After taking down the statue of Gandhi last week due to protests, Ghana has decided to put it back up
The statue of India’s independence hero, Mahatma Gandhi was removed from the campus of the University of Ghana after a campaign by academic staff and students based on claims that the Indian leader was a racist.
The claims were fueled in the popular book by Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed titled ‘The South African Gandhi: Stretcher-Bearer of Empire’ where they provided proofs that Gandhi was racist, sexist, misogynist and supremacist.
According to the book, Gandhi displayed a contemptible attitude toward black Africans during his time in South Africa. He often referred to Blacks as “Kaffir” - a derogatory term used to refer to black South Africans.
He believed that Indians are “much superior, in capacity, reliability, and obedience, to the average Kaffir”, as quoted in The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (p. 50-51).
He also constantly opposed integration of blacks and Indians and loathed the classification of Indians with the “Kaffir race”. He found it “insulting” to be “placed in the same category as the Native.”
Well, it appears Ghana has had a change of heart after taking down the Mahatma Gandhi at the University of Ghana complex following protests and has agreed to reinstall the statue at a key location in its capital, Accra.
In a statement released by the government of Ghana, it assured the Indian authorities that the statue will be inaugurated by a Minister in Ghana’s capital city, Accra. It said:
"India and Ghana share special partnership since the days of decolonization. Kwame Nkrumah, the undisputed leader of Ghana, was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. There were some voices in Ghana based on literature. But the Ghana government felt that the issue cannot be allowed derail partnership," a person familiar with the matter indicated to ET.
Last Wednesday, the Gandhi statue at Ghana's premier University was pulled down after petitions and agitations from sections of the University Community.
Some students and lecturers of the University of Ghana had called for the removal of the statue citing Gandhi’s “racist identity”. A petition was launched online in 2016, and it garnered over 2,000 signatures. During the period, students continued to deface the statue in protest.
Vice-Chairman of Ghana's Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong, last week had ruled out a diplomatic spat between India and his country following removal of Mahatma Gandhi's statue installed at the University of Ghana in 2016.
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