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Here’s why Ghana University has pulled down Gandhi statue

The University of Ghana in Accra was built as a symbol of global peace icon two years ago to strengthen ties between the two nations and was unveiled by former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee.

By Express Web Desk |

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Accra, Ghana. (AP File photo)

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After complaints from students about Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi being a racist against Black Africans, Ghana’s most prestigious university has removed a statue of the leader.

The University of Ghana in Accra was built as a symbol of global peace icon two years ago to strengthen ties between the two nations and was unveiled by former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. However, shortly after the unveiling, lecturers began an online petition citing passages written by Gandhi which claimed that Indians were ‘infinitely superior’ to Black Africans. The petition also said that African heroes should be put first.

The online protest that was initiated by the university lecturers was one among the numerous protests on university campuses in Africa and beyond regarding the enduring symbols of the continent’s colonial past. In the wake of the row, Ghana’s government had earlier said the statue would be relocated “to avoid the controversy… becoming a distraction from our strong ties of friendship” with India, however, students told foreign news agency AFP that the statue on the university’s Legon campus was removed overnight on Tuesday.

The university refused to comment, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said that it was the university’s internal decision. The head of language, literature and drama at the Institute of African Studies had said that the removal was a matter of ‘self-respect’.

Gandhi, the forefront Independence leader, is more commonly remembered for his non-violent means of resisting British colonialism in India, his legacy in Africa is mixed due to some of his ‘controversial remarks’. He lived in South Africa from 1893 to 1915 where he worked as a lawyer.

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