Ghana dons demand removal of ‘racist’ Gandhi statue

Thursday September 22 2016

An online petition by professors at University

An online petition by professors at University of Ghana who are demanding the statute of Indian social activist Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi be removed from the campus. IMAGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Professors at the University of Ghana have started an online petition to remove the statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi from the campus.

In their campaign, which has so far been signed by over 1,000 people, the professors claim that Gandhi was a racist.

They say the statue was erected at the university’s Recreational Quadrangle on June 14.

“Soon after it came to the notice of members of the University community and the general public, calls for its removal began within the University community and beyond,” they said in the petition.

They have quoted writings of the late Indian social activist that they say are "racist".

One quote attributed to Gandhi, from remarks he is said to have made before December 19, 1894, reads: “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.”

The academics also claim that racist symbols are being removed from “world class” universities around the globe, and that the University of Ghana is one such institution.

“At world class universities, even former bastions of slavery, apartheid and white supremacy, statues and other symbols associated with controversial persons have been pulled down or removed,” they stated.

They claim there have been protests over Gandhi’s statues in the United States, London and even South Africa, where the leader lived for 21 years.

The dons also claim that there was no consultation before the statue was erected.