The University of Ghana has taken down the statue of India’s independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi, erected at the recreational quadrangle of the university.
This follows a vicious protest in 2016 for the removal of the statue by some academics of the university who argued that Gandhi was a racist and had no place in the school.
The men, in the company of university security, who carried out the demolishing of the figure of the civil rights leader which stood in the heart of the university, only said that they had “received an order from above” and could not speak to why or who exactly had given the order.
‘We received an order from above and we can’t tell you why it is being taken down’, one of the security men told #UniversNews.
For many Diplomats including Ghana’s former High Commissioner to India and current Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, the decision to demolish the statue might have implications on diplomatic ties between Ghana and India.
The decision to take down the figure, which was donated by the Indian government and unveiled on 14th June 2016, has been hanging in the balance for about 2 years after an online petition was brought to the members of the University of Ghana Council and the then chairman Kwamena Ahwoi.
While some have argued that the racist comments he’s accused of making come no where close to his humanitarian activities and the impact he had on the entire world, others are extremely unforgiving.
In one of his early writings in South Africa, Gandhi is quoted to have advanced arguments to paint the African race as totally inferior.
‘Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw kaffir [Africans] whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness’, one of his writings said.
In September 2016, a group of lecturers and students launched a hashtag #GandhiMustFall to get the authorities to remove the statue of the man accused of racism.
This was in reaction to the erection of the statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi at the Sam Aboah quadrangle of the University of Ghana.
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.
Before now, Gandhi’s statue remained the only figure of a historical personality on Legon campus.
By: Manuel Koranteng & Elliot Nuerttey/universnewsroom.com