Authorities at the University of Ghana have decided to remove a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from their campus after professors accused the Indian freedom fighter of being racist. They argued that the university should give more importance to African icons.
In a petition launched in September, the professors said, “It is better to stand up for our dignity than to kowtow to the wishes of a burgeoning Eurasian super power.” More than 1,000 people have signed the petition, which quotes passages written by Gandhi that argue Indians are “infinitely superior” to black Africans. The petition also said that Gandhi championed the Indian caste system, reported The Guardian.
The statue was unveiled by President Pranab Mukherjee in June as a symbol of close ties between the two countries. Ghana’s foreign ministry confirmed that it will relocate the statue, reported IANS. The country's foreign ministry said that the decision was taken “to ensure its [the statue’s] safety and to avoid the controversy on the Legon Campus becoming a distraction from our strong ties of friendship that have existed over the years.”
However, the ministry urged the people of Ghana to “look beyond the comments attributed to Mahatma Gandhi and acknowledge his role as one of the most outstanding personalities of the last century who demonstrated non-violence.” In 2013, a similar row erupted in Johannesburg when protesters rebuked Gandhi for his alleged racist remarks about black people, according to The Guardian.