Mahatma Gandhi’s statue was unveiled by India’s former president Pranab Mukherjee in June 2016, during his official visit to Ghana. The statue on the university’s Legon campus in Accra appeared to have been removed overnight on Tuesday
IAT Bureau: Statues seem to be latest newsmakers in India and Africa. While India attracted global attention for its 3000 crore worth Statue of Unity, recently inaugurated by the Prime Minster, Ghana is in news for removing Mahatma Gandhi’s statue from Ghana University campus in Accra. The statue was unveiled by India’s former president Pranab Mukherjee in June 2016, during his official visit to Ghana.
For the last two-years, a group of academics at the University has been demanding removal of the statue claiming that Mahatma Gandhi was racist against black Africans. To corroborate their claims, they cited passages written by Gandhi claiming that Indians were “infinitely superior” to black Africans. The group demanded, in their petition, that the university should put African heroes and heroines “first and foremost”. More than 1,000 people signed the petition demanding removal of Gandhi’s statue.
Though Ghana’s former government had said the statue would be relocated, it seems, to avoid, any disturbance, the statue on the university’s Legon campus in Accra appeared to have been removed overnight on Tuesday. Taking a cautious approach, to avoid this issues snowballing into a diplomatic problem between the two countries, the university authorities have not released any official statement regarding the incident, while Ghana’s foreign affairs ministry calls it an “internal decision” by the university.
Mahatma Gandhi lived and worked as a lawyer in South Africa for 21 years from 1893 to 1915. A statue of Gandhi at Johannesburg, had also triggered a similar row in 2003.