A socialist teenager has defended his scholarship to one of Britain’s most well-known schools associated largely with the rich and famous as a means to tackle injustice.
Hasan Patel, a staunch supporter of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who became the youngest person to address the party’s annual conference last year at the age of 15, bagged a £76,000 scholarship to the prestigious Eton College in London after a series of rigorous entrance requirements.
He was attacked on social media as a “champagne socialist” for accepting the privilege but he fought back.
“I’m being called a ‘traitor, hypocrite, selfish champagne socialist’ for accepting a scholarship to Eton College. I’ve worked so hard for this and you’re not going to put me down,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Instead of attacking me, why aren’t we talking about the inequalities in the education system,” he questioned.
The 16-year-old, who has attracted thousands of supporters online with his anti-establishment posts using his Twitter handle @CorbynistaTeen, said the scholarship does not mean that his politics would change.
“This is an opportunity I cannot refuse and it won’t mean my politics will change. I’ll still be the same kid fighting for social justice,” he said.
Patel clinched his place at the world-famous institution, which has produced many global political leaders and is the alma mater of the likes of Princes William and Harry and former British prime minister David Cameron, after a tough three-day assessment, including three exams, seven interviews and a group interview.
“I never thought when I left India that my son would end up going to the same school as English royalty. All of his family are incredibly proud. We want him to go to Oxford or Cambridge. Being at Eton he will have a very good chance,” said Hasan’s 69-year-old father Abdul Patel.
Hasan, who has been enrolled at a state-funded school in the East End of London as a child, is set to study for his A-Levels in history, geography, politics and drama from September to be able to qualify for university.