Following intense debate among the student body and faculty, the University of Ghana removed controversial Mahatma Gandhi statue off campus grounds Wednesday.
Petitions were first passed around when the statue was erected in June of 2016. Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee gifted the statue as a symbol of peace to the university. According to BBC News, he believed it would foster stronger political ties between Ghana and India.
Gandhi may have been one of the most celebrated figures of the 20th century but his legacy has come into question over the past few decades. While living in South Africa, he routinely used the racist term "Kaffir" to describe native Black people in his writings. He was also an early supporter of Adolf Hitler and aided and abetted British colonial rule in South Africa
"Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness," he once wrote in a newspaper article.
The famed Indian freedom fighter not only used racist language, he believed Indians were superior to Black people.
Al Jazeera reports his name is still celebrated in the nation. He has streets, town squares and monuments named after him throughout the country. Students and educators in Ghana, however, pushed back using the hashtag #GandhiMustFall, calling for removal of the statue two years ago.
"[It's an issue] of self-respect," Obadele Kambon the head of language, literature and drama at the Institute of African Studies, told EWN. "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."
Others felt similarly. Twitter users urged other universities and African nations to rid Gandhi's name and image from public places.
What impudence,pushing it unto us dem never know say the voice of the people is the voice of God. Racist #Ghandi's statue inna di country for what? Its high time other African countries do grow up & pull dem statues down without apology@Blakkrasta @zylofon1021fm #BlackPotSegmen— BlaqSterlin🇬🇭🇯🇲(Royal BlaqNess)Outta AbekaCity (@BlaqSterlin) December 12, 2018
I hope the removal of the Ghandi statue at UofGhana is an inspiration to UWI.— Deck the Balls (@TheCheesePatty) December 13, 2018
"A statue of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi has been removed from Ghana's most prestigious university after complaints that he was racist against black Africans" Meanwhile in South Africa he is honoured #GhandiSquare #GhandiMustFall— African (@ali_naka) December 13, 2018
Glad that they removed Ghandi’s statue from Ghana . He was a misogynist and a bigot . They did the right thing , there in Ghana.— Cersei Lannister 🌺 (@Kele_Mooketsi) December 13, 2018
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