By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
A statue of the late Indian independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi was removed from the campus of University of Ghana, earlier last week after a backlash from student activists.
To many people, this may sound a little confusing to hear that student activists would demand that a statue of one of the world’s most famous peaceful protestors and activists be removed from campus grounds.
But to the people who knew of Gandhi’s racist history in apartheid South Africa, including the students who petitioned to have his statue removed, there was no doubt that they had to get the statue of the man who referred to Black Africans as “Savages” and “Kaffir” ( a South African version of the n-word) removed from school grounds.
According to the Washington Post:
Gandhi’s Indian empowerment argument, critics said in a petition to remove the statue, appeared to be that the British colonial government treated Indians a “little better, if at all, than the savages or the Natives of Africa.” He spoke of the “half-heathen Native” and said that treating Indians like Africans would “degrade us.” The sole occupation of “raw” natives is hunting, he said and their “sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”
The Ghana University petition cited other protests against — and removal of — tributes to historical but controversial figures at universities around the globe, including the former slave-owning Royall family at Harvard University and apartheid founder Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town.
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