. Hundreds of stories abound over the years,” she added in the Indian Express report.

Although the King’s college administration is claiming that they have conducted investigations and found nothing wrong, Gopal refers to it as a “barefaced lie”. She also said that she was never contacted for a statement

Gopal on Twitter

She also took to twitter to report the issue, saying “With deep regret but with 17 years of consideration behind it, I have finally decided on my behalf & of other people of colour @Cambridge_Uni to refuse to supervise any students at @Kings_College. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH of the consistently racist profiling & aggression by Porters.”

Meanwhile, the college administration said that they found “no wrongdoing on the part of our staff” after conducting investigations.

“We categorically deny that the incident referred to was in any way racist,” a spokesperson from the University stated.

Gopal again took to twitter and said, “I am pleased to say that @Kings_College investigated themselves and have cleared themselves of wrongdoing before speaking to me, the complainant. Let me put it explicitly: the claim that @Kings_College “investigated” the incident” and found no wrongdoing is a barefaced lie. A clear, manifest & provable falsehood,” she tweeted.

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Student Support

Many students have come out in support of the professor.

One of the student supporters is Sarah Jilaani. She is a PhD student belonging to mixed race. In a statement given to PTI she said, “Not shocked, sadly. My parents visited recently and my (brown) father was stopped and asked if ‘you sir’ was ‘with them’ (me & my white) mother.” This is just one of the many incidents which have already happened with them.

Some non-white students also said that their white friends are allowed to roam around almost everywhere without showing their ID proofs. But the non-white students are stopped and asked for IDs.

About 14 such cases of racial profiling have been reported by Oxford’s student newspaper by porters at the King’s college.

Gopal has also alleged that she received a series of hate mails criticising her move. She also lashed out on popular British dailies like The Mail and Telegraph, for their selective coverage of the issue.

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Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv