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Ghandhi statue still standing one year after removal protests

A statue of India’s independence founder Mahatma Gandhi erected at the recreational quadrangle of the University of Ghana may remain there for a while longer despite protest for its removal last year.
The statue which was donated by the Indian High Commission to Ghana in June last year as a symbol of friendship with Ghana, has been at the center of a brewing controversy for some time now.
Some academics on campus launched a hashtag #GandhiMustFall to get the authorities to remove the statue of the man accused of racism in September last year. The “Gandhi Must Fall” movement was spearheaded by a former Director of the Institute of African Studies (IAS), Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo. According to her, the statue of the man widely acclaimed for his doctrine of non-violence is undeserving to be mounted on campus because he was a racist.


School authorities were scared of a possible theft of the statue after his signature spectacle was stolen by some unidentified people amidst protest to remove it from the campus.
“The school officials feel embarrassed about what has happened to the statue and fear possible damage and theft if care is not taken,” a source told Myjoyonline.com then.
Authorities charged campus security to operate in the recreational quadrangle to avoid further damage.
 
The movement argued that “if there should be statues on our campus then they should first be African heroes and heroines, who can serve as examples of who we are and what we have achieved as a people.”
In a lengthy petition addressed to the University Council, the group cited remarks made by the Indian hero during his many battles against Imperial regimes as proof of his racist past and the unmannered way he handled Africans.
A classic example was when the eminent leader of Indian independence movement said on December 19, 1894, that: “A general belief seems to prevail in the Colony that Indians are little better if at all than savages or the Natives of Africa.
“Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir,” he continued.
A year after the protest, a leading member of the anti-Gandhi campaign, Dr Obadele Kambon, told Joy News’ Emefa Dzradosi that Ghana has lost its dignity by refusing to honour its heroes.
“We don’t have any statue of our heroes and sheroes antiquity; not a single one at the University which is a blow to our dignity as Africans,” he said. Some of the students who spoke to Joy News’ expressed disappointment that the statue is yet to be removed from the campus.
“When you look around, there is no statue of even members of the Big Six who fought for the country’s independence. They should have been here before anyone else,” one student said. Meanwhile, the Univesity of Ghana authorities say it will engage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to finally settle the issue about the removal of his statue from its campus.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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