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Ghana to remove 'racist' Gandhi statue from its oldest university after protest

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 7 February 2017, 1:21 IST

Mahatma Gandhi's statues will be removed from the university campus in Ghana's national capital where students and professors protested over the leader's racist attitude.

According to reports, Pranab Mukherjee, president of India, had unveiled the statue during his visit to Ghana in June as a symbol of friendship between the two nations.

But professors and students at the University of Ghana called the statue "a slap in the face" because of Gandhi's "racist identity." They started an online petition calling for the statue's removal that received more than 1,700 supporters on 6 October.

The petition cited letters Gandhi wrote during his time in South Africa as evidence that he advocated for the superiority of Indians over black Africans, reports Time.

The petition criticised the lack of statues of African heroes and heroines on campus and includes the issue of Gandhi's use of the derogatory term kaffir to refer to native Africans.

In light of the petition and protests on social media, Ghana's government wants to relocate the statue "to ensure its safety and to avoid the controversy," the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on 5 September.

First published: 7 October 2016, 8:15 IST