There are growing calls to remove ‘racist’ Gandhi statue in Leicester in Britain, and a petition to remove the statue has received nearly 5,000 signatures.
The online petition accuses the Indian independence campaigner of being “a fascist, racist and sexual predator”.
Last year, students from Manchester called for a similar statue of Gandhi to be removed because of his “well-documented anti-black racism”.
In 2018, students in the University of Ghana removed a statue of Gandhi in the middle of the night, after protests from students and faculty who argued the Indian independence leader considered Africans “inferior”.
Scholars have underlined evidence in past years showing the revered freedom-fighter, whose theories of civil resistance helped India throw off British colonialism and inspired generations of activists including Martin Luther King Jr, held belittling views towards native communities in South Africa.
A 2015 book by two South African writers pointed to instances where Gandhi complained that Indians were being forced to use the same separate entrances as Africans, meaning “their civilised habits… would be degraded to the habits of aboriginal natives”.
“About the mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians, I must confess I feel most strongly,” he wrote in a letter in 1904.
Campaigners in Malawi are trying to stop another Gandhi statue from being erected in the country’s second city, Blantyre.
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