Mahatma Gandhi’s statue removed from University of Ghana

The statue of Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule Mahatma Gandhi has been removed from Ghana’s most prestigious university after complaints that he was racist against black Africans. Two years ago as a symbol of ties between the two nations India’s former president Pranab Mukherjee unveiled the statue to the global peace icon at the University of Ghana in Accra.

University of Ghana lecturers began a petition for its removal shortly and garnered over 2,000 signatures after some students had earlier defaced the statue in protest. The petition began after the citing of passages written by Gandhi claiming that Indians were “infinitely superior” to black Africans.

A former Director of the Institute of African Studies, Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo, started the campaign for the removal of the statue. Prof. Adomako Ampofo together with another academic at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Dr. Obadéle Kambon, urged members of the University of Ghana Council to heed to the petition arguing among other things that, Gandhi was racist against black people and honoring him sets the wrong example for students, Citinewsroom reports.

The Gandhi statue on the university’s Legon campus in Accra appeared to have been removed overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, students and lecturers said.

Law student Nana Adoma Asare Adei told the BBC: “Having his statue means that we stand for everything he stands for and if he stands for these things [his alleged racism], I don’t think we should have his statue on campus.”

The head of language, literature, and drama at the Institute of African Studies, Obadele Kambon, said the removal was an issue of “self-respect”. “If we show that we have no respect for ourselves and look down on our own heroes and praise others who had no respect for us, then there is an issue. If we indeed don’t show any self-respect for our heroes, how can the world respect us? This is a victory for black dignity and self-respect. The campaign has paid off.” he said.

Malawians currently face a similar battle, as many are expressing their opposition of a Gandhi statue that is currently being built in the country’s commercial capital of Blantyre, protesting online through the #GandhiMustFall movement.

Adedayo Laketu

Adedayo Laketu is a creative inventor who's interested in curating a New Age for Africa across all mediums.

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