Statue of Gandhi will be removed from Ghana University campus after protests – Lily Quo

Gandhi statue at University of Ghana at Accra

Lily KuoGandhi, … was a 24-year old lawyer when he came to South Africa in the late 1800s. He referred to black South Africans as “savages” and “kaffirs”—a racial slur—according to a biography published last year. – Lily Quo

Ghana has said that it will remove a statue Mahatma Gandhi from a [University of Ghana] campus in Accra, Ghana where it has inspired protests.

The statue of … Gandhi, … [unveiled by President Mukherjee in June,] was meant to serve as a symbol of friendship between India and Ghana. Instead, local professors saw it as a “slap in the face,” given Gandhi’s derisive views toward black Africans, documented during his time in South Africa. The teachers started a petition in September, prompting an online campaign hash-tagged #Gandhimustfall.

Citing its “deep concern,” Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Oct. 5 that the government wants to relocate the statue to “ensure its safety and to avoid the controversy.”

Gandhi, who is revered in India and around the world for spearheading the campaign of peaceful protest that helped win India’s independence from England, was a 24-year old lawyer when he came to South Africa in the late 1800s. He referred to black South Africans as “savages” and “kaffirs”—a racial slur—according to a biography published last year. His grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi, has admitted that the his grandfather was, in his youth, “ignorant and prejudiced about South Africans” but also said that his grandfather’s fight for the rights of Indians in South Africa paved the way for the end of the country’s system of apartheid.

Last year, a man was charged and arrested for vandalizing a Gandhi statue in Johannesburg. Ghana’s foreign ministry urged a more holistic view of the Indian freedom fighter: “While acknowledging that human as he was, Mahatma Gandhi may have had his flaws, we must remember that people evolve.”

The #Gandhimustfall campaign follows a similar protest movement in South Africa, which pressured the University of Cape Town to remove a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes last year. – Quartz, 6 October 2016

» Lily Kuo covers East Africa and China in Africa from Nairobi for Quartz.

Gandhi statue in Johannesburg

5 Responses

  1. Gandhi is a classic example how one can take the whole world for a ride. He was against majority Hindus inside and protector of Muslims outside. Yet he earned un-fathomed respect from all. What a paradox?

  2. Mohandas is responsible for the present condition of India. Look, how he treated Netaji Subhas, whose activities led to the independence of India.

  3. Given the fear and loathing many Indians exhibit towards African students in India, there is some justice in having a ‘racist’ Gandhi expelled from Ghana University.

    • Gandhiji was only human. At the age of 24, ends up at a place most racist, developes a movement against it that spreads all over the world, managed to see independent India and many others of the world followed. Gandhiji is primarily connected with the non-violent movements, and very successful, too. That is what the Uni’s students should read into and leave aside momentary weaknesses.

      • May i know in what way was his non-violent movement successful? Please don’t tell me that after the fizzling out of the “Quit India” movement in 1942, the British suddenly developed a fear for his “Soul force” and ran all the way back home!!! This sickens me. In truth he may have got some concessions from the British that’s all. It was more of military(Being bombed at home and the threat of the INA from the east) and logistic and economic considerations that made the British to leave.

        And moreover, why on earth did Gandhi asked Indians to enroll in the Indian army to fight for the British in WWI and II? Was that not an endorsement for violence? If his non-violent movements were so successful as you claim why did he not use his “Soul force” to stop the both of the wars?

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