A petition calling for the removal of a of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi from a university in Ghana is gaining popular support. The university has cited a controversy over what critics call his “racist identity.”
Even though the government has made it clear that the removal would be for the statue’s safety, it is clear that the supposed ‘anti-Gandhi’ sentiment is growing in the country.
Professors at the University of Ghana launched a petition last month calling for the removal of the statue, which was unveiled by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in June.
The petitioners have collected his writings from the period he spent in South Africa and takes in specific writings where he refers to black South Africans as savages.One of the organizers of the petition, Obadele Kambon, said that there was no confirmation the statue would be removed. He said moving the statue to another location in Ghana would be insufficient. “We don’t think the statue would be well received anywhere in Ghana,” he said.
“While acknowledging that human as he was, Mahatma Gandhi may have had his flaws, we must remember that people evolve,” Ghana’s statement said. “He inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.”
The statement also expressed concern that the professors’ campaign could harm Ghana’s ties to India.
The professors say the university instead should feature statues of local heroes like Yaa Asantewaa, who led a rebellion against British colonialism, or Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first presiden