Professor says that its removal was an ‘issue of self-respect’
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi has been removed from Ghana’s most prestigious university after complaints that “he was racist against black Africans”.
India’s former president Pranab Mukherjee had unveiled the statue of the global peace icon at the University of Ghana in Accra two years ago as a symbol of close ties between the two nations. But lecturers soon began a petition calling for its removal, citing passages written by Mahatma Gandhi claiming that Indians were “infinitely superior” to black Africans.
Series of protests
The online protest was one among many on university campuses in Africa and beyond about the enduring symbols of the continent’s colonial past. The Gandhi statue on the university’s Legon campus in Accra appeared to have been removed overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, students and lecturers told AFP. The head of language, literature and drama at the Institute of African Studies, Obadele Kambon, said the removal was an issue of “self-respect”. “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,” he said. “If we indeed don’t show any self-respect for our heroes, how can the world respect us? This is victory for black dignity and self-respect. The campaign has paid off.” Student Adelaide Twum said the move was “long overdue”. “I’m so excited. This has nothing to do with diplomatic ties,” she added.
University authorities refused to comment while an official at Foreign Affairs Ministry called it an internal decision by the university.”