Academics at the University of Ghana have decided that a statue of late Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi must fall.
They believe the statue of Gandhi must fall because he was racist. They launched a petition on Change.org calling for the removal of Gandhi’s statue from the University of Ghana as a result.
Gandhi’s statue was put up in June during India’s president’s visit to the western African country. According to the lecturers of the university, the Indian liberation hero is unworthy of having a statue in the school given his racist remarks made in his lifetime.
“Some harm has already been done by erecting the statue. We have failed the generation that look up to us, namely our students. How will the historian teach and explain that Gandhi was uncharitable in his attitude towards the Black race and see that we’re glorifying him by erecting a statue on our campus?
“However, to allow the statue to remain on our campus will do even more harm and make us appear to hold double-standards.”
The statement also listed some of the racist statements made by Gandhi. The statements show that he sought for Indians to be higher than ‘Kaffirs’ in the south African social caste. ‘Kaffir’ was a racial slur which was widely used to describe black Africans.
Below are some of Gandhi’s statements as published by the academics.
“A general belief seems to prevail in the Colony that the Indians are little better, if at all, than savages or the Natives of Africa. Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir.”
“Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”
“So far as the feeling has been expressed, it is to degrade the Indian to the position of the Kaffir.”
“The Boer Government insulted the Indians by classing them with the Kaffirs.”
These statements were made during Gandhi’s stay in South Africa.
The petitioners also argued that there were no statues of their own heroes on the University campus.
“We are of the view that if there should be statues on our campus, then, first and foremost, they should be of African heroes and heroines, who can serve as examples of who we are and what we have achieved as a people,” they write.
See all the details of the petition here.